Foodie Sheltering in Place during the Coronavirus

This foodie is picking up food at Portillo's drive through during the coronavirus pandemic

It’s June and during this time of the year, Chicago has many neighborhood food festivals to satisfy tastebuds. Unfortunately because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), all food festivals have been canceled in the Chicago area.  Yes, it’s been hard for this foodie. While many communities are sheltering in place, Chicago is slowly starting to re-open a lot of its restaurants for sit-down service.

Although some communities have been awarded the opportunity for their neighborhood restaurants to allow their patrons to sit outdoors, for now, this foodie will not be one of those customers.  I’ll give it a few months to see if there’s a resurgence of cases. Hey, I’m a black overweight female with underlying health issues, the coronavirus is looking to get me – eating in public isn’t that important!

I’ve been home and thankfully working remotely since the 2nd week of March. I’m thankful because many individuals aren’t fortunate to have this opportunity.  During my “off-time”, I’ve been cooking more often. Some of my favorite restaurants had to close early to protect their employees. Others closed early because it cost too much money to stay open.

I did update my food delivery service apps.  I had a DoorDash pass, but because I was already a customer, there weren’t really a lot of discounts for current account holders. That’s okay, I signed up with UberEats and got the Eat Pass for $15 a month, $30 off in discounts right away along with another $30 in promotions. Plus there were more restaurant options with UberEats in my neighborhood compared to DoorDash. I learned along with other customers that restaurants had to pay a hefty commission to these food service delivery companies. I figured if I was visiting a restaurant, or sitting in a long drive-thru line, or ordering online, I was helping the bottom line as well as my belly. 

Below are restaurants that I had the pleasure of picking up food while standing 6 feet apart, sitting in a long drive-thru line, or sitting on my couch and ordering UberEats.  Hopefully, the smaller franchises are able to stay open during the re-opening phase. If you haven’t tried these locations, be sure to make a visit. 


DakWings – my favorite is the spicy Korean bbq wings and waffle fries. First, let me say, this is the restaurant that got me liking waffle fries. I hated them before, but when you dip them in the spicy Korean bbq sauce, the flavors are just magic in your mouth.  

 
 
 
 
 
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Mr. Beef & Pizza on North Harlem – Yes, the one on North Harlem. There’s a couple of locations, and I don’t know if it’s the same owner, but you have to go to the Harlem & Irving Park location. You cannot go here without getting an Italian combination with beef and sausage and one tamale! I happily took them home and ate it. Greasy fingers and all. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill – This spot can be a little pricey, especially for street tacos, but it’s worth it.  They do something special with the steak that makes me not mind spending some extra cash.  Their salad burrito bowl is automatically better than Chipotle because they use a crispy flour tortilla bowl. Get it mixed with chicken and steak, you’ll thank me later.

 
 
 
 
 
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Lou Malnati’s – CURB. SIDE. SERVICE.  Wow! Lou Malnati’s needs to keep this going for fellow foodies after phase 4. Lou’s website made it so easy and convenient to pick up food. You order your food and enter your vehicle info (make, model, and license plate number) and the staff brings your pizza out and the designated time. I loved it along with the Deep Dish Malnati Chicago Classic.  Very simple – sausage, cheese, and tomato sauce on a butter crust. Yup! Delicious!

 
 
 
 
 
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Noodles Etc. – I don’t know how long this restaurant has been in Hyde Park, but I was super happy to see them on UberEats. There wasn’t a lot of appetizers available on the app. I don’t know if it was because they were working off a limited menu because of online orders, but I am very happy I had a chance to try their fried wontons stuff with chicken, egg rolls, and Singapore noodles. 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Cheesecake Factory – On Mother’s Day, my wonderful husband treated me to The Cheesecake Factory’s carryout service.  That meant no cooking in the kitchen or dishes.  We ordered the works – buffalo blasts, potstickers, steak Diane with grilled shrimp, ribeye steak, oreo cheesecake, and caramel apple cheesecake!

 
 
 
 
 
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FriiStyle Chicago – This location is getting an honorable mention. The concept is nice, basically adding your favorite foods over french fries. I tried the Italian Beef Frite and Wing Frite. 

 
 
 
 
 
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P.F. Chang’s – For my birthday, I celebrated using curbside pickup with dragon rolls, dynamite shrimp, pot stickers, kung pao brussel sprouts, mongolian beef, and crispy honey chicken. Eating Chinese food and watching a great movie at home helped my birthday celebration.

 
 
 
 
 
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Delicious Food Eaten at Additional Restaurants during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Carry-Out / Curbside

Carson’s Ribs (Streeterville)

Low Country (South Loop)

Molly’s Cupcakes (South Loop)

Happiness Chinese – Chicago

Portillo’s (South Loop & Oak Lawn)

Chi-Tung (Oak Lawn)

Culver’s (Oak Lawn)

Small Cupcakery and Creamery (Orland Park)

UberEats (or other delivery services)

The Slab Bar-B-Que

Captain Hooks Fish and Chicken (87th & Cottage)

Gianna’s Pizza

L & G Restaurant

Leona’s Restaurant (Hyde Park)

Shark’s Fish & Chicken (95th & Jeffrey)

Picazo Taqueria

The Original Pancake House (Hyde Park)

Wingstop

Rickette’s World Famous Chicken, Fish, and BBQ

Popeye’s Chicken

Jerk 48

Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles (Bronzeville)

J& J Fish and Chicken

Waldo Cooney’s Pizza

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