Photo Courtesy Kings BBQ Restaurant

Coronavirus and Cooking: Bring Your Restaurant Favorites Home With These Meal Kits

Let deliciousness ensue
Photo Courtesy Kings BBQ Restaurant

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many local and notable establishments to close their doors — some permanently. And although restaurants are offering free delivery and curbside pickup, the one thing people miss the most about restaurants is dining with friends and family to feel some sort of normalcy.

While a full sense of normalcy may be a ways away, many popular spots across the nation offer meal kits that ship nationwide to make dinner at home feel like a restaurant.

What is a meal kit anyway?

What is a meal kit anyway?
Photo Courtesy Veselka

Meal kits are packaged, pre-portioned food items shipped from a restaurant to a customer's doorstep. In most cases — like pizzas and desserts— the food is assembled for preparation, frozen to retain quality, and requires heating or baking to recreate the dish you love most. And when meats are involved, throwing it on the grill or using the stovetop is necessary to attain a delicious, savory taste. 

Bartolini’s (Chicago, Illinois)

Bartolini’s (Chicago, Illinois)
Photo Courtesy Bartolini's

If you miss dining at your favorite pizza joint on Chicago-style favorites like gooey deep-dish pizza and saucy meatball submarines, Bartolini's Restaurant offers a meal kit. Located on the South Side of Chicago, Bartolini’s has been dishing up noteworthy pizzas and meatballs since 1995. The restaurant’s kit gives home cooks across the nation a choice between a four-pack deep-dish and thin-crust combo, or mix things up with a thin-crust pizza and meatball combo pack at bartolinis.com.

Trejo’s Tacos (Los Angeles, California)

Trejo’s Tacos (Los Angeles, California)
Photo Courtesy Trejo's Tacos

Before making legendary tacos, actor Danny Trejo was most known for starring in famous Hollywood films like “Con Air,” “Once Upon A Time In Mexico” and the “Spy Kids” movies. Now, with Los Angeles-based Trejo’s Tacos, he’s serving up some of America's best tacos. You can bring a taste of Trejo’s Tacos home with the carnitas, barbacoa or vegan jackfruit taco kits. Find yours at trejostacos.com/tacostogo.

Southside Market & Barbeque (Elgin, Texas)

Southside Market & Barbeque (Elgin, Texas)
Photo Courtesy Southside Market & Barbeque

Texas is famous for many of its iconic recipes like Texas barbecue. When you’re craving savory sauces and smoked meats, Southside Market & Barbeque could have the meal kit you need. Nationwide, customers can order goods like the Sausage Sampler Pack or the Texas Trinity Gift Set, a combination of sausage, brisket and ribs. More than 10 barbecue sets are available at southsidemarket.com. 

Commander's Palace (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Commander's Palace (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Photo Courtesy Commander's Palace

Famous for resembling an enchanting castle and serving some of the most iconic dishes in New Orleans, Commander’s Palace is offering meal kits so guests can feel like a king or queen even when eating on their couches in pajamas. The award-winning restaurant is selling three-course dinner meal kits with garlic bread, turtle soup, bacon-braised cabbage, quail, sugarcane molasses glaze and a pecan pie. Choose your next dinner at commanderspalace.com.

St. Elmo Steak House (Indianapolis, Indiana)

St. Elmo Steak House (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Photo Courtesy St. Elmo Steak House

St. Elmo Steak House is one of the best steakhouses in America. And now, whether you live in Indianapolis or not, you can bring a piece of the steak house to your home. Use St. Elmo’s meal kits to cook up dinners like a New York strip and shrimp cocktail for two or a filet and shrimp cocktail for four. While you're at it, try to spot a mention on "Parks and Recreation," a great happy show to stream during the coronavirus pandemic. St. Elmo's shrimp cocktails and steaks can be purchased at store.stelmos.com.

Veselka (New York City, New York)

Veselka (New York City, New York)
Photo Courtesy Veselka

For over 60 years, Veselka — which means “rainbow” in Ukrainian — has delighted residents of New York City’s East Village with authentic Ukrainian favorites. Pierogies, borscht and goulash are just a few of the treats served fresh at this cozy coffee shop. Customers across the nation can bring these Ukrainian comfort dishes to their homes thanks to Veselka’s meal kits. Choose between a complete Ukrainian dinner kit, a grilling pack, three dozen pierogies or veal goulash, among many other options at veselka.com/store. 

Ugly Drum (Los Angeles, California)

Ugly Drum (Los Angeles, California)
Photo Courtesy Ugly Drum

The Ugly Drum in Los Angeles is where you go to curb the ultimate pastrami craving. Ugly Drum’s pastrami is taken from USDA prime briskets, brined in a seasoning blend for a few days and pit-smoked for at least 10 hours. Pastrami lovers can choose from packages like the Ugly Buns "Burnt End" Sandwich Kit with over a pound of burnt ends and 8 ounces of sauce. Ugly Drum's pit-smoked pastrami can be ordered at uglydrum.com. 

Detroit Style Pizza Co. (Detroit, Michigan)

Detroit Style Pizza Co. (Detroit, Michigan)
Photo Courtesy Detroit Style Pizza

You don’t have to live in Detroit to taste some of the best pizza in the country. Named “World’s Best Pizza” at the 2012 International Pizza Expo, Detroit Style Pizza Co. is selling pizza kits for delivery nationwide. Pizza kit options range from Motown Meat Supreme to classic cheese. Purchase all the pizza you could ever need at detroitstylepizza.co. 

Topsail Steamer (Surf City, North Carolina)

Topsail Steamer (Surf City, North Carolina)
Photo Courtesy Topsail Steamer

Nationwide, seafood lovers can enjoy fresh Signature Bay Buckets prepared by Topsail Steamer. This North Carolina establishment is best known for creating steamer pots, a mix of local seafood, meats, vegetables and homemade seasonings that you can steam at home. Buyers can choose between seven Signature Bay Buckets, like the Low Country Shrimp or the Crabby Jimbo Steamer Pot. And to make it taste just as if it was cooked in the Topsail Steamer kitchen, buyers can choose seasonings to add to their kit that range from Cajun to herbal blend. Fulfill those seafood cravings at topsailsteamer.com/how-it-works. 

Kings BBQ Restaurant (Kinston, North Carolina)

Kings BBQ Restaurant (Kinston, North Carolina)
Photo Courtesy Kings BBQ Restaurant

If you’re prone to making grilling mistakes and want to leave most of the work to the pros, Kings BBQ Restaurant may be able to help. Founded more than 75 years ago, Kings is a Kinston, North Carolina, barbecue hotspot. Available meal kits include the Carolina Oink Sampler — a combination of hand-chopped pork barbecue, pork ribs, Brunswick stew, vegetables of your choice, hushpuppies and King’s Delight BBQ sauce. Or opt for the Meat Lover’s Special — pounds of ribs, sausages and hand-chopped pork. King's savory meal kits are available at kingsbbq.com/shop/. 

Buona (Multiple locations, Illinois and Indiana)

Buona (Multiple locations, Illinois and Indiana)

Buona Beef/Yelp

You don’t have to live in the place nicknamed the Windy City to enjoy a Chicago-style Italian Beef. Buona, known for creating “the original Italian beef” more than 30 years ago, offers Italian beef kits for lovers of the sandwich nationwide. The kit includes 4 pounds of beef and gravy, eight french rolls and a jar of Giardiniera peppers. Get your Buona beefs shipped nationwide at buona.com/shop-and-ship/.

Katz’s Delicatessen (New York City, New York)

Katz’s Delicatessen (New York City, New York)
Photo Courtesty Katz's Deli

Katz’s Delicatessen is a legendary restaurant that has been a staple in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood for 132 years. Katz’s is known for whipping up pastrami sandwiches, ladling matzo ball soup and dishing out fried knish. Although the restaurant is not open to dine-in, Katz’s fans around the nation can still grab a bite from the East Coast favorite. Shoppers can order complete three-course dinners, Reuben packages, miniature latkes and more. Bring New York to your doorstep by visiting katzsdelicatessen.com/shipping.html.

Honolulu Fish Company (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Honolulu Fish Company (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Alex R./Yelp

You don’t have to travel to the colorful beaches of Hawaii to order a catch of the day. The Honolulu Fish Company delivers premium Hawaiin fish to your doorstep. When you want to get creative with your fish, the Ichiban Home Sushi Kit is the perfect way to recreate your sushi favorites with the entire family. Find today's catch at honolulufish.com/collections/. 

Parkway Bakery and Tavern (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Parkway Bakery and Tavern (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Minh K./Yelp

Even if you don’t live in Louisiana, you can still enjoy a po’boy sandwich from New Orleans favorite Parkway Bakery and Tavern, which has been serving up the sandwiches for more than a century. Now you can bring one of the most iconic foods from Louisiana to your dinner table. Meal kit options include roast beef po’boy dinners, and chicken and sausage jambalaya. Ship your po'boy meal kit at parkwaypoorboys.com. 

Coney I-Lander (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Coney I-Lander (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Maice L./Yelp

Coney I-Lander has been serving coneys — a grilled wiener in a perfectly steamed bun covered in chili — for more than 50 years. Coney I-Lander has, arguably, one of the best hotdogs in America. Wherever you live in the U.S., you can bring a taste of this Tulsa staple to your home. Recreate the famed dog with the coney dog kit or mix things up with the coney dog and Frito pie combo kit at coneyi-lander.com/about/. 

Vienna Beef Hot Dogs (Chicago, Illinois)

Vienna Beef Hot Dogs (Chicago, Illinois)

Fox E./Yelp

Hot dogs are the perfect quick dinner dish that’ll remind you of your childhood with every bite. When you want a Chicago-style hotdog, you can turn to Vienna beef. The Chicago-style hot dog kit brings a Chicago favorite to your doorstep — relish and celery salt included. And when you want to learn how to cook up a hot dog like the pros, Vienna Beef has an online step-by-step tutorial. Order your Chicago-style hot dog at viennabeef.com/shop-now/. 

Mike’s Pastry (Boston, Massachusetts)

Mike’s Pastry (Boston, Massachusetts)

Melissa R./Yelp

A homemade cannoli is a dessert recipe that is difficult, but will impress. With the cannoli kit from Mike’s Pastry, one of the best dessert shops in America, you can dazzle your family without all the work. Sold nationwide, the kit includes cannoli shells, chocolate chips, pistachio nuts, confectioner’s sugar and your choice of plain or chocolate ricotta cheese filling. And if you want to diversify your dessert tray, Mike’s Pastry also has lobster tail kits, assorted macaroons, ricotta pie and more. Order tasty pastries for your home at mikespastry.com.

I Trulli (New York City, New York)

I Trulli (New York City, New York)

Em P./Yelp

East Coasters know that I Trulli Ristorante in New York City is great for authentic, fine Italian dining. Experience the handmade pasta with meal kits that include Sunday Meatballs and the Gnocchi Dinner. Bring home Nonna Dora's dinners by visiting itrulli.com. 

Jack Stack BBQ (Kansas City, Missouri)

Jack Stack BBQ (Kansas City, Missouri)

Jack Stack BBQ/Yelp

From smoked ends to slabs of barbecue ribs with gooey macaroni and cheese and baked beans, Jack Stack BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri, has a myriad of meal kits to fulfill your barbecue needs. Jack Stack BBQ delivers a taste of Kansas City straight to the door of barbecue enthusiasts at jackstackbbq.com/category/sides-bbq-sauces-rubs.

Tony Boloney's (Hoboken, New Jersey)

Tony Boloney's (Hoboken, New Jersey)

Emily A./Yelp

Tony Boloney’s meal kits are bringing Hoboken, New Jersey, style pizzas to doorsteps across the nation. Boloney’s uses unexpected ingredients like taco and cheesesteak toppings to create next-level pizzas. Order kits like the Famous Taco Pizza and the Ole Cheesesteak, or showcase your love for exotic animals with the “Tiger King” pizza. Every Sunday, Tony Boloney’s is also offering online cooking classes to teach you how to elevate your pizza recipes. Kits are available at tonyboloneys.com/cooking-class. For more cooking how-tos, here are more online cooking classes to take during the coronavirus pandemic

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