Personally, cooking one dish for hours and hours like a good brisket is beyond my patience. Ordering out is a great way to supplement a dinner, whether it’s a family gathering or not. Recently for a Friday night dinner gathering I picked up brisket to go. My son Patrick does a great rub and his smoker bends to his will, but I doubt he would want to cook for a meal he wouldn’t be eating.
I took the super easy way out and bought three pounds of brisket from Dickey’s (Sixth Avenue in Tacoma – they are in other areas as well). Peg and I have dined several times at Cactus, both here in Tacoma’s Proctor District, Bellevue, and Madison Park. I’ve had their brisket burrito and their brisket tacos. I was ready for a fantastic brisket Tacoma taco dinner at home. We had a super meal for eight. We had mango-lime salsa for the brisket tacos. Our guests filled in with Spanish rice, refried beans, potato salad, chips and dips, and “Hot Mexican Chocolate Shortbread Cookies” with Tillamook Ice Cream with a rich, warm chocolate sauce in a mason jar. We provided the brisket, tortillas, taco condiments, and a port based sangria. There was excellent food and great conversations. We had a lovely time. Brisket tacos and spicy shortbread cookies? Who knew?
The first time we ordered out for a partial dinner, we bought the main dish from Freighthouse Square. When our guests praised the Asian noodles I said, “We bought them from Wendy’s Vietnamese.” Our guests laughed at what they thought was a joke, so I had to explain, “No, we actually bought these from Wendy Au at Wendy’s Vietnamese.” I don’t think they ever really believed me, but then I get that a lot.
Buying part of a delicious meal really emphasizes the “convenience” in “convenience food.” You don’t have to buy a complete meal, although we have certainly done that. One of our favorite places for take out is It’s Greek to Me in Tacoma. Their clam chowder is excellent and usually sells out by early afternoon. I don’t know how many pizzas we have purchased at It’s Greek to Me, or how many lamb kabobs, or salads, or spaghetti, or moussaka, or spanakopita, or Greek potatoes. Sometimes we dine there. Sometimes we throw a party there and sometimes we just come back with an entire meal. Regardless, they are much more than just Greek food.
It’s been a while, but we still love Cloverleaf pizza from Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue. Delivered for an important Seahawks football game it is perfect. My favorite is pepperoni. The beginning of Cloverleaf Pizza was the Roma Café in Ponders Corner, where I grew up. Like my sisters and me, my three children still prefer Cloverleaf over alternatives. It’s not for everyone. Although my wife, Peggy will eat a slice or two, she prefers the “veggie pizza” with real bacon from It’s Greek to Me. I think a Greater Doman Family December Holiday Party might feature pizzas from both locations.
Consider all your options when dining at home. You might save yourself some time and convenience by ordering a portion out. Most restaurants would be happy to oblige.