Even with dining rooms closed for the coronavirus crisis, the Bay Area remains an exciting place to eat — but when you’re stuck at home it’s ever harder to think beyond your usual spots. Fortunately, Eater’s editors take seriously our responsibility to steer you toward fresh new takeout options and hidden delivery gems, (with the recycling bins filled with takeout containers to prove it).. We report all of our most exciting findings here, so check back each week to find out what you should be eating too.

May 8

Sicilian sandwich from Guerra Quality Meats

Sandwich from Guerra Quality Meats

Becky Duffett

In compiling the list of the essential butcher shops in San Francisco, I stumbled upon a neighborhood gem, which I am ashamed for not frequenting sooner. Guerra Quality Meats has been breaking down steaks, chops, and other classic cuts in West Portal since 1954, and the old-school shop is now run by the third generation of the family. Plus, they’ve got outstandingly meaty sandwiches, available for preorder and curbside pickup. On a Sunday morning, after trying and failing to socially distance on the overcrowded bike paths of Lake Merced, there is nothing like an oversized Italian sandwich, stuffed with salami, coppa, and hot peppers, slicked with mayo, and on a chewy ciabatta roll. It’s enough to nearly restore one’s faith in humanity. These are the sandwiches that great weekends are made of. — Becky Duffett, reporter

Breakfast chiles rellenos at Lucho’s

The chiles rellenos breakfast at Lucho’s
Eve Batey

Before Mexican restaurants widely catered to vegetarian diners, chiles rellenos were often my entree of choice — I mean, it’s a fried pepper stuffed with cheese, what can go wrong? Now that more spots than ever embrace the meatless, I haven’t had the dish in a while, but I was wooed back by the version offered at Lucho’s, a newish Cal-Yucatan spot located in one of San Francisco’s most adorable neighborhoods, the Lakeside District. These days, I’m not dining inside its light-filled, triangular space — their food arrives at my home in a box proffered by my husband. But inside the same excellent breakfast take on chiles rellenos remains: a pepper stuffed to bursting with scrambled eggs and cheese, fat cut by a heavy dollop of slaw and seasoned radishes. The whole mess rests atop a black bean puree so good that I’m worried that this dish might not be that veggie, after all. Lucho’s takeout menu is here (call 415-347-7416 to order), and delivery is available via the usual apps. — Eve Batey, senior editor

Al pastor tacos at Tacos El Autlense

Now and forever, taco trucks are some of the heroes of food world — and during this pandemic, they’ve been some of the ones feeding frontline workers and also folks who are down on their luck and just in need of a hot meal. And thankfully, many of them are still open for business, so when I got a craving for al pastor earlier this week, I drove down to Tacos El Autlense, which is still parked in its usual spot outside the Hotsy Totsy Club, making a go of it even though a lot of its usual clientele — people drinking at the bar — aren’t around these days. A plate of tacos is, of course, a perfectly portable food, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it travels well, as anyone who’s eaten cold, limp tortillas can attest. So you can forgive me, I hope, for diving in as soon as I sat down in my car, when the tacos were still good and hot. And man did these hit the spot: the lengua as tender as you could ask for, the birria soupy and generously meaty. Best of all was that al pastor — full-flavored, crisp at the edges, and topped with a red salsa that was bright and full of verve. I polished off the whole plate in about a minute flat. — Luke Tsai, editor

May 1

Crystal shrimp dumplings at Dumpling House

Crystal shrimp dumplings from Dumpling House

Becky Duffett

Reaching the depths of despair on a Friday night of quarantine, my boyfriend attempted to cheer me up. “What do you want for dinner? Do you want to get takeout?” “Dumps,” I snapped back. “I will only accept dumps.” I’ve been ordering takeout a little closer to home, in an effort to stop using those villainous delivery apps. So we took a flyer on a newish neighborhood spot, Dumpling House in the Castro. It was nothing fancy and just what the therapist ordered — good, simple dim sum, at a price point where you can load up your plate and still have leftovers to munch cold for breakfast. I have expressed this opinion before, but personally, my favorite type of dumps are shrimp har gow. In this case, the “crystal shrimp dumplings” were stuffed with plump pink shrimp, glowing through thin wrappers, and they didn’t die too badly in transit either. The restaurant has online ordering for pickup, or delivery through Postmates, Caviar, or Grubhub. — Becky Duffett, reporter

The kale Caesar from Square Pie Guys

Even my dog was interested in Square Pie Guys’ kale Caesar
Eve Batey

I know, I’m writing about a salad from a pizza place? What kind of virtue signaler am I? But this salad — made with a finely-chopped mix of crisp kale and romaine (ha ha remember when we thought romaine would kill us?), sweet cherry tomatoes, just-garlicky-enough croutons, and grana padano. It’s dressed with a pesto-y green goddess dressing, which, if Caesar purists didn’t already hit close tab, that was likely the final straw. They’re right, this isn’t a Caesar in any sense of the word, but who cares. It was just the right amount of tangy, fatty, and crunchy to counterbalance the Detroit-style pizza — and out of the whole meal, it was the only part where my husband and I bickered about who’d get the last portion. You can order takeout from Square Pie Guys here, delivery is available in-house or from Caviar or DoorDash. — Eve Batey, senior editor

The chirashi bowl from AS B-Dama/Berkeley Bowl West Cafe

Chirashi bowl and bentos from B-Dama/Berkeley Bowl West

Luke Tsai

These days, we have to take our joys where we can find them. For me, the most luxurious indulgence of the pandemic (apart from, like, an unconscionable number of long, hot baths) has been a near-weekly chirashi bowl. Mostly I’ve been getting them from the Berkeley Bowl West Cafe, where the sushi chefs at AS B-Dama and Delage have embedded for the shelter in place — it’s a separate building adjacent to the grocery store, so you have to gingerly thread your way through the long line of would-be shoppers. For as long as I can remember, B-Dama has run the supermarket’s sushi and Japanese prepared foods section, but the new takeout operation is on a whole other level, in part because everything’s prepared to order: The fried chicken comes hot and crunchy; the rice is still warm and fluffy when you unwrap the onigiri. And that chirashi bowl? Generous slices of the butteriest pieces of fish scattered on a bed of fresh rice that was still slightly warm. All for just $12 (!). Check B-Dama’s Instagram page for the most recent menu — text orders to 510-421-6023, or get delivery via DoorDash. — Luke Tsai, editor

536 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607

The Best Takeout Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week in San Francisco, Oakland, and the East Bay

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