Takeout from Se7en Bites

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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Let’s get takeout for breakfast. No, having to drive someplace to get the food isn’t as nice as having breakfast in bed. But if the restaurant offers curbside pickup, you don’t have to change out of your pajamas and can hop back in bed when you get home.

Let’s go to Se7en Bites.

Takeout from Reyes Mezcaleria

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I had a really terrific takeout dinner from Reyes Mezcaleria recently. And I don’t mean to qualify that statement to mean “good for takeout food.” It was a wonderful meal and some of the best food I’ve had in months.

I needn’t have been surprised, chef Wendy Lopez has established herself as one of the area’s best chef regardless of the cuisine she’s cooking. But she does seem to shine when the menu features the foods of her native Mexico. (Michoacán, to be specific, where you’ll find an area known as Los Reyes.) Reyes Mezcaleria is owned by Jason and Sue Chin and falls under the umbrella of their Good Salt Restaurant Group, which also includes Baldwin Park restaurants Seito Sushi and the Osprey.

Brick & Fire Pizza & Pasta Parlor

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In the days after the Pulse massacre, several businesses on Orange Avenue found themselves within a secured perimeter, especially those between the nightclub and Orlando Health, where many of the victims were taken. Brick & Fire was one of those businesses that were essentially cut off and unable to open to the public.

But instead of just shutting down, chef and co-owner Mark Dollard went to his restaurant early that Sunday morning and made about 80 pizzas and put them out free for first responders.

During the current crisis, Dollard is offering a discount on all menu items all day every day for first responders and medical professionals. It’s a nice thing to do considering the restaurant’s proximity to the hospital. It’s likely a go-to for workers anyway, especially since it has such good food.

Bad As's Sandwich Winter Park

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Bad As’s Sandwich, a previous winner of the Best Sandwich Foodster Award, opened its brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Milk District just three years ago after doing business solely as a food truck.

Now chef and owner John Collazo has opened a second location in Winter Parks on Fairbanks Avenue in a space previously occupied by a pizza joint. Sandwiches are well suited as takeout food, so it seemed like a perfect time to check out the new place. Well, from the outside anyway, as I placed my order for curbside pickup.

U & Me Chinese & Sushi

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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There are few foods more classically suited for takeout than Chinese. Before there was a proliferation of foam clamshell boxes and plastic containers, there was the folded paperboard box with wire handle that became synonymous with Chinese takeout. So much so that even today the emoji for takeout food is that little box.

So let’s do Chinese takeout.

I went online and found the menu for U & Me, a Chinese restaurant that also does sushi in the area of Kirkman and Conroy Roads. Actually, I found a few menus at a different websites, and with different prices, but I’ll give you the link to the best one below.

I’m a sucker for egg foo young, and I haven’t seen it on a menu in a while, so I knew that would be my entree choice. My companion chose the Triple Delight from the list of house specialites, and we also got some steamed dumplings and pan-fried pork buns to share.

Takeout from Ravenous Pig

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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Since March, I’ve published approximately 40 reviews on takeout food from a variety of restaurants, and most of what I’ve sampled has made for good at-home eating.

But with the takeout I recently got from Ravenous Pig, I felt like I was having true “restaurant food” at home. What I mean is that even in takeout containers, the dishes from Ravenous Pig still had the sort of specialness that you’d expect if you were dining at the restaurant itself.

Takeout from Black Bean Deli in Winter Park

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I had been anticipating visiting the new Black Bean Deli location in Winter Park. I wanted to see how the former Winnie’s Oriental Garden had been transformed into a Cuban deli.

But since I’m sticking with takeout cuisine for the time being, I’ll have to wait a while longer to see the inside of the new dining room. But I can tell you the quality of the food is just as good as it was when BBD was just a little pocket place on Orlando Avenue.

And Black Bean Deli is especially appropriate for takeout because that’s how it started out. The original location, at 325 S. Orlando Ave., had no tables. There was a shelf in front of the window and six stools for people who couldn’t wait to tear into their boxed food. But for the most part, you were expected to pick up your order at the counter and take it home.

In fact, for many years Black Bean Deli was a frequent winner of the Sentinel’s Foodie Award for Best Takeout, both the readers’ award and the critic’s (my) choice. That included the 2002 awards, which is the year that the longtime owners of Black Bean, Gladys and George Miavitz, who opened the restaurant in 1982, retired and sold the operation to Andres Corton.

Bao's Castle

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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We’ve had King Bao for about four years. Now we have Bao’s Castle. You’d think they might have some royal connection, but despite the monarchial monikers they are unrelated.

Bao’s Castle reigns over the SoDo Shopping Center. (Who am I kidding? Target is the imperial ruler here.) It occupies a humble storefront next to the complex’s Gator’s Dockside.

The menu is succinct, just eight baos and a few ancillary options.

I made my selections through the restaurant’s online ordering form, which is intuitive and easy to use, with options for pickup, including contactless curbside, or delivery through a third party.

Takeout from Hook & Reel

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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One of the signature items at Hook & Reel, the Cajun seafood bar in West Orlando, is the seafood boil that comes to the table in a big poofed-up plastic bag. Inside is a mess – a wonderful mess – of seafood that you selected in a sauce of your choice. To eat it, you roll the sides of the bag down and start digging in with your hands.

I was pretty sure that experience couldn’t be duplicated in a takeout experience, so I was surprised to see the seafood boils as an option on the online ordering form. So I had to give it a try.