For those of us who prefer not to go inside restaurants during the pandemic, drive-thrus are perfect.
Heck, I’ll take a carry out window and just shiver outside for a bit.
It feels unsettling to call in an order and then go inside to pick it up while people dine and socialize, open-faced.
I can’t blame restaurants. The owners and employees are making impossible choices to survive.
If you have a drive-thru, I’m intrigued. I’ll be there.
Most of the fast food restaurants in the city have drive-thrus. But, these two local restaurants in the Twin Cities offer foods you might not typically think of as “fast food” through their drive-thrus.
The real winners of this pandemic are drive-throughs.
I used to hate the Starbucks drive-through on Marshall and Snelling. I loathed it.
Every time I would drive by the notorious carbucks I would curse the people blocking the street and bike lane with their cars. The traffic in and out of the Starbucks is so bad that an officer actually directs traffic at the entrance/exit.
For those of you who don’t live in the city, there’s just not much room for drive throughs. Space is limited. That’s not to say there aren’t drive-throughs. There just aren’t many and they aren’t usually perched on tiny corners of the busiest intersections.
I hated the carbucks until the pandemic. Now I love carbucks.
This week the phrase “Comfort me with apples” came to mind. It’s also the name of one of my favorite Ruth Reichl books.
As soon as the weather dipped towards the 50’s, I ordered some hoodies and headed to the apple orchard.
Some of our family members were raving about the caramel apples at Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. They also mentioned their apple turnovers, which they described as nothing special to look at, but extremely delicious.
Caramel apples got stuck in my head and I thought about them all night.
This tangent that will bring us back to the Honey Baked Ham Cafe.
Last week I had a huge craving for Boston Market.
My mind swirled with nostalgic cravings for a rotisserie chicken or meatloaf platter with the orange macaroni and cheese that always tastes more disappointing than it looks (yet you order it every time anyway).
I was surprised to to find that all of the Boston Markets in Minnesota have closed. Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota have zero Boston Markets. Wisconsin has two. Florida has 50. One for each state.
How dare you leave Minnesota when I haven’t wanted to eat you for a decade?
Somehow this brought me to a second, fast casual meat-centric chain, The Honey Baked Ham Cafe.
When people ask me what I’m up to this summer, the answers always the name:
“Not much, haha.”
If they ask if we’re going on any trips, the answer’s “Nope lol.”
We’re spending time outside with family and close friends. We’re walking the dog a lot – Trayse is having the best pandemic ever. We’re getting home projects done, and grilling on the deck.
I’m watching a lot of TV. Just started Fleabag and the Babysitters Club re-boot.
Here’s a few take-out things I really enjoyed and would recommend.
My reigning favorite summer meal right now is the Tofu Don bowl with some veggie sushi for later from Kado No Mise that I wrote about earlier.