Takeout. That's it. That's the caption. Courtesy iStock / Kit L.

News Bites

This Is the New Normal of Dallas Dining

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas: coronavirus edition part three.

Due to the global pandemic affecting every aspect of society, food news as usual is indefinitely on hold. So this week’s edition of News Bites, again for the third week in a row, will cover what’s relevant to Dallas dining right now.

In last week’s second installment of News Bites coronavirus edition, things were quite gloomy and fairly doom-y. Despite having a successful takeout operation, Lucia and Macellaio closed for the health and safety of their employees. And organizations like Shift Dallas are getting resources to out-of-work hospitality workers while giving a voice to those that have historically been voiceless.

While Dallas restaurants and bars are still grappling with this new reality, this new “normal” of takeout and delivery only, I’m happy to report that the dining communities continue to come together. I hope that when this is all over, when we’re slowly permitted to dine out again, we do so generously and brazenly.

I hope hospitality workers not only regain their jobs, but that those jobs pay better and offer benefits. I hope we demand that those who bring us lush food and beautiful drinks and locally procured ingredients are treated fairly. I hope we cherish their craft as much as they always have—the butcher, the bartender, the chef, the cooks, every single person that nourishes us.

Beyond hope, though, here’s what that community is doing this week to ensure we’re fed alongside furloughed industry folks.

The 3-Day Takeout Initiative
It’s the first of the April, when government food program recipients receive and use their allotment of SNAP and WIC benefits. Dallas County officials have urged citizens without critical needs themselves to avoid grocery shopping from today until April. Our own Eve Hill-Agnus wrote about why it’s crucial these beneficiaries have a chance to get what they need.

With this in mind, restaurants that have been struggling for weeks launched an initiative called 3-Day Takeout. For three days, ordering takeout will help give low-income families time and space to shop while you support local businesses like  Whisk Crepes Cafe, Khao Noodle Shop, Bobaddiction, Trompo, Sandwich Hag, Niwa Japanese BBQ, Ka-Tip, Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que, Val’s Cheesecakes, Kessler Baking Studio, Pangea Dallas, and Kookie Haven. In these uncertain times, it sounds like a small victory to me.

Connecting People and Plates
Meanwhile in Oak Cliff, Justin Holt of Salaryman has launched Connecting People and Plates, which hopes to feed furloughed restaurant workers. As Holt “was struggling to find a way to keep some kind of revenue coming in to pay for the taxes and bills and keep at least some of their employees working,” reads the group’s Facebook page, he received messages from regulars who wanted to help.

The answer: donations. Salaryman, along with Slow Bone, Ka-Tip, Tribal All-Day Cafe, Azucar, and Tacos Y Vino, will provide free meals to industry professionals in need until supplies and donations last. “But the hope is that more restaurants will take up the mission and more generous donors will come forward.”

North Texas Food Bank Pops Up at Fair Park
On April 2, Dallas’ largest food bank is bringing the pantry to the people, reports Dallas CultureMap. North Texas Food Bank will provide free food at Fair Park lots 5A ad 6A from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. In accordance with the shelter in place order, volunteers will load a box filled with pantry staples into cars for a contactless delivery method.

Meanwhile, on SideDish…

Restaurants that have pivoted to takeout or pickup only are still at it. If you can, order takeout perhaps more than you normally would. Dallas’ dining scene is depending on it. After all, the list gets longer everyday…

We said before, but we’ll say it again: You shouldn’t go to the grocery store until April 4.

Writer Alice Laussade offers some light humor in these heavy times, plus a totally doable shelter-in-place itinerary.

Another week, another Pandemic Pantry recipe from our very own Kathy Wise. Here’s what to do with all those root vegetables.

Need a good read? How about six? We got you: Longform stories about soba mastery, “urban cowboy” cuisine, and more.

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