Date night eats in the time of coronavirus

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Okay, my title does not poetically come close to Gabriel García Márquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera." It was just my attempt to come up with a fun title. (Gabriel García Márquez was one of most favorite authors. I read both "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude." I loved both but "One Hundred…" is one of my most favorite literature of all times.)Okay, my title does not poetically come close to Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera.” It was just my attempt to come up with a fun title. (Gabriel García Márquez was one of most favorite authors. I read both “Love in the Time of Cholera” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” I loved both but “One Hundred…” is one of my most favorite literature of all times.)

Okay, this is about food, not books. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, Saturday date nights are a tradition in our relationship that we hold dearly. We put our date nights before other social or work commitments on Saturdays. I have learned this from my parents who still go on date nights in 50+ years of their marriage.

Forget about going out during the pandemic. Date nights are really limited while sheltering in place. So far, our date nights have been either picking up food or having them delivered. Then we eat our dinner while watching a movie. Just like during date nights pre-Covid-19, we tend to try a restaurant that we have not been to before. Here are the ones that we have ordered from during the lockdown:

Bento & Bowls (Oakland)

March 24 | OMG! This mom and pop is such a hidden gem! Bento & Bowl was the first restaurant we picked food up from when the restaurants were ordered to be closed to the public for dining. Huge portions and delicious legit Korean food. They made the food for us as we waited and watched Korean pop show on TV. We ordered two types of bento: bulgogi and marinated short ribs. Both came with shrimps, rice, salad and jap chae (glass noodles) as well as a side of kimchi. We also ordered dumplings and egg rolls. It was food coma and I had food for two more meals!It was such a win that I am dreaming of ordering from here again!

Brenda’s — A New Orleans Kitchen (Oakland)

March 21 | Nowadays, I have been craving comfort food. I have been eating hot soups, carbs, and fried stuff. Understandable in these days of uncertainties and feeling unsafe, right? Mr Sweetie and I went for a walk and picked up fried chicken with a side of biscuit and mac and cheese from Brenda’s. We also could not resist ordering two flights of sweet beignets — chocolate, apple and plain. So good! (Here is my previous post on Brenda’s.) Brenda’s French Soul Food started out in San Francisco. It is very popular among foodies that they opened another one in Oakland which is dangerously close to where we live. (Dangerous to our waistline, that is!)

Flowers are in bloom in our neighborhood during our walk to pick up food at Brenda’s

IB’s berkeley

March 28 | Mr Sweetie worked that day and came home late.(His work is essential.) He came home craving Philly Cheese Steakteak. I was not hungry but he got me BBQ chicken wings. Delish, actually. I also stole a little bit of his fries. IB’s Berkeley is a small hoagie, burger, sandwich, etc place. It was good and he was happy with his steak sandwich. I do not mind ordering from here again.

Turkish Kitchen (Berkeley)

April 2 | I will be honest, I wanted to get Mediterranean food so I could use it as a prop for my Instagram photo featuring a book I just finished reading. (And this was on a Thursday and I did not want to cook.) The setting of the book was in Greece. So we Grubhubbed from Turkish Kitchen in Berkeley, CA. We ordered a gyro for Mr Sweetie and a lamb shish platter for me that came with rice and salad. We also ordered two orders of fries with tzatziki. The fries and sauce were delivered in a clear plastic container with packets of ketchup inside the container. INSIDE.THE.CONTAINER.ON.TOP.OF.THE FRIES.

I lost my appetite. I could not eat the fries. People are asked to disinfect the container before eating or throw them away completely. Since I could not spray the fries with Lysol, I had to throw them out.
The gyro and my platter were also very salty like the Dead Sea. No good at all!

We lit the fireplace

Artichoke’s Basille Pizza

April 4 | I had high hopes for Artichoke Basille which sells pizza by the slice. It is New York style which is my favorite type of pizza. I went for the signature Artichoke Pizza with Cream Sauce. Mr Sweetie went for the pepperoni and we ordered a side of meatballs. Well, since I do not like to eat cardboard flavored with delicious toppings….Ha! Ha! That was what our pizza exactly tasted like. The slices were indeed humongous –the size of my face, the toppings were yummy but the crust! They were overly toasted and chewy! I have been to New York multiple times in my life and have had pizzas there. These are not it! The meatballs were good, though but not enough for us to return. Sad!


April 11 | It has been a while since I’ve had Wingstop. We went for a drive and picked up a big order of chicken wings. Wingstop is one of the very few chain eateries that I like. I was craving it and it hit the spot! We devoured Garlic Parmesan, Spicy BBQ and fries while watching Netflix. I also like that we get a side of veggies sticks to balance out the greasiness. Mr Sweetie opened a nice bottle of V Sattui Angelica wine for me which he bought during one of our trips to Napa Valley. Then we binged watched “Tiger King” on Netflix after one of my friends mentioned it during our Zoom Happy Hour earlier that afternoon.

Movie pairings: Jumanji 2, Zombie Land 2, more Tiger King binge watch and lots of DC Super Hero Girls which I could not get enough of!

Stay tuned for more shelter in place date night eats!

4 responses to “Date night eats in the time of coronavirus”

    • It will be interesting to learn what you think of Brenda’s. Chef Brenda is from your neck of the woods. She grew up in New Orleans. She is also Filipina-American. Here’s her bio: The beignets are not like the traditional ones from Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignets. They are filled with either chocolate, apple, cheddar and crawfish or plain. They are freaking addicting even if they are not traditional. We have a few more Southern restaurants in the Bay Area. The sad thing is I am not sure if they will survive this crisis. Kinda sad to not have these restaurants be around anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read her bio. After reading that I have no doubt they serve authentic New Orleans food. I live on the Westbank where she grew up, but in New Orleans. She grew up in Harvey which isn’t actually a city, but an area. I’ve done a lot of reports on restaurants in Harvey, and the Sam’s I shop at is there. Very close to my house.
        And I have no problem with non traditional and savory beignets. In fact, if you ever get down here for the strawberry festival in Pontchatoula, LA, they make some strawberry filled beignets that are to DIE for!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Strawberry-filled beignets! I am sure that they are to die for! Now I am craving beignets! When I was in New Orleans I ate beignets every single day at Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet for 5 days straight. No regrets! Ha! Ha! I think you will approve of Brenda’s. Hope they survive this crisis. 2 of her 3 restaurants are still open.

        Liked by 1 person

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