For meals slightly more elaborate than boxed mac and cheese, restaurants all over Austin have started offering DIY meal kits so you don’t have to do all the cooking prep yourself. From assemble-your-own breakfast tacos and grill supplies to bake-your-own pizzas and DIY sushi handrolls, these kits come with the guidance you need to make restaurant-quality food at home. Some places - like Comedor, Suerte, and The Peached Tortilla - even have cooking videos, in case you need further instruction on how to do things like roast marrow bones for some excellent tacos. So not only will you get delicious food, but you might learn a new cooking technique or two, while also helping to support your favorite local spots when they need you the most.
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If you’re stuck at home with your partner, you should probably plan a romantic date night at some point. Microwaving cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s and watching The Masked Singer isn’t always gonna cut it. The Downtown Italian restaurant Italic has what they’re calling a “Pasta Dinner Kit for Two” that comes with a salad, fresh, frozen, or dried pasta, and your choice of a variety of sauces. Add a bottle of Chianti for only $6, and maybe even put on pants.
Southern/Asian restaurant The Peached Tortilla has a DIY “Instant-ish” Ram-Don noodle dish inspired by the Korean film Parasite that includes marinated steak and caramelized kimchi. Order online for delivery or curbside pickup.
Valentina’s stopped selling individual tacos for the time being, but you can still get smoked meats by the pound and breakfast taco packs. There’s also the “TEX Family Pack” that comes with a pound of meat, barbecue sauce, and bread. And the “MEX Family Pack” that comes with a pound of meat, flour tortillas, and two kinds of salsa.
If you’re anything like us, dinner has turned into an endless blur of eating leftovers while hunched over a coffee table. But casual sushi spot Uroko is helping us avoid doing that too many nights in a row with their at-home omakase. The restaurant also has a DIY temaki setup so you can make your own handrolls for more of a hands-on project. It comes with everything you need, including a variety of fish, garnishes like avocado and cucumber, sushi rice, and nori seaweed.
Bufalina and Bufalina Due are closed for now, but you can pick up their pizza dough and sauce at the butcher shop Salt & Time (this place also makes their own pepperoni). You might not get the same results at home as Bufalina does with their wood-burning oven, but it’ll still be light years better than whatever you just took out of the freezer.
If you’re looking for a big night in, the upscale Mexican restaurant Comedor is doing meal kits, including the bone marrow tacos and a “dinner package” that lets you recreate several of their dishes at home. You can also get corn tortillas by the dozen and cocktails.
At this point, you’ve probably settled into a steady routine of tacos and frozen pizza. But just like how everyone we know seems to be adopting a new hobby (or three), we think it’s important to be mixing things up with a lobster roll now and then. And since pre-prepared lobster rolls don’t carry too well, Garbo’s DIY packages come with everything you need, including buns, lobster, mayo, lemon juice, celery, and lettuce. It also unsurprisingly includes Cape Cod chips. You can order it for two, four, six, or eight people, in case your kids or neighbors could use a change too.
Burgers and fries don’t travel well - they get soggy pretty fast - but luckily, Hopdoddy has a solution with what they’re calling a “quarantined together meal kit.” It comes with five beef patties that you’ll have to cook yourself, buns, and everything you need to make cheeseburgers. There are truffle fries that you can crisp up in an airfryer or an oven, as well as pretzels and a Nutella dipping sauce.
From the people behind restaurants like Jeffrey’s and Elizabeth Street Cafe comes MMH Grocers, a new grocery service with online ordering, curbside pickup at Swedish Hill, and delivery. There are also kits so you can make the cheeseburgers from Pool Burger and margarita pizzas with fresh mozzarella.
Alamo Drafthouse now has “Alamo Curbside” with meal kits, including cauliflower crust vegan pizza, roasted vegetables and quinoa, and cheeseburgers. All of them also come with a mystery DVD from Drafthouse Films. Mimic the experience of eating at the theater by turning off all the lights so you can’t see what you’re doing and make an absolute mess of yourself while trying to eat a cheeseburger. There’s also popcorn for sale.
All three Austin-area location of Pinthouse Pizza are selling pizza kits that come with everything you’d need to channel your inner pizzaiolo: dough, cheese, red sauce, pepperoni, and most importantly, baking instructions.
The best steak is going to be the one you cook yourself - much like small children, big cuts of raw beef don’t fair too well in the car. And sports bar/restaurant Cover 3 has grill packs - in which you supply the grill - with options like a steak dinner with filet mignon or ribeye steak tacos. Both come with bonus items like eggs and toilet paper.
East Austin’s Suerte is selling a suadero taco meal kit so you can recreate them at home. If you’re not ready to start making your own tortillas from scratch, they also have masa available by the pint.
East Austin dive bar The Cavalier is partly operating as a grocery, by selling everything from avocados to cookie dough to cigarettes. On top of the Southern-inspired menu and family-sized meals, there are also meal kits for cheeseburgers, chicken wings, fajitas, and ahi tuna steaks where you get to do all the cooking. There are even s’mores.
Mueller Italian restaurant L’Oca d’Oro has a few family-sized meals available for takeout, as well as a DIY Fat Tire meatloaf meal kit that includes all the raw ingredients that you’ll need to make a great meatloaf at home.
Both locations of Home Slice (North Loop and South Congress) are now selling pizza kits, that come with everything you need to make a pizza: cheese, sauce, dough, and most importantly, instructions. There's plain, Margherita, and pepperoni.