Yes, you can eat out at home.

Story by Johnny Sain

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Living in a first world country offers a myopic view of life. We take so much of our daily conveniences as given rights. When was the last time — before the coronavirus cataclysm rocked our spoiled little worlds — that you were seriously concerned about running out of food?

Let me back up a bit.

Not all of your food. Because, for most of us, food security isn’t something we struggle with. I’m talking about a daily staple or a favorite food. I never realized that I took bananas for granted until I went without a key ingredient of my daily fruit bowl for a week.

Food is always at our fingertips and only a few short steps of preparation away from going in our mouths. And when we crave something we can’t make at home or just don’t feel like cooking, we grab the car keys, load up the family, and begin the discussion about which restaurant we want to go to. With so many options here in the River Valley, this debate is usually the most complicated part of the process when dining out.

But we’ve taken eating out for granted as well. And while social distancing has kneecapped our social dining, local restaurants have responded with innovative ways to get their food to hungry patrons. Takeout, along with curbside and even home delivery courtesy of the establishment itself or food delivery services such as Bite Squad, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Omni, is the rule now.

It’s the same delicious food, though, some restaurants have pared the menus down. Others have changed their game a bit by offering family-sized meals and even prepped-but-not cooked options for you to pop in your own oven and enjoy while piping hot.

I won’t sugar coat it. River Valley restaurants need your patronage now more than ever. And they’ve worked tirelessly to create systems of delivery to limit everyone’s exposure.

Great food is still here for the eating in the River Valley. Take at least one night off from kitchen duty and plan a family dinner centered on delicious takeout from an establishment owned and operated by a friend or neighbor.