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Lick the Plate
Columnist David Boylan about to indulge in some carryout from Chinatown, in Leucadia, which also has an Italian menu. Photo courtesy of Ian R. Meyers Photography
Columns Food & Wine Lick the Plate

Lick the Plate: Carry on, carryout in a new reality

This began as a column that listed all the restaurants in our area that are offering carryout and delivery options, but that list very quickly swelled to an amount that would have filled the column and omitted many worthy options.

There is one thing to consider here, and that is that most of the restaurants that offered carryout and delivery as a big part of their business are more than likely still doing it.

I know several pizza-focused restaurants whose business has actually increased during the shutdown. 

The Mexican and Chinese joints in my neighborhood seem busier than ever. Those are the exceptions, though, as there are a lot of restaurants out there that are not in a strong enough position to weather this storm.

Others, like the Puffer Malarkey Group who run Herb & Sea in Encinitas, have made what is probably a tough but smart financial decision to close down completely until this madness ends. Some restaurants are just not designed for delivery or takeout and there is a good chance that trying to pull that off without much time to prepare for it would have been a disastrous move. 

There are some in that category, though, who have made the dramatic shift and retooled quickly enough that they just might be able to pull it off.

The proliferation of delivery services like Door Dash and the like has made that effort a bit easier but then cuts even further into slim restaurant margins.

Two of my favorites, Blade 1936 and The Plot in Oceanside, reacted quickly and are not only making this new business model work, but I’m thinking they will probably continue on when all this passes, and it is going to pass.

Blade 1936 is “safely delivering deliciousness to you” as they said in a recent email.

From suggesting online orders to ensuring everyone’s safety to very specific delivery guidelines that ask you to have a small stand or chair outside your door for them to leave your order, to their staff wearing the appropriate protective gear to ensure the maximum safety, they have it covered.

The only bummer is that Leucadia was outside of their delivery range so I guess I’ll have to pick it up should I crave their Italian goodness that much.

And although The Plot may have temporarily (I love that optimism) closed for dine-in service, they will be offering an express version of their menu so you can continue to enjoy “nourishing, locally-sourced + badass plant food” as they put it so convincingly.

They will be offering take-out meals 7 days a week from noon to 8 p.m. and orders can be placed online and by phone. Curbside pickup is also available, along with purchase options for gift cards online.

For folks farther down the coast seeking that healthy plant-based goodness, EVE Vegan Eats in downtown Encinitas is offering carryout orders and this week has a killer special going that offers up a free entrée with the purchase of three.

Q’ero, across the street, which I revisited in last week’s column, already had a very busy carry-out business going so they were well prepared.

One of my favorite Leucadia spots, and one that I will be featuring in an upcoming Lick the Plate column, is Fulano’s Mexican Cafe.

Yes, it’s a bit of a mystery spot to many and there are all kinds of conspiracy theories floating around about it, but they make some solid Mexican food and have it available for carryout.

On the beverage side of things, there are a lot of North County breweries that are offering growlers to go and those with food are offering up that option.

While out on an evening walk in Leucadia last weekend, I passed by at least a dozen restaurants that I could have popped into and grabbed something delicious to go.

I ended up at an old favorite, Chinatown, which also has an Italian menu (Google “Lick the Plate Chinatown” for that random story).

My big point here is that we all can play a part in helping these restaurants survive during this time and still enjoy the variety we have become so spoiled by around these parts.

Next week I will talk about some of the favorite meals I’ve made at home during the past few weeks.

Stay sane and safe all you plate lickers, we will power through this!


An March 25, 2020 at 11:03 am

Noice mention of Fulanos, interested to see what you write up about them!

Terri March 24, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Good read. Thanks for sharing.

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