Most people who know me are familiar with my fondness for gardening and landscaping, as well as antiques and home renovating. They usually also know I’m not much of a cook.

Thursdays is my night to “cook” dinner at home, which always means some sort of take-out. Partner, Joe, is the cook in the family and creates some wonderful meals at least a couple of times a week. We usually go out to eat on Fridays and sometimes Saturdays. Well, since that eating-out option is now curtailed, what a great opportunity to try even more take-out!

I love pizza and I love Chinese food. They’re two regular take-out options we often enjoy and easy drives from where we live in Dublin. Heck, Lee & Mt. Fuji in Marlborough is on speed dial on my phone. Pancho’s Pizza and Main Crust are too. Man cannot live on mozzarella and fried rice alone, though, right? Well, The Sentinel’s been running a daily full page of the open or closed status of as many local businesses as we can fill it up with and it’s given me the inspiration to check out some local restaurants’ social media posts to see what they’re offering up.

Kristin’s Bakery in Keene sounds like the go-to place for comfort foods! I’ve known the family for years and I hope these take ‘n heat homemade meals become a fixture there. Mac and cheese, chicken pot pie and lasagna all sound yumm-o!

I’ve also loved trying different types of Indian food but still feel totally underinformed about it. I know that it’s so much more than curry and naan bread. Royal Spice on Winter Street in Keene is a neat, atmospheric place during normal times. I’ve had tikka masala with chicken and it was terrific. Korma sounds good. It’s vegetables and/or meat braised in a yogurt sauce. Ohh yeah! I found a recent post on Royal Spice’s Facebook page offering to basically feed anyone who doesn’t have the means to pay. What a lovely thing! You can order online right from their site too.

Ramunto’s in Keene and Brattleboro is well known for its brick oven pizzas, but in addition to everything that’s on their menu, you can now also order build-your-own pizza kits. They’re asking you to make this an engaging family activity and then post a picture of your creation on their Instagram. How fun is that?!

Papagallo’s is holding its own over in Swanzey, offering up all their tastier-than-heaven dishes to-go, as well as brick oven pizzas. I could probably totally live on just alternating between their chicken franchaise and chicken Olympia. The only thing missing will be the ubiquitous birthday song an in-person diner often receives from staff and joined by other diners!

Back to some Chinese sustenance that always pleases, Annie and her restaurant family at Lee & Mt. Fuji in Marlborough is probably one of the most accommodating restaurants I’ve ever been to. Every time I go there with my Saturday night supper club gang, they’ve bent over backwards for me. My usual request is something like this… “I like sizzly, crispy meats and vegetables but not with anything sweet on it.” And they have never failed me once. Darn good hot and sour soup too!

You know what else is kind of cool that I’ve noticed but haven’t partaken yet? Apparently, the state liquor commission has lifted some sort of alcohol-related regulations and many of the take-out options we have in this region are now offering beer and wine to-go. Really? What could be better than that? I wonder if I can get a Tanqueray and tonic to go? Probably not, but we’ll see.

Here at ELF we’re going to try these little take-out sampler articles on an occasional basis while we’re in lock-down mode, and I personally give a big “thank you” to these advertisers you see surrounding this article, as well as a whole-hearted “thanks” to all of the restaurants that are trying their hardest to stay in business and keep folks employed!

Bon appetit!