It's springtime, and you know what that means: More time outside, less time inside--and that includes the kitchen. With Passover upon us (it begins at sundown April 2) what's a busy, Jewish urbanite to do? Between work, J-dates and softball games, who has time to cook a seder meal? But instead of schlepping to Jewel for pre-packaged Manischewitz goods, show your sophistication with a no-fuss seder to go.
Manny's Coffee Shop and Deli
You'd have to be living under a rock to not know about this mainstay serving monster-sized corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, plus traditional Jewish foods like Manny's famous homemade, hand-stuffed kishke (beef sausage made with matzo meal). Take it home for Passover with other traditional items such as potato kugel, roasted brisket with gravy, matzo-meal pancakes, chopped liver and, of course, big, coco-nutty macaroons for dessert. Manny's prepares all items fresh the morning before pick-up (cooking begins at 1 a.m. Monday for pick-up that day). Items priced per serving/pound: $5 to $15.
Herban Gourmet Catering
It's nice that you can't part with grandma's recipes. But it would be even nicer if you knew how to cook them. No problem. Herban Gourmet Chef Josh Gelvan will customize a Passover menu using your family recipes and deliver the goods on Sunday, the day before the holiday begins. Herban Gourmet also offers a set Passover menu ($16.95 per person; six-person minimum) featuring traditional dishes with a mod twist, such as rosemary-and-orange-glazed chicken, and gefilte fish with beet-horseradish cream. All items come fully cooked in disposable containers with reheating instructions. Order by Thursday. Delivery charges: $10 city; $15 suburbs.related video
Eleven City Diner
This retro-fabulous South Loop mega-deli will feature a Passover menu for guests who dine in during the holiday, as well as a catering option for those want a seder meal to go. Opt for the juicy brisket or roasted half-chicken and whipped sweet potatoes--and definitely some homemade matzo ball soup, a favorite among regulars. Place large orders (for items like chicken or brisket) by Friday. Side dishes such as potatoes, matzo ball soup and boxes of matzo can be picked up the day of order. Priced per serving/pound: $6-$30.
Catering by Michaels
Sick of the same old brisket year after year? Executive Chef Brett Stein, who hails from South Africa and has lived in Israel, brings international flair to his dishes. The $27.50 set menu includes a traditional seder plate, plus gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, and a choice of one entree (brisket, chicken breast with matzo farfel and apricot glaze or horseradish-encrusted salmon), plus two sides. You can also go a la carte with options like Moroccan chicken, bone-in chicken baked in a sweet and spicy tomato-olive sauce, and Israeli salad with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Orders must be placed by today for pickup or delivery on Monday or Tuesday. Priced per serving/pound: $5 to $25. Minimum delivery order: $175.
Goddess and the Grocer
The holiday take-out menu at these Gold Coast and Bucktown hotspots features traditional fare like matzo ball soup, gefilte fish and brisket, plus creative concoctions like sweet potato-and-zucchini latkes (6 pieces/$15), matzo-crusted chicken breasts with sun-dried tomato relish ($9.50 each), and beef meatballs in a sweet-sour tomato sauce ($8.50 per pound). For dessert, try chocolate covered macaroons or Chocolate Nemesis, a rich flourless chocolate cake that serves 12 to 16 ($45). All orders must be placed by 3 p.m. Friday.
[ Amelia Levin is a metromix special contributor. ] firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun