This is day 14, 21? 28? 245? of the quarantine and there is no end in sight. Technically, Minnesota may end its “shelter in place” order this Friday but I’ll be surprised if Governor Walz—who is doing an amazing job—does not extend it. Even if he doesn’t, we will continue to shelter in place at our home until that curve has well and truly flattened. Restaurants will not, in any case, be re-opening for normal business for a good while yet. Well, when I say that we will continue to shelter in place at our home, I should note that we are leaving the house for certain things. We go out for full family walks with the dogs every evening, and I leave the house once or twice a week to pick up takeout from some of the places within a 30 minute drive radius that we would be the most shattered to see become victims of the pandemic. El Triunfo, our local house of Mexican goodness, continues to be the place we get food from every week (we got some more good stuff yesterday); and this past weekend I also picked up a large order from House of Curry, the excellent Sri Lankan place in Rosemount.
We’ve always enjoyed our meals at House of Curry and are rooting for them to make it. I wasn’t actually sure when I called that they would still be open right now. Even before the pandemic hit they had cut down their operating hours; they are now only open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (they continue to be open for dinner as normal). But they picked up the phone when I called to order and I was glad to see when I got there that they were doing steady takeout business.
I will say that I would prefer if they would take credit card payments over the phone. Currently, you have to go in to pay—payment is contactless via a card reader at a safe distance from the cash register—and your order is brought out to you in the parking lot when ready. As it happens, it didn’t get crowded inside when I went in to pay—there was another customer in there but we were 15 feet apart. However, while I was waiting in the car there were times when as many as three people were in there, waiting together. I’m sure they were more than 6 feet apart from each other but as each week goes by I think it’s going to become more important for all restaurants to go as completely curbside as possible*. At the very least I think they should tell everyone that they need to wait outside and limit the number of people inside to one paying customer at a time. Then again, now that everyone is going to start wearing masks, perhaps my concerns will be mitigated some.
These concerns aside, the food was as good as always. To see what we got, launch the slideshow below.. I also have pictures of their takeout menu in the slideshow—it’s a little easier to navigate than the menu on their website.
It was murder driving home hungry for 30 minutes with the aroma of this food in the car but well worth it. The only casualty of the drive was the little container of curry that goes with the kottu: it fell over and spilt completely—luckily it was double bagged. All of this generated enough food for three meals for two adults, which is not bad at all for the $98 I paid, inclusive of a big tip.
As always, if you’re within easy range of House of Curry, and you like South Asian food, I recommend them highly. And, again, if you are getting takeout food then remember that the places you like are more likely to make it if you continue to patronize them; and also remember that not all places are going to get equal amounts of love from the community at large.
In case you’re wondering, upon getting home, I transferred all the food immediately to our own containers and threw out the takeout boxes—washing hands multiple times in between so as to not cross-contaminate. We are trying not to get too crazy about cleaning and sanitizing—it’s all too easy to get suckered in by sites and people that are trying to burnish their brands by posting over the top guides to sanitizing takeout/delivery/kitchens/etc while unnecessarily ratcheting up people’s anxiety levels. But we’re not being foolhardy either.
*Speaking of going as completely curbside as possible, this takeout trip was occasioned by a necessary run to our closest Indian store (Mantra Bazaar in Apple Valley): I was out of curry leaves and about to run out of ghee and mustard oil! Mantra Bazaar has gone completely contactless. You place your order via WhatsApp; they confirm the order via email and send you a payment link. You pay online and go to the store the next day. You call/WhatsApp them from outside and they bring your order out in a box and place it in the trunk of your car. Everybody was wearing gloves—from the gent who brought out my order to the people visible inside the store, filling other people’s orders. As there was nothing very perishable in the order, and as it was still quite chilly at night over the weekend, I left all of that in the car for two and a half days to further reduce the odds of transmission.