Giving and Takeout

For people who cook too much: A holiday survivor's guide

The Wedge Co-op deli (2105 Lyndale Ave. S.; 612.871.3993). So you need milk and juice and a vegan rock (chocolate-chunk cookies without butter, white sugar, or white flour) now that it's January and you're cutting back. There's a great selection of super-healthy and delicious sandwiches on just about any kind of bread, like Cajun tofu steak on honey whole wheat or turkey, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on organic white. Kids will devour the Little Cheeser or PB&J with banana, complete with cookie and chips.

Birchwood Café (3311 E. 25th St.; 612. 722.4474). A former creamery in the heart of the Seward neighborhood, this place is renowned for buttery scones, homemade soups and salads, vegetarian burritos, and lovely baguettes.

Fat Lorenzo's (5600 Cedar Ave.; 612. 822.2040) award-winning pizza beats any of the chains any time.

Bring it on home: Takeout sushi-- haven't you earned it?
Bring it on home: Takeout sushi-- haven't you earned it?

Broders' Cucina Italiana(2308 W. 50th St.; 612.925.3113). With a Broders' panini and a jug of Chianti, you can unpack the Riviera and never leave your fireplace. Try the Genovese (tuna salad with sweet red peppers on focaccia), or a South Jersey hoagie or a Broders' Stromboli (the veggie with feta is fabulous). Boxed lunches include gourmet chips and a sweet treat.

Turtle Bread Company (3415 W. 44th St.; 612.924.6013) just keeps baking up the Cities' best bread (ciabatta, sourdough, potato dill), and the selection just gets more interesting and more focused. Four or five homemade soups change daily with pre-packed quarts to go plus sticky-crisp palmiers, great cookies, fresh pizzas, elegant napoleons, pretty chocolates, and imported tea.

Zumbro To Go (4302 Upton Ave. S.; 612.929.4742) wraps up its famous sandwiches on house-made focaccia rolls (try the pork loin with horseradish mayo) or salads (such as grilled salmon and rice noodles in lemon-ginger vinaigrette); you get a dark, dense brownie or big, buttery cookie, plus gourmet potato chips and a drink. They close at 4:00 p.m., so swing in for lunch and leave with dinner.

France 44 Liquordeli (4351 Ave. S.; 612. 959.3252) serves up crusty baguettes and marbled rye bread with boar's-head cold cuts, imported ham, salami, and sausage, and fiery spreads like wasabi mayo. Nice homemade soups, fancy chocolates. A great shop for wine as well.

Little Tel-Aviv (228 W. Lake St.; 612. 929.1111) is vegetarian, Israeli, kosher, authentic, and interesting, with mushroom blintzes and potato knishes that would make Elsa Kanengizer (my first boyfriend's grandmother) proud. Not to mention the classic hummus, Israeli salsa (oranges, hot pepper, mint, parsley, and garlic), and selections for children.

Surdyk's Cheese Shop (East Hennepin Avenue and University Avenue Northeast; 612.379.3232.) With the right bread and cheese, a little pâté, and a lot of wine, I can face another blizzard or my son's math assignment. The shop's deli serves up quarts of from-scratch soup, fabulous meat or vegetable pâtés, and beautiful salads. And next door is wine to go with it.

Emily's Lebanese Deli (641 University Ave. NE; 612.379.4069). Garlicky-good Middle Eastern dips, salads, tabbouleh, and kibbe.

 

In St. Paul:

Swede Hollow Café (725 E. 7th St.; 651. 776.8810). Take in the best view of the St. Paul skyline while the Swede Hollow folks ladle up thick, window-steaming split pea or vegetable soup. The pastries and cinnamon rolls are legendary.

Cafe Latté (850 Grand Ave.; 651. 224.5687), home of the famous turtle cake, serves up sourdough bread, a variety of pizzas, and thick stews and soups, all made fresh daily.

El Burrito Mercado(175 Concord St.; 651.227.2192). Great tamales, carnitas, and braised pork with green chiles and chicken mole.

Cossetta (211 W. 7th St.; 651.222.3476). Classic Italian-American, heavy on red sauce. The thin-crust pizza is terrific, the ziti authentic, frozen sauces and staples worth stocking up on.

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