Our take on local take-out

Pulled pork, ribs, mac and cheese, and loaded mashers from Smokeshow BBQ.
Pulled pork, ribs, mac and cheese, and loaded mashers from Smokeshow BBQ.

Over the last six weeks or so of social distancing, The Food Snob has missed being able to pull up to a table at one of Concord’s fine eateries and perhaps catch some live local music. But even still, people gotta eat, right? So here’s a look at some of the take-out The Food Snob and its household have sampled during that time.

Smokeshow Barbeque

Order: Pulled pork and ribs (½ pound each), loaded mashers and mac and cheese (a pint each). If our mom is reading this, we had some leftover salad at home already for the vegetable area of the food group. Two condiment cups of their mild sauce was provided (hot also available).

Food: Much like when The Food Snob visited Smokeshow in 2016, we weren’t particularly hungry when we arrived. But the second that take-out bag hit the front seat and the smell of the food hit our nose, boy, were we ever ready to eat. The Food Snob’s dining companion is lucky no forks were in the bag, or the food might not have made it home.

The meat was seasoned to perfection and cooked just right to be warm and juicy without being burnt or drippy. In the future, loaded mashers and mac and cheese shouldn’t be ordered for the same plate, but that was on us for so much cheese. (I mean, cheese is amazing, and both dishes were delicious, but you can sometimes overdo a good thing.) The mac and cheese was a pretty straightforward take on the comfort food with elbow macaroni and a yellow goo of cheese sauce. The loaded mashers were mashed potatoes blended with what seemed to be sour cream and more cheese. It comes with chives too, but we asked for them held off at the request of our dinner companion.

Distancing measures: Smokeshow has set up a sort of drive-thru pickup at their location. Diners are asked to drive behind the strip of businesses where the restaurant is located (adjacent to Planet Fitness) and pull up behind the kitchem. Food is brought out to you in your car and you can pay on a portable card reader.

Info: Call to order, 227-6399. 89 Fort Eddy Road, Concord. smokeshowbbq.com.

Siam Orchid

Order: Pad thai with shrimp, pineapple fried rice with duck, bubble Thai iced tea.

Food: This wasn’t our first time ordering these items, but why mess with perfection?

Unlike the barbecue take-out, the Thai iced tea did not make it home. It was delicious and refreshing on one of those warmer spring evenings we had. It was well enjoyed on the car ride home. You can understand how the sweet, milky tea would be a good balance to spicier Thai selections.

For the entrees, the pineapple is chopped small in the fried rice so you get the flavor without being overly fruity. The duck was also chopped small, which meant that there was no crispy skin, but it was still moist and flavorful.

The pad thai was just what you’d expect from a popular menu choice. The peanut sauce gives a sweetness to the noodles. The shrimp came with tails still attached, which we don’t love when shrimp is mixed into the food, but it does keep the fish from drying out.

Distancing measures: Siam Orchid has expanded its delivery zone to a 15-mile radius. Different minimum orders and delivery charges are required based on your “zone.”

For carry-out, you pick up in the breeze-way of the restaurant. Signs outside ask that only one person at a time wait and that all others wait outside. Restaurant staff will hand out food from behind a plastic curtain.

Info: Order online at siamorchid.net or by phone 228-1529 or 228-3633. 12 N. Main St., Concord.

Cheers

Order: Adult mac and cheese dishes (one with buffalo chicken “Hot Lips” and one with grilled chicken)

Food: Uncertain times call for comfort food, and what is more comforting then a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Cheers’ adult mac is actually made with corkscrew cavatappi not elbow macaroni, but that’s just a technicality. In true comfort-food, homestyle fashion, it’s sprinkled with breadcrumbs (and comes with garlic bread on the side).

For mild tastebudded diners, you can get regular chicken tenders with your mac. For those who enjoy more kick, the Hot Lips are for you. Cheese and buffalo chicken tenders are one of those great pairs in our opinion.

The portions were enough that The Food Snob and their dining companion had leftovers for a second meal. No complaints there.

Distancing measures: The restaurant has free delivery in the Concord area on orders $40 or more. You can also pick up in the restaurant or curbside.

Info: Order online through Table Up at cheersnh.com or call 228-0180. 17 Depot St., Concord.

Five Guys

Order: Bacon cheeseburger and little cheeseburger with toppings, regular fries.

Food: If you’re familiar with Five Guys, you already know that its standard burger is two patties on one bun and you have to order a “little” for a single patty. The Food Snob’s order was juicy and cooked through without being overdone. Toppings, such as mushrooms, onions and peppers were also grilled well.

The fries were hot and fresh when we picked up our order. So fresh in fact, that when we snacked one out of the bag we burnt our fingers a bit.

Distancing measures: You can pick-up your burger and fries in the restaurant or curbside. Or you can have it delivered (delivery fees have been waived at some locations). You can also get it delivered via DoorDash.

Info: Order online at fiveguys.com or call 8568107. 56 Fort Eddy Road, Concord.

Constantly Pizza

Order: A 16-inch chicken and bacon pizza with a free small cheese pizza thanks to a coupon.

Food: Constantly Pizza was last year’s winner of the Cappies for best pizza and you might remember it won the Insider’s pizza showdown back in 2018, so you can expect the pizza didn’t disappoint. The crust was thin and crispy on the outside, there was just the right amount of sauce and cheese, and there was a reasonable quantity of toppings. It was a bit on the salty side, but that could be from our choice of bacon as a topping.

Distancing measures: Constantly is offering contact-free delivery, curbside pickup (let them know when you call) and in-store pickup. In the restaurant pickup, you’ll notice the queue is marked with six-foot separation markers.

Info: Order online at constantlypizza.net (both locations)or call 224-9366 (Concord) or 227-1117 (penacook). 39 S. Main St., Concord. 108 Fisherville, Penacook.

More eating options

The Concord Monitor has an ever-evolving list of businesses, including restaurants, that are open and what they are offering. Select “What’s Open” on concordmonitor.com.

In partnership with our calendar provider, City-Spark, we are rolling out a searchable restaurant directory at concord- monitor.com/arts-life/dining. Restaurants are encouraged to fill out the form linked to that page to be included in the listings.

Author: The Food Snob

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