This week, we share not only a new crop of Craig LaBan’s favorite takeout options but staff writer Grace Dickinson’s choices for vegetarian and vegan food delivery. I add a rundown of the new fried chicken sandwiches in town, and offer some restaurant dish.

Also, note that South Philly bakery Artisan Boulanger Patissier is due to reopen Friday, Jan. 15; it’s been closed all week after a death in the family.

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Some of Craig LaBan’s favorite takeout spots

A Christmas Eve feast from Bai Wei, normally enjoyed by Craig LaBan's extended family at the restaurant, was eaten at home after Philadelphia's dining rooms were closed temporarily due to the pandemic.
Craig LaBan
A Christmas Eve feast from Bai Wei, normally enjoyed by Craig LaBan's extended family at the restaurant, was eaten at home after Philadelphia's dining rooms were closed temporarily due to the pandemic.

Food critic Craig LaBan is the king of takeout, when he’s not cooking. From time to time, he has weighed in on his favorites. This time out, he focuses on what he believes are Philadelphia’s strongest international kitchens, almost all family businesses that have persevered but need our patronage now more than ever. His recommendations include Venezuelan arepas, grilled Northern Thai rice cakes, legit jerk chicken, and a Mexican-themed stromboli.

See his other takeout-favorite roundups: here, here, and here.

Need something to go with that takeout and delivery? Our wine correspondent Marnie Old has a $9 pinot grigio from Argentina in mind that is noticeably weightier and less tart than its Euro counterparts.

The best in vegan and vegetarian delivery in the city

Cauliflower takes the place of chicken in tacos at Nicole Marquis' Bar Bombon. At the restaurant, the cauliflower is battered and fried; home cooks can get similar results with an oven.
STAFF
Cauliflower takes the place of chicken in tacos at Nicole Marquis' Bar Bombon. At the restaurant, the cauliflower is battered and fried; home cooks can get similar results with an oven.

From ramen to Reubens, pizza to pastries, burgers to bagels and lox, you can find just about anything in vegan form in Philadelphia. The city’s plant-based restaurant scene has exploded over the years, with plenty of non-vegan restaurants adding more veggie-friendly options to their menu, too. Reporter Grace Dickinson offers her take on some of the best spots to check out that offer delivery.

Get these delicious, new fried chicken sandwiches

Brittany Tolliferreo in the drive-thru window at Chick-A-Boom at 46th and Lancaster, in Philadelphia.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Brittany Tolliferreo in the drive-thru window at Chick-A-Boom at 46th and Lancaster, in Philadelphia.

If the pandemic can be credited for anything good, I’d have to point to fried chicken sandwiches. I found a bunch of new spots in the city where the food is tasty. Now, it’s crunch time. (It really is crunch time for me. After finishing my last bite, I’ve given up fried foods for a while.)

Indoor dining is ready to return in Philly

The idled dining room at Talula's Garden on Washington Square, shown with its holiday decor on Jan. 11, 2021, will be readied for dinner on Jan. 16.
MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
The idled dining room at Talula's Garden on Washington Square, shown with its holiday decor on Jan. 11, 2021, will be readied for dinner on Jan. 16.

Philadelphia’s restaurants have been allowed to reopen for indoor dining, effective Saturday, Jan. 16, at 25% occupancy and with stringent safety measures in place. But will it help restaurateurs and staffs whose livelihoods have been battered for nearly a year?

Hoagie shop runs afoul of the Philly Health Department

Security camera footage from inside Fink's Hoagies in Tacony from Jan. 6, when the hoagie shop received a new citation for not wearing masks.
Handout
Security camera footage from inside Fink's Hoagies in Tacony from Jan. 6, when the hoagie shop received a new citation for not wearing masks.

Fink’s Hoagies in Northeast Philly is back in business after a run-in with a health inspector. Reporter Jenn Ladd tells the story of Dennis Fink, who was locked in what he describes as a power struggle.

PrimoHoagies expanding

"Social-distancing tray:" small sandwiches sold for events are now wrapped at PrimoHoagies, where sales hit a record as diners fled restaurants and bought more takeout in 2020.
PrimoHoagies
"Social-distancing tray:" small sandwiches sold for events are now wrapped at PrimoHoagies, where sales hit a record as diners fled restaurants and bought more takeout in 2020.

Philly-based PrimoHoagies is adding 21 franchise locations, reports Joe DiStefano, in an article that also offers an interesting take on how a hoagie shop’s business was affected by the pandemic, in a positive way. Business was mostly lunch, but now two-thirds of sales moved to dinnertime, the owner says.

Restaurant news

Burrata with Calabrian chili, rabe pesto, celery root, and extra-virgin olive oil from Remi Ricotta.
MIKE PRINCE
Burrata with Calabrian chili, rabe pesto, celery root, and extra-virgin olive oil from Remi Ricotta.

Chefs Jason Peabody and Christopher Godfrey are launching Remi Ricotta, a Philly-inspired, pasta-focused takeout out of chef Townsend Wentz’s Oloroso space at 1121 Walnut St. It’s not a pop-up, they say, as they hope to keep it going post-pandemic. Launch will be Monday, Jan. 18 with a four-course prix-fixe $45 menu done by Peabody, Godfrey, and chef George Sabatino, with hibiscus-cured tilefish; hand-cut pappardelle with mushroom ragu; wood-grilled prawns; and dark chocolate mousse. It’s available for pickup between 5 and 9 p.m. Vegetarian and vegan substitutions are available. After that, it is open for takeout from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, with an a la carte menu of salads, antipasti, pasta and desserts. Both chefs worked at Oloroso and Junto. Peabody also worked at Lacroix, Nectar, and The Fountain at The Four Seasons Hotel, while Godfrey most recently was sous chef at Bibou under chef Pierre Calmels.

Craft Hall (901 N. Delaware Ave.), which very well may be the city’s largest indoor restaurant, is due to reopen Friday, Jan. 15 for takeout and Saturday, Jan. 16 for dine-in (125 seats). Craft Hall will have a barbecue and pizza menu under chef Adam Lazarick. Cocktails plus beer from on-premises Mainstay Independent Brewing Co. Hours: 4-11 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

For the first time since the early pandemic, Jose Garces’ Tinto will reopen next to Village Whiskey (114 S. 20th St.) as Tinto Pintxo. Launch will be Thursday, Jan. 14, as a Spanish bottle wine shop. When indoor dining returns at 50% capacity, it will open with a new menu of pintxos. Food will preview this week on the Garces Trading Company virtual marketplace.