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Apr 11, 2008 08:04 AM

Multi-Restaurant Take-Out

Stick with me on this.

Several years ago in the New Yorker, Calvin Trillin described his family's occasional take-out dining experience ( in which he "drove to Chinatown with [his] daughters and two or three of the dinner guests, everyone having been assigned to pick up a certain dish at a certain restaurant according to a split-second schedule -- a food-gathering exercise we referred to as an Entebbe Raid."

The concept of the well-planned and orchestrated Entebbe Raid (Google if you don't know the reference) has always stuck with me. Lately, for the sake of gastronomic excess and experimentation (er- I mean, Chow-Science), we've tried a few simple 2-restaurant variations. Living near Union Square, we've made some great dinners of Tacos Lupita (tortas) + City Slicker (fries and quesadillas); El Potro (papusas) + Taqueria la Mexicana (dinner plates); and Wu Chon (pajun and sushi) + Great Thai Chef (jungle curry, beef w/pineapple, etc.).

Anyway, the question is this: what neighborhoods are prime staging grounds for an Entebbe Raid, and what would be your perfect multi-restaurant menus?

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  1. I like to do this at the restaurants on that block of Peterborough when the weather is warm. Plantains from El Pelon, salad rolls or spring rolls from Rod Dee, some sushi from Umi, all eaten on a picnic table. You definitely need to have a decent crowd to do this right, though.

    1. I like this game! Here are a couple:
      Boston version of original Trillin Chinatown idea.
      1) Peach Farm Eel with Maggi sauce, galric fried pea pod stems. I thought about spicy salty squid but deep fried items won;t survive the trip .
      2) Taiwan Cafe Eggplant with garlic sauce
      3) King Fung Shanghai noodles
      4) Wings Prok Shoulder braised in red sauce
      5) East Ocean City alaskan king crab, two ways.

      Brighton and Harvard Ave Allston Pan Asian
      1) Gitlo, array of dim sum
      2) Rangoli, Masala Dosa
      3) Color, Korean fried chicken
      4) Reef Cafe stuffed eggplant
      5) Indian Dhaba Manchurian chicken
      6) Yi Soon , dessert buns (or Herrells for ice cream.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gourmaniac

        I like it, gourmaniac. Thanks for the future menus. Anyone else?

      2. Can you say a little more about the quesadillas at City Slickers?

        I stopped in the other day for a yummy salad (after all that fish and chips excess) and I was reminded just how good their food is. I admit I was really impatient as I waited 15 minutes for my salad (it's just a damned salad! I fumed...) but when I got home and opened the carton, i was reminded how much it's worth it ... got the spring avocado blt salad with chicken. The bacon was off the hook and the avocado was ripe and so good.

        So, quesadillas?

        3 Replies
        1. re: yumyum

          yy- The quesadillas are good. Chicken, cheese, spinach, maybe carm onion. Per above, it was more about combining the fries with those great Lupita tortas. Have never gotten CS's salads; great to know they're so good. Next time we'll throw a salad into the mix.

          1. re: franksnbeans

            Thanks Franksnbeans -- I'll check them out. CS Salads are beyond good -- fresh mixed greens, good combo's (this spring one especially yum) and wide variety of home-made dressings. I got roasted garlic this time that was great but others include a thick sesame one, a champagne vin, and a jalepeno something or other.

            1. re: franksnbeans

              there are carm. onions, and a choice of chix, beef, or shrimp. For me, it's the side "salsa" that steps it up - grape tomatoes, equally-sized chunks of avocado, and jalapeno olive oil.

              Full disclosure: I'm a huge Slicker/Urb partisan.