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A dubious thread: Best takeout, with reusable containers, in SF

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Spenbald Jun 7, 2012 12:06 AM

While it may not be the best practice (healthwise, in particular) to reuse plastic takeout containers, some of the ones we have saved from Boston are the perfect size for taking in to lunch the next day. Our collection is being depleted by disintegration and by compostable alternatives. That said, I'm wondering if there are good takeout options in San Francisco that offer decent, reusable containers. Though the ones from Kasa are impressive, the multiple divisions and overall size are not handy, despite the delicious, delicious food that comes in them. We live pretty centrally (near Twin Peaks), but work on the eastern side of the city, so anything in the Mission, Fillmore, Hayes Valley, etc. is fair game. Any recommendations?

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    foodeye Jun 7, 2012 09:38 AM

    Sorry that this is not in the requested location, but at the Ferry Bldg. the containers at Out the Door for soups and other items are very reusable. Also the curry containers at Delica. And Boulette's Larder uses good stuff, too, though depending on what you are buying it may be the little French wooden tray type that is reusable for only limited purposes.
    If you don't get more convenient suggestions, you might want to invest in the ones at the grocery store, I think Glad has a line on the shelves with the plastic bags, which are sort of like Tupperware but not as permanent.

    1. farmersdaughter Jun 7, 2012 02:54 PM

      Aslam's Rasoi in the Mission uses terrific re-usable plastic containers. And their food is pretty good too.

      1. Peripatetic Jun 10, 2012 01:44 AM

        The gold standard among reusable containers seems to be the GlassLock container (http://www.glasslockusa.com/index.htm...). If you don't mind 1) bringing them with you 2) waiting at the restaurant while they prepare your order 3) trying to explain to them that you want them to use those containers, then you may have a workable system. You might have to "form a relationship" over a few visits for this to work.

        BTW, everywhere we go we bring a bag with a small arsenal of GlassLock containers for leftovers. Of course this is less convenient if you are traveling via public transport or on foot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Peripatetic
          Peripatetic Jun 14, 2012 12:35 PM

          BTW, GlassLock containers are available in sets at Whole Foods. Because they're originally a Korean product, they're also available inexpensively at Kim's Home Center, Chung's Home Appliance Center, and ABC Appliance, all in K-town (see below). They bear some resemblance to bento boxes, which I suspect was their inspiration. They are much better than Tupperware as they lock in a way that prevents them from leaking.

          BTW, even if you don't go for the GlassLocks, Kim's and Chung's are K-Town institutions that are definitely worth a visit!

          Kim's Home Center
          2940 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
          213-386-4882

          Chung's Home Appliance Center
          2946 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
          213-368-1560

          ABC Appliance
          928 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006
          213-386-1155

        2. sunshine842 Jun 10, 2012 02:15 AM

          I think I'd be tempted to either go with the GladLock as suggested above, or just hunt down a restaurant supply house...just because I'd be more inclined to make my takeout choice based on the food, rather than what they put it in.

          there's a takeout near me that makes really great takeout food -- and their nice plastic containers are icing on the cake. If their food were crap, though, I sure wouldn't go there just because of the boxes....

          If I'm pressed enough for time to go with takeout, taking my containers and waiting for my food to be prepared doesn't gain me anything -- I might as well hang out and eat it there at that point.

          1. s
            sugartoof Jun 10, 2012 02:39 PM

            You might want to mail order from a supply house and just keep a stash of your own.

            Another alternative is to go to Japantown and find reusable lunch containers in various materials.

            1. a
              abstractpoet Jun 14, 2012 07:55 PM

              I could be wrong, but I think the OP's main interest is in getting free plastic containers that he can reuse at home -- not in paying money for the containers themselves. I get that (and get, too, why it's a dubious practice).

              I can't help for SF, but in the East Bay I like the black plastic takeout containers from Hawker Fare and, especially, the ones from Chai Thai Noodle. Probably not truly safe to reheat in the microwave, but I'm guilty of the practice too. Both places have delicious food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: abstractpoet
                s
                Spenbald Jun 16, 2012 11:33 PM

                Thanks, abstractpoet. You cut right to the chase, and I do appreciate the recs, should I find myself across the bay.

              2. m
                mlutsky Jun 17, 2012 12:19 AM

                Love the soup takeout container from Hotei in the Sunset.

                1. w
                  weem Jun 17, 2012 01:18 AM

                  Ordering something liquid or especially runny might be a way to go. A few years ago I went through a brief phase of getting take-out soups from Thai House Express on Geary and Larkin (around the corner from my apartment). They came in reusable plastic containers, about the size of, but sturdier than, a quart yogurt container. Unfortunately I don't know if they still use them. The good news is that I still do (mostly for storage).

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