Comedor is taking a whole new approach to quarantine cooking.
Rather than serve a take-out menu, the downtown restaurant, in collaboration with a new venture called Assembly Kitchen, is now selling meal kits for some of its most popular dishes. The ingredients are already prepped and par-cooked, which allows the customer to finish cooking the meal at home.
It’s a "new in-home cooking and dining experience" that chef/owner Philip Speer hopes can keep the restaurant going during the coronavirus pandemic-related closure. In short: He’s got rent to pay and a roster of laid-off employees and curbside wasn’t going to cover their fixed costs. "It’s definitely different than takeout," Speer says. "We needed to pivot and create a new business for this to work."
With just a few people in the kitchen, it’s easier to manage the extreme level of sanitation necessary in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. "We’re never without a mask or gloves. We use a UV wand to sanitize between deliveries."
Each meal kit comes with an instructional video from Speer and fellow chef Gabe Erales, who are also taking questions from these at-home chefs de cuisine online. They want to make this an evening of entertainment, Speer says, with a little bit of culinary education thrown in.
Customers can order online (https://assembly.kitchen) up until 3 p.m. for delivery the same day, between 5 and 7 p.m., but he’s hoping people will order them a few days ahead.
The menu includes bone marrow tacos, with 4 marinated bones ready to broil at home. The taco kit costs $32 and comes with an array of accompaniments, including smoked butter, and fresh tortillas, just like at the restaurant.
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For $59, you can get an assortment of the restaurant’s most popular dishes: a goat barbacoa tamal, a Texas mushroom quesadilla and castacan memela, a flatbread topped with cripsy pork belly.
The pollo adobo dinner costs $59 and feeds a family: A fully cooked whole chicken marinated in a rojo sauce that the home cook sears skin-side down to warm through. That meal comes with fried rice, black beans, fresh herbs, ingredients for salsas, herbs and fresh pressed masa.
For dessert ($12), Speer is making a capirotada with pan dulce and a babka roll made with a rich chichilo mole. Both of those desserts bake while you’re finishing dinner.