The food community fights back | Let’s Eat

Despite the shock of corona-virus shutdowns, the food community sprang into action. We’re following all sorts of stories, including chefs feeding their communities, farms selling directly to consumers, and bakers setting up on Facebook to offer guidance. And what’s a restaurant critic to do? Craig LaBan is delving into cookbooks written by local chefs, so at least you can get a taste of what we’re missing.

How we’re eating this week

The great nightmare continues. From a food perspective, people ventured to grocery stores and supermarkets, where many shelves still were picked clean, especially paper goods and cleaning products. My supermarket sources recommend keeping an eye on your chicken and egg supplies. (Which comes first? Don’t ask.) The initial rush of business last week left poultry producers scrambling.

Hens can lay only so many eggs, and from the broiler side, remember that it takes about six weeks to raise a chicken. Flour and other baking ingredients have been in short supply, as well. If you’re stuck, you might call a local bakery and ask to buy ingredients.
And speaking of calling: You can really help the bottom line of restaurants that offer pickup and delivery by calling in your order directly, rather than using the apps such as Grubhub. These services take a hefty cut, as much as 30% for a delivery. Some restaurants are doing their own local delivery, much of it free.
Then we have the story of Aaron Anderson, who on Wednesday opened the Original Hot Dog Factory at 125 N. 15th St. in Center City. When he signed his franchise agreement last year, he had grand plans for his little takeout shop, across from Family Court. And now the city streets are empty. But persevere he shall. Anderson will give out free hot dogs through Saturday to police officers, firefighters, and medical workers who walk in, one per customer. Otherwise, he is offering pickup and delivery.


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