By Meg Walburn Viviano
My heart sunk when I heard the news: restaurants in Anne Arundel County and a handful of other Maryland jurisdictions would have to close for all indoor dining due to the resurgence of COVID-19.
Certainly, I understand the need to take steps to slow this second spike in cases. But I also cringe to think of the local restaurants who barely squeaked through the first shutdown in the spring and counted on holiday patrons just to break even for the year. I think of the food spots that took a chance on opening this summer or fall, barely got established, and are now reduced to cold-weather tents or carryout. My mind goes to a friend—a mom and former partner in a restaurant—who struck out on her own and bought a bar-restaurant just days before dining service was banned. The paint on her turquoise patio seating had barely dried when she had to pivot to take-out.
What can I do to help? The obvious things: buy gift cards for all my friends and family’s holiday gifts, and order takeout when possible. When I asked my 5-year-old what we should get his pre-K teachers for Christmas, he said (somewhat impulsively), “pie!” So, all of the kids’ teachers will be getting Dangerously Delicious Pies gift certificates (their Annapolis location just opened in November). I get to support a local business and my son gets to gift his teachers with pie.
At CBM Bay Weekly, locally owned and family restaurants are some of our closest partners. They stock our newspapers for Chesapeake Country to pick up; they count on us to help advertise their delicious food. Our success and that of our restaurant families are intertwined, and we stand by them.
That’s why we’re calling on you, readers, to make a new tradition of bundled-up dining or holiday takeout.
In this week’s issue, we’re making it easier for you to choose a spot for your next carryout or delivery dinner by spotlighting different restaurants each week during this four-week round of restrictions.
It’s a simple shift we can make from the holiday parties and large group dinners of years past—use those nights to order takeout from a restaurant that’s special to you instead. If you’re hardy, put on your cold-weather gear and enjoy a meal at one of the region’s outdoor dining tents, complete with heater. Either way, you’ll enjoy a meal, no cooking (or dish-washing) required.
It’ll taste better knowing you’re helping Chesapeake Country’s wonderful food scene.