Thursday, 25 April 2019 14:04

Takeout Time: Call ahead, pick it up, eat it on the couch

Written by  Josh Veal
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Wikiwiki Poke Shop Wikiwiki Poke Shop Courtesy Photo

It’s been a long day and you’re completely spent. Cooking is out of the question, much less grocery shopping for the ingredients. Even going to a sit-down restaurant feels like too much work. That’s when takeout descends from the heavens, here to save the day every time.

The best takeout joints make the whole process quick and painless. If you can order in less than a minute, get an accurate pick-up time and procure the food without incident, you’re in the right place.

The only problem is, when you’re already drained, researching takeout spots near you is never fun. Grabbing nearby Chinese, pho or even pizza is always a gimmie, but if you’re looking for something new, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few spots in West Michigan that make eating at home easy without sacrificing quality.

Curry Kitchen
961 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
1133 3rd St., Muskegon
currykitchengr.com

There’s no shortage of Indian food in West Michigan, but Curry Kitchen may just win out as the takeout option thanks to portion size and affordability. I mean, the rice is actually included in the price of your dish — how novel. It helps that the meals are saucy and packed with ingredients, not to mention the savory, soft, buttery garlic naan. Whether you’re in Grand Rapids or Muskegon, Curry Kitchen hits the spot. 

The Big Burrito
5036 W. KL Ave., Kalamazoo
thebigburrito.com

Something about a big burrito just hits the spot every time. It’s classic, simple and approachable, ideally with a perfect ratio of hot and cold ingredients that give every bite some variety. The Big Burrito has all that and more, including some vegan tacos/tostadas, and it’s cheap and easy to order. In fact, you can order online, always a godsend for phone-phobics.

Erb Thai
950 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
erbthaigr.com

Erb Thai is such a perfect takeout spot that this might be a little too obvious. Nevertheless, I feel driven to sing its praises. The menu here has everything from traditional Thai with white rice to noodle dishes (my personal favorite), loaded fried rice and plenty of curry options. You can find just about every combination of meat and vegetables under the sun, all packaged in a container with some of the best heat retention I’ve seen.

Taco Boy
3475 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
tacoboygr.com

Taco Boy is an institution, outlasting dozens of businesses on Plainfield over the years. It’s probably because you get a full meal with loads of flavor for dirt cheap prices. You can satisfy your wet burrito craving for $6 or less. Plus, Taco Boy works fast enough that you don’t even really need to order ahead of time, but it’s your call — pun intended.

Shawarma King
1441 S. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo
shawarmakingkzoo.com

Shawarma got an unexpected bump after The Avengers made multiple references to the Middle Eastern kebab-based cuisine, and rightly so. At Shawarma King, the spotlight is on the protein, with hearty dishes featuring marinated meats and Middle Eastern salads. Don’t forget to take it up another level with the heavenly garlic sauce or even a fresh smoothie made with real fruit.

Stack’s Chicago Style Eats
1050 Jackson St., Grand Haven
stackschicagostyleeats.com

Stack’s gets its Vienna beef hot dogs, Turanno rolls and hot giardiniera straight from Chicago, which is about as authentic as you can get without driving to the Windy City itself. The menu is clearly made to fulfill your takeout cravings, with true Chicago-style dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and meatball subs available at a low price. Locals love this place and you will too.

The Station Grill
910 W. Broadway Ave., Muskegon
stationgrill.com

Located in a historic service station since 1972, the Station Grill is here to refuel you with amazing steakburgers, Tex-Mex, wings and more. It’s classic diner food done right, and then some. There are loads of options, but the restaurant gladly welcomes take-out orders of any size or variety. Also, this food is really made to be paired with a nice cold beer, so you might want to pick up a six-pack while you’re out and about too. 

Wikiwiki Poke Shop
1146 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
wikiwikipokeshop.com

Sushi is already a great takeout food, sure, but it’s even more convenient when you throw the ingredients together in one big bowl. That’s what makes poke so great — all the refreshing lightness and complexity of sushi rolls without the structure, so you can construct each bite however you’d like. Wikiwiki does it better than anyone, with amazingly diverse bowls like The B.I.G. Bowl, featuring tuna, salmon, Hamachi, spicy octopus, spicy scallops, and spicy shrimp, plus avocado, cucumber, mango, wasabi ranch aioli, “tons of random fish eggs” and tempura-fried seaweed. The only downside is that the atmosphere is so chill, you might just decide to eat it there.

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