Second Helpings: Gourmet Takeout

Gourmet takeout in this week's "Second Helpings"

The weekly Chronicle feature "Second Helpings" offers readers the opportunity to sample tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. Chronicle Cuisines writer Rachel Feit compiled this week's entries. When you need quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.

Grape Vine Market

7938 Great Northern, 323-5900

Mon-Sat, 10am-9pm

Next time you pop into the Grape Vine Market to buy that favorite Gigondas, sidle over to the food case and pick up some delectable snacks to accompany it. Grape Vine Market offers appetizing pizzas prepared in-house, in addition to more basic gourmet provisions such as cheese, pté, crackers, cured meats, and fish. It may be the only place in town where you can buy real sable (a cured whitefish popular in East Coast delis) and cured sturgeon. A pleasant lounging area and comfortable outdoor tables make this an inviting place to stop for lunch, or a quick hassle-free dinner on the way home from work.


1213 West Lynn, 477-5211

Sun-Thu, 7:30am-9:30pm; Fri-Sat, 7:30am-10:30pm

Impress your friends at your next dinner party with a meal from Cippolina. Offering roasted chicken, osso bucco, and other meats prepared by the same masterminds who operate the Jeffrey's kitchen, the cuisine at Cippolina is first-rate. This gourmet takeout eatery also prepares wood-fired pizzas, pasta salads, risotto, and a changing assortment of fresh Italian inspired vegetables. Take it home or dine there with a glass of Chianti or a tall beer in the stylish cafe located at 12th and West Lynn streets.

Fresh Plus Deli

1221 West Lynn, 477-3945

Mon-Sat, 8am-9pm; Sun, 9am-8pm

Fans of Fresh Plus' delicious chicken salads, pecan pesto farfalle, and mouth-watering potato salads can rest easy that the mother of all gourmet takeout places in Austin is alive and well, albeit in a smaller, hidden location inside the Fresh Plus market on West Lynn Street. In addition to the old favorites, a recent visit spotted a creamy leek pie and several varieties of pre-smoked meats. Do-it-yourselfers can take home uncooked stuffed chicken, crab cakes, or marinated meats for that homemade effect.

Food! Food!

2719 Exposition, 474-851

Mon-Fri, 10:30am-8pm; Sat, 10:30am-5pm

With more than 20 varieties of sandwiches to choose from, lunch at this friendly, neighborhood deli will always turn up something new and interesting. If sandwiches don't turn you on, then individual pizzas with toppings such as roasted eggplant make a winning choice. Also featured on the changing menu are items such as King Ranch casserole, chicken pot pie, trendy pasta salads, and polenta with roasted vegetables. Dine in at the cafe or take home one of the dinner specials, complete with main course, side dish, and dessert.

Whole Foods Kitchen

601 N. Lamar, 476-1206

Daily, 8am-10pm

9607 Research, 345-5003

open daily 8am-10:30pm

Don't be fooled by the New Age dietary supplements, crystals, and scented aromatherapy soaps that dominate the central hall. The Whole Foods market also sells a dazzling variety of wholesome prepared comestibles hearty enough to satisfy just about any craving. The rotisserie offers hot entrées, while the salad bar features a number of fresh, healthy veggies to nibble on. If that doesn't sound appetizing, try the kung pao tofu, butternut squash risotto, Cajun potato salad, green bean almondine, or pesto linguine from their deli case. Not just for health nuts, the Whole Foods kitchen offers one stop ready-made meal-procurement for busy gourmets of every stripe.

Central Market Grab and Go

4001 N. Lamar, 206-1000

open daily 9am-9pm

4521 West Gate Blvd, 899-4300

open daily 9am-9pm

Whole roasted chicken, meat and vegetarian tamales, prepared meat stock, fresh sushi, nori rolls, Kala's Indian cuisine, wild rice pilaf, pies, quiche, vegetable moussaka, coconut-crusted chicken, grilled peppered salmon, four-grain salad, hummus, tortilla soup, kids' pizzas, gourmet pizzas, Central Market signature sandwiches -- all this plus a salad bar, olives, cheese, deli meats, pté, bread baked daily, and an entire store full of culinary oddities designed to satisfy just about any gustatory craving.

Tom's Tabooley

2928 Guadalupe, 479-7337

Tue-Thu, 7am-7pm; Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat, 11am-6pm

You've been buying the stuff now for years in grocery stores around town. Now you can go straight to the source at Tom's store on Guadalupe. The sign outside advertises falafel, hummus, salads, and imported candies. Inside, the kitchen also offers tabouleh, dolmas, baklava, gourmet coffee, and lots of surprising tidbits to make a regal Mediterranean feast. While you're there, pick up some fruity olive oil, freshly made falafel mix, or brined grape leaves to cook with at home.


1200 W. 6th, 481-8646

Mon-Sat, 8am-8pm

All of the sandwiches at this newest of gourmet takeout eateries exhibit the stamp of craftsmanship from the inside out. Wholesome ingredients such as eggplant, freshly cut corn, carrots, crisp lettuce, or homemade pesto find their way into home-baked focaccias, ciabattas, or whole wheat rolls. Owned by the people who operate Sweetish Hill Bakery, this second establishment offers many of the same sweet treats you can find at the bakery. However, this little cafe also prepares pizzas, pasta salads, roasted meats, ptés, and vegetables to be eaten there or taken home. Different specials are offered almost daily, so be sure to call ahead if you have something in mind.

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