Second Helpings: Gourmet Takeout

Have the need to feed with a relative degree of speed? Erin Mosow takes you on a gourmet takeout tour in this week's "Second Helpings."

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Erin Mosow. For quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.

Grape Vine Market

7938 Great Northern, 323-5900

Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm

www.grapevinemarket.com

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. Recently, they've added halloumi, a grilled Greek cheese, to the gourmet deli. 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.

Cippolina

1213 West Lynn, 477-5211

Monday-Tuesday, 7:30am-9pm;

Wednesday-Thursday, 7:30am-9pm (drinks and desserts served until 10pm);

Friday-Saturday, 7:30am-9:30pm; Sunday, 7:30am-8pm

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 offers daily specials and prepares wood-fired pizzas, pasta salads, risotto, and a changing assortment of fresh Italian inspired vegetables. Daily from 3:30-5:30pm is pizza happy hour so 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. Wednesdays and Thursdays, Cippolina offers live jazz and tango music from 8-10pm, serving drinks and desserts until close.

Fresh Plus Deli

1221 West Lynn, 477-3945

Monday-Saturday, 8am-9pm; Sunday, 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. In addition to the old favorites, the deli serves up several varieties of pre-smoked meats. Do-it-yourselfers can take home uncooked stuffed and breaded chicken breasts, crab cakes, or marinated meats for that homemade effect.

Food! Food!

2719 Exposition, 474-8515

Monday-Friday, 10:30am-8pm; Saturday, 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 partake of their numerous salads, empanadas, freshly baked desserts, and daily dinner specials. 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.

Tom's Tabooley

2928 Guadalupe, 479-7337

Tuesday-Thursday, 7am-7pm;

Friday, 7am-3pm; Saturday, 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.

Portabla

1200 W. Sixth, 481-8646

Monday-Saturday, 8am-8pm

www.portabla.com

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, patés, 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.

Sasha's Market

5523 Balcones, 459-1449

Cafe: Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm (soon to be expanding to 7 days a week)

Store: Monday-Friday, 11am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-5:30pm

www.sashacooks.com

Operated by Sasha Lifschitz, this Russian grocery and deli offers a selection of blintzes, fresh smoked and marinated fish, caviar, top-quality meats and cheeses, Russian-style canned goods, pickled and marinated vegetables, Russian breads, Pelmeni, Blinchiki, desserts, and candy. Their constantly changing menu provides a surprise treat for every visit.

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