Paper bags and chopsticks.

When the going gets tough--and by tough I mean busy schedules, lost access to my computer, side projects, LIFE--the tough get going.  And by going, I mean ordering takeout. Cheap takeout. I don't believe in any other kind.

If you're not going through the trouble of sourcing, prepping and preparing a beautiful meal for yourself and family, you might as well take leap and freefall into the wonderful world of paper cartons and knobs of wasabi. It's amazing how many inspiring takeout options there are in New York City. I understand that this isn't the case everywhere; my options in surburia were relegated to pizza (natch) and greasy eggrolls.

While there's nothing wrong with that, there is something exciting about being able to have cookies OR Austrailian meat pies OR Neopolitan-style pizza OR french fries with three sauces  OR macrobiotic dinners delivered straight to your 4th-floor walk-up.

Takeout seems to be the one luxury you can afford in NYC without worrying about how it will affect your lifestyle. Good, cheap takeout (GCT) should never be confused with dirty, cheap takeout in which case the money saved doesn't alleviate the stomach pains earned. GCT saves you money. GCT amuses your taste buds. GCT does the dishes for you. GCT won't fill your kitchen with smoke because you forgot there was bread in the oven.

Tonight I'm embracing takeout, so no recipes here. And it's the weekend, so maybe you should kick your feet up and do the same! Back to the stove tomorrow....

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