The Rundown

You may be stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your favorite (or soon to be favorite) neighborhood joints home with you. This week we are highlighting several West Loop businesses that will help you treat yourself to a relaxing evening at home whether you are quarantining alone or together with loved ones. For this guide, you can choose to visit all these places and pick up provisions curbside, or you can hunker down and get everything delivered. Here are the highlights.

1. Pick up meal kit @ Girl and the Goat-ceries
2. Self care @ Scratch Goods
3. Games @ Cat and Mouse

1. Girl and the Goat-ceries 

Girl and Goat-ceries invites celebrity chef Stephanie Izard into your kitchen for a cooking lesson and culinary experience you are unlikely to get from your average Hello Fresh box.  The award winning chef of 3 restaurants in the West Loop (Girl and the Goat, Little Goat Diner, and Duck Duck Goat) has curated a selection of rotating meal kits packaged to bring the fine dining experience into your home.

After you order your desired meal kit online and pick it up at Little Goat Diner, you will gain access to the recipe and a recorded video lesson taught by Izard herself. While the recipes can seem a bit intimidating at first, the video lesson breaks everything down step-by-step along with helpful tips to make sure you are confident before you get started. This kit will give you more than just the recipe and meal, but also some lessons that will make you a better home cook.

The meal kit I picked up included ingredients to make two pan seared halibuts with a blueberry nuoc cham, miso marcona almond butter, and all topped with sautéed spring vegetables. It also came with cookie dough for two massive chocolate chip cookies and a few items to make their Girl & the Goat Green Beans as a side. It may feel like a lot to manage at first, but with everything pre-portioned and fully detailed in the video I’m pretty confident when I say this will be one of the tastiest things to come out of your kitchen. Here’s an action shot pan searing the halibut.And here’s the final result. Not too shabby.

2.  Scratch Goods 

After you pick up your meal kit, step across the street and down the block to find Scratch Goods, a local shop specializing in all-natural and food-grade skincare. Pre-quarantine they offered a self-service mask bar and a variety of wellness classes along with their line of skincare products, but currently they are offering delivery or curbside pickup (Tuesdays 2-5 pm and Fridays 12-3 pm) for any of their products.

We went with one of their charcoal face masks made with active charcoal to clarify, bentonite clay to detoxify, and rhassoul clay to balance. It comes in a powdered form, but just add water and you are one step closer to at home spa-bliss. Pickup one of their mask brushes for added relaxation and easier application.

3. Cat and Mouse Games

Looking to play something other than Monopoly or Uno at your next family game night? Or maybe you are quarantining alone and are looking for some solo activities. Out last stop, Cat and Mouse Games, has got you covered. Just a couple blocks away from Randolph Street you will find this locally-owned and family-run game and toy store. They have a variety of activities for all ages from puzzles and books to their large stock of unique games.

You can order online or you can give them a call like I did for either delivery or curb-side pickup (available daily 12 pm – 5 pm). I told the store clerk I was looking for a game good for both solo and group play and was enthusiastically provided with several recommendations at different price points. I ultimately decided on a game called Cartographers which while fairly easy to learn how to play, I am admittedly pretty bad at it right now (my first solo play ended with a score of -40 for all you Cartographer fanatics out there). I’ve gotten a little better each time I’ve played and it’s nice to have a game that you can enjoy solo, but can also break out at your next post-quarantine game night with friends.