Family-Friendly Takeout in Montclair

I’ve been reading a Kindle book by Mark Bittman that talks a lot about the importance of cooking at home. Meals cooked at home are not only much healthier, he argues, but they are also better for the planet and for the pocketbook.

I’m a big fan of Bittman and other food “revolutionaries” like Michael Pollan and Marian Nestle, who have done a lot to advance the notion that eating fresher and healthier food (preferably local and organic) can help us overcome disease, reduce our soaring obesity rates and curb the environmental destruction wrought by factory farms and big agriculture.

But Bittman makes it sound so easy. I love cooking for my family, and I try to do it as often as possible because I know it’s healthier and it’s cheaper (let’s face it, Bittman’s preaching to the choir here). But on some nights, after a long day’s work, the last thing I want to do is cook. So we order takeout.

We’re lucky we live in Baristaville, which has many delicious and reasonably healthy restaurants. Still, we’ve probably come to rely a little too much on T.S. Ma, which I love because it uses fresh ingredients and no trans-fat oils. But I’d like to try something new.

I quizzed a few Baristaville moms to see where they like to order healthy (and relatively inexpensive) takeout for their families when cooking is not an option. Here are their suggestions:

Falafel Hut, which several moms recommended, is heavy on healthy Middle Eastern fare like vegetables, yogurt, beans and grilled meats.

Uptown has a great kids menu that includes grilled chicken bowtie pasta and mini sirloin beef burgers. All entrees come with apple juice or milk and sides of fruit or fries (you have to get the fruit, of course, or you will go to Mommy Hell).

Tinga Taqueria has a kids menu that includes cheese quesadillas and rice and beans, but kids might also like healthier items on the regular menu like shrimp tacos or the Californian burrito (any burrito can be made with a whole wheat tortilla).

The kebabs at Four Seasons Kebab House are tender and nicely spiced, and come with a side of bulgur rice and a healthy shepherd’s salad.

New kid in town Brick Lane Curry House has many healthy items to choose from, like peeli daal (yellow lentils cooked with herbs) and chana masala, a vegan dish made with garbanzo beans. Dishes can be ordered mild for kids who don’t like spicy foods.

Sushi Koshi in Watchung Plaza has salmon and maki rolls, and one mom reports that her son loves the bulgogi (Korean beef) there.

What is your favorite place for takeout? Let us know what we’ve missed!

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  1. Rosario’s on Park and Watchung is a great place for take-out. Not only are the sandwiches wonderful, they have organic meat, patties, and prepared foods.

  2. …for me and husband, can’t imagine my kids eating any but the grill. Chinese is big in our house for take out, as is Portuguese BBQ.

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