When Kevin and I were first thinking of moving to Oak Park from the city, we came out here, wandered around, enjoying the walkable neighborhood feel of downtown, with all the cute little shops. We ended up at Grape Leaves (just south of Lake Street on Oak Park Ave.) for a truly fabulous chicken shawarma sandwich — that cemented the feeling that we could happily live here.
So I wanted to highlight a new initiative here, “Takeout 25 Oak Park”:
“Our locally-owned Oak Park restaurants are forced to make the difficult choice between community health and economic survival. Without our help, many will not survive this winter.
Is there something we can do to help? YES! And, we’ve done the math. By committing to spend at least $25 each week in takeout this winter, we can do it!
$25 each week, per person
x 10,000 residents of Oak Park (Oak Park has 52,000 residents)
= $1 million in takeout business (Oak Park has 100 restaurants)
That equates $10,000 average, split per restaurant to cover operation costs, which could be the difference between economic survival or extinction.”
Obviously, not every household can afford to commit to $25 / week in takeout — but many of us can, and some of us can do more. (And are glad to do more, because even if we like cooking, the thought of doing more of it is sometimes exhausting.)
We’ve been doing takeout about once a week since the pandemic started (which is quite a bit more than normal restaurant food for us), and I admit, I will be happy to do a bit more over the winter, to help get us and the restaurants through to vaccines, and spring, and a hopeful return to normal.
If you’re in Oak Park, I recommend joining the Takeout 25 Oak Park Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/takeout25oakpark), where you will see many delicious food photos, and maybe learn about some restaurants you might not have encountered yet.
Pictured below, last night’s ordering from Grape Leaves Restaurant.
– fig and goat cheese salad (healthy! delicious!)
– mixed grill over rice + shrimp (I’m the only one in the family who eats shrimp, so I get all that deliciousness for myself — the rest of them enjoy the grilled chicken, meat, sausage, and veggies)
– seasoned potatoes (our kids adore these salty bites, and I do too)
– falafel and hummus with pita (mandatory inclusion — Kev tends to devour the falafel and he and I both love the hummus; we haven’t convinced the kids yet, but we’re working on it)
– chicken shawarma with sesame sauce over rice (I waffled about chicken versus lamb, but in the end, nostalgia won out)
This will feed us for at least two meals, maybe three…