Flatbread with warm goat cheese, squash and mushrooms at LJ’s Bistro & Bar in Lake Stevens (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

Flatbread with warm goat cheese, squash and mushrooms at LJ’s Bistro & Bar in Lake Stevens (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

Sick of cooking? Here are our top 5 quarantine takeout joints

These places will send you home with delicious dinners for the entire family.

JIMMY PEPPERS

You’ll want to grab some down-home grub at Jimmy Peppers in Everett before this quarantine is over.

We’re talking burgers, brisket and pulled pork sliders, grilled cheese sandwiches and more. If it can be griddled to a golden-brown on a flat-top grill, it’s on the menu. Owner J.C. Misko has a food truck by the same name, but it’s not in operation right now because of the governor’s shutdown.

We recommend you try the pork and brisket “Little Jimmys” (aka sliders) or a pulled pork grilled cheese “sammich” paired with the chipotle BBQ “spudmuffins.”

If pulled pork grilled cheese isn’t your thing, Jimmy Peppers also makes five other varieties, plus French dips, plus 10 kinds of burgers, plus the “JP Dog” a hot dog that’s loaded with caramelized onions sauteed in butter on a toasted bun, then smothered with Misko’s chipotle ranch cream cheese.

The popper burger ($10.98) off Misko’s “secret menu” is another favorite at The Herald, but it’s a spicy one. It’s a burger topped with bacon, a four cheese blend, chipotle ranch cream cheese, plenty of chopped jalapenos and habaneros, and a toasted bun. Be warned: You might cry.

“When I tell you it’s hot, that’s putting it mildly,” said Randie Pospical, a sales recruitment specialist at The Daily Herald. “Whole habaneros, seeds and all, are on this burger, but the flavor is so worth it.”

Pospical also is a fan of the chicken bites and chipotle BBQ spuds — and all the tasty sauces that go with them.

New to the menu, thanks to the pandemic, is a family meal deal for $60 worth of mac and cheese, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, slider buns, coleslaw and chipotle BBQ chips. Note: If you do get the family meal, you’ll need to pre-order it.

There’s also a Jimmy Peppers app. Download the app and get $5 off your first order. If you order while in the parking lot, and include your make and model information, staff will run it out to your car. You can also call, order online, or drop by.

If you go: Jimmy Peppers, 10122 Evergreen Way, Suite 10, Everett, is open for takeout 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Call 425-585-0028 or go to www.jimmypeppersonline.com for more information.

LJ’S BISTRO & BAR

We’re sorry that you can’t enjoy LJ’s Bistro & Bar’s sleek decor right now, but at least you can still order off a well-executed menu.

The Lake Stevens restaurant’s owners — the sister-and-brother team of Lindsay and Josh Herschlip — finished a major renovation last year. Gone is the 1970s basement rumpus-room look; in its place is a stylish, updated interior that emphasizes dark woods.

Alas, you’ll just have to put LJ’s on your happy hour list once restrictions are eased for restaurants and bars.

We recommend a round of shareable dishes from the to-go menu, such as the white wine and chili flake prawns ($15), flatbread with warm goat cheese, squash and mushrooms ($13) and the truffle fries with black truffle salt and white truffle aioli ($7).

The flatbread is the star. The warm goat cheese pairs beautifully with the roasted squash and mushrooms — and no sweet balsamic glaze, which you so often get with this combination of ingredients. It’s perfect.

The to-go menu also includes a wedge salad (bacon, egg, blue cheese) for $13, Wagyu beef burger with fries for $16, smoked gouda mac ‘n’ cheese for $19 and jambalaya for $23.

You don’t have to order off the to-go menu. If you order with Toast takeout online, the menu options at least double. You can also call and drop by for curbside pick-up.

Whatever menu you choose, don’t forget to order dessert. Favorites at The Herald include the dark chocolate creme brulee and the lemon vanilla bean cheesecake.

Angela Neal, a multimedia sales consultant, has been ordering the wine and chili prawns, truffle fries and lemon cheesecake for takeout on repeat.

“Their food is so good — I couldn’t imagine going the whole quarantine without those fries,” she said.

If you go: LJ’s Bistro & Bar, 430 91st Ave. NE, Lake Stevens, is open for takeout from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 425-334-0604 or go to ljsbistroandbar.com.

CAPERS + OLIVES

If you’re in the mood for Italian, then order takeout from Capers + Olives in Everett. Owner-chef Jimmy Liang opened the restaurant opened in 2018 — and we couldn’t have been more impressed with his house-made pasta.

With the coronavirus outbreak, Liang stopped offering lunch, so the takeout menu is also the dinner menu. You can call or stop by for pick-up orders.

We recommend the $12 bruschetta and the $10 chioggia beets for starters. The bruschetta features a smoked salmon spread, topped with pickled shallot, capers, lemon juice and dandelion leaves. The beets are topped with goat cheese, almonds and fresno chili.

As for the pasta, we think you’d also like the $16 bucatini with pancetta, which is Italian-cured pork belly, red onion and an egg yolk; or the rigatoni with fennel sausage, English peas and Parmesan brodo (a broth) for $15.

“I’m a sucker for the bucatini and strozzapreti pasta dishes at Capers + Olives, and the charred broccoli is excellent,” said Ben Watanabe, The Herald’s transportation reporter.

But what Watanabe raved about was Liang’s family-style meals for two. “Their to-go meals for two are an absolute steal,” he said. There are two options: You can order either Mary’s chicken, stozzapreti, pear salad and garlic bread for $40. The chicken thigh is served with au jus, cipollini and cherries.

Or you can get teres major steak, rigatoni, asparagus and garlic bread for $48. Teres major is a super tender 8-10 ounce cut from the shoulder served with potatoes and spring vegetables.

If you go: Capers + Olives, 2933 Colby Ave., Everett, is open 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday for takeout. Call 425-322-5280 or go to www.capersandolives.com for more information.

SABOR A MEXICO

If your quarantine comfort food is Mexican, then it’s time to check out Sabor a Mexico in Mukilteo. Owned by Ruben Marsical, the restaurant is located in a strip mall anchored by a 7-Eleven.

You would never expect to find a gem like Sabor a Mexico there. But a gem it is.

Note that we didn’t say it was hidden: The Mexican restaurant was slammed for Cinco de Mayo this year. A video Mariscal posted to Facebook shows a busy kitchen and lots of bagged to-go orders organized by table in the empty dining room.

We recommend the chicken fajitas ($17.99) or the camaron enchiladas ($18.25). You might not get to enjoy the sizzle, but the fajita-spiced chicken with just the right sear, caramelized onions, and red and green bell peppers, does not disappoint.

The enchiladas are two corn tortillas rolled, filled with shrimp and mushrooms, and topped with green sauce, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream. You can get them with the traditional rice and beans. We cleaned the plate.

The menu, which you can look up online, has a lot to offer. Some of Sabor’s best-sellers for curbside pick-up are the carne asada, three enchiladas and the tacos al carbon.

It’s The Herald’s Eileen Pridmore’s favorite spot to go for takeout. She’ll pick up a carne asada to go about once a week.

“It’s been there for 25 years or so, and it’s the best Mexican food around,” said Pridmore, who works in the human resources department. “You can even get a margarita to go, which makes the meal complete.”

If your Mexican meal is more complete with dessert, Sabor a Mexico offers flan, churros, deep-fried ice cream, sopadillas (like a Mexican crepe) and cajeta de leche (a pudding-like cream). You can’t go wrong with the flan. It’s a Mexican must.

If you go: Sabor a Mexico, 8410 Mukilteo Speedway, Suite A, Mukilteo, is open for takeout from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 425-710-9094 or go to www.saboramexico.com.

SOLID MODERN TERIYAKI

SOLID Modern Teriyaki — formerly Town Center Teriyaki — in Mill Creek will give you your teriyaki fix during the quarantine.

The name changed in 2018 with the ownership: TK Kim, took over the restaurant for his mom, Kay Kim, who opened the teriyaki spot in 2009. TK remodeled the restaurant and made some additions to the menu, but Kay is still there to take your order.

We recommend our go-tos: a chicken teriyaki and gyoza combo, served with rice and a salad ($10), and the chicken fried rice ($12), which is served with diced egg, mixed vegetables and chopped asparagus. The chicken in both dishes are juicy and tender.

Also on the menu are Korean favorites, like beef bulgogi, Korean chicken wings, kimchi fried rice, and Chinese favorites like Mongolian beef, and sweet and sour chicken. In addition, you can order a variety of sushi rolls, noodle or rice bowls, tempura, soups and sandwiches.

“I love the teriyaki — or fried rice, or katsu, or bubble tea — at Solid Teriyaki in Mill Creek Town Center,” said Sacha Coughran, a graphic designer at The Daily Herald. “Those are my reliables.”

When she goes for takeout, Coughran gets a strawberry bubble tea with the tapioca. “Oh, yeah,” she said. “Boba for the win.”

You can call for takeout and drop in, or get curbside pick-up. You can also order it for delivery through DoorDash. If curbside pick-up is requested, you’ll need to park at the designated space near Central Market.

If you go: SOLID Modern Teriyaki, 15603 Main St., Suite B104, Mill Creek, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday for takeout. Call 425-379-5000 or go to www.solid-mt.com for more information.

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