Some Assembly Required

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A take-home breakfast kit from Two Chicks in Reno

Reno-Tahoe businesses innovate during the pandemic with take-home kits.

Pivoting has been the name of the game for restaurant and bar owners during the pandemic, and one creative solution to help them deal with constant closures and changing regulations has been the take-home kit. Edible Reno-Tahoe has rounded up some of the best take-home kits in the region, for everything from making your own cocktails to fixing breakfast or brunch, to keeping your culinary juices flowing while continuing to support local businesses.

Breakfast in Bed

Tired of the avocado toast you’ve been making at home for more than a year now? Mix up your morning routine with a take-home kit from Two Chicks, with locations in South Reno and Midtown. For just $35, feed four to six people with the breakfast taco kit, which includes 20 corn tortillas, a dozen eggs, two pounds of Basque-style chorizo, and house-made pico de gallo and avocado-lime cream sauce. On the sweeter side, flip your own sourdough pancakes from Two Chicks to serve alongside eggs, two pounds of applewood smoked bacon or maple-sage sausage, and butter and syrup to slather all over. And don’t forget the take-home cocktail kits! Stir up a strawberry-lemonade mimosa, bloody mary, or peach Bellini to wash down the apple cinnamon French toast you mastered at home. For details, visit Twochicksreno.com.

Perenn Bakery in Reno uses a few innovative methods to get its artisanal-baked goods into your home, including take-and-bake flaky croissants and glazed croissant cinnamon rolls that will have your home smelling just as delicious as the bakery. Enjoy all the goodness of Perenn’s signature breakfast sandwich from the comfort of your kitchen, thanks to the four-serving kit that just requires a little toasting and heating of the homemade English muffins and egg soufflés before adding bacon jam or sausage, Cheddar cheese, and chipotle aioli. Alternatively, make your own ricotta toast with sourdough, seasonal fruit, honey, and pistachio, or create an eight-person spread of lox, soft-boiled eggs, sourdough toast, labneh, za’atar, quick pickles, and fresh pea shoots. For details, visit Perennbakery.com.

Better Than Takeout

Though Café de Thai in Reno began offering do-it-yourself dishes long before the terms “social distancing” and “stay-at-home order” came to dominate our lives, owner Alex Ngo certainly saw a surge in their popularity over the last year.

Through the food delivery app Grubhub, Ngo offers a “We Prep You Chef” section of his menu that allows customers to make garlic noodles, Indochine fried rice, and yellow curry, all with a choice of chicken, shrimp, or tofu. The two-serving kits come with instructions, cleaned and prepped veggies, cooking oil, sauce, uncooked protein, and rice or noodles. Occasionally, Ngo mixes it up with a new special added to the cook-at-home section. The bonus? You can add a bottle of wine to your delivery, too. For details, visit Cafedethaireno.net.

DIY Decorating

The couple behind Happy Tiers Bakery is preparing to open its storefront in Incline Village, but in the meantime, husband and wife Jason and Andrea Jurss are busy in their Minden commercial kitchen cranking out custom cakes, homemade ice cream, brownies, quiches … and the ultimate pandemic boredom buster for children, cookie-decorating kits.

With “every cookie cutter shape you can imagine,” according to Andrea, Happy Tiers produces at-home decorating kits delivered to your door, for free, from Sparks to South Lake Tahoe. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Fourth of July cookie kits are popular during the warmer months. Customers can choose from sugar cookies pre-iced in white with a palette of edible food coloring to paint on and plain cookies with four different colors of icing in piping bags. Happy Tiers also offers gluten-free sugar cookies. For details, visit Happytiersbakery.com.

Batch Cupcakery in Reno offers a fun kit for the whole family. Cupcake decorating kits come complete with six vanilla or chocolate (or three of each flavor) cupcakes, two piping bags of frosting in vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream (or you can request strawberry or lemon frosting), and sprinkles. The kits are $20 each and must be ordered 24 hours in advance. For details, visit Batchcupcakery.com.

Reno-based Mix Bakeshop offers cookie-decorating kits on select major holidays. For details, visit Mixreno.com.

Bring the Bar Home

Spice up evenings with Reno Public House’s Picon punch kit. Owner Christopher Costa makes this Basque cocktail with Torani Amer (an aperitif made with cinchona bark, gentian, and bitter orange); brandy; grenadine; a splash of soda water; and lemon zest. The liquor mix comes pre-portioned in the kit, along with two Picon punch glasses. All you have to add is ice, a splash of the provided Topo Chico, and a slice of the lemon peel. The $40 kit provides four to six drinks, depending on their stiffness. Reno Public House also offers a rotating selection of other cocktail kits available for purchase on its website. For details, visit Renopublic.com.

The folks at Reno’s Ferino Distillery have created what they call “a heightened version of the Manhattan,” which you can make at home with Ferino’s Tried & True Manhattan Kit. The $55 kit includes 16 ounces of the base cocktail, a blend of Kentucky rye whiskey, Amaro Cannella, and two types of sweet vermouth, providing enough to make five or six cocktails. For details, visit Ferinodistillery.com.

So whether you’re ready to enjoy these businesses’ food and drinks on the premises or prefer to do so in the comfort of your own home, you’ll enjoy the freshest offerings possible.

Claire McArthur continues to be impressed with the way Reno-Tahoe businesses have stepped up with creative solutions during a year that has been anything but inspiring. They deserve our support.

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Discover new products, thriving traditions, or exciting food events, festivals, restaurants, and markets – all of the things that are helping to make us a true culinary destination.