I don't think anyone would argue that the intrinsic value of comfort food has grown exponentially in the past year. If comfort food were a stock, it's like it hits a new all-time high every day...and then just keeps climbing. In fact, calling it "comfort" food almost does not even do it enough justice: high-carb, richly-flavored, stick-to-the-ribs dishes have more aptly, for our psyches and mental health, transformed into survival food!

Enter Pastaholics, a delivery-only "restaurant" serving a simple but satisfying Italian menu anchored by made-from-scratch pasta with traditional sauces and toppings. Sourced out of a "ghost-kitchen" on the west side of Midtown called Forrest Neighborhood Kitchen, there is no dine-in, no carryout, just delivery from third party delivery services (Black and Mobile, DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, and Zifty).

But for Italophiles, Pastaholics is like having your own personal chef (in this case, the talented Shaunya Noble) on-call; all you have to do is order and await the doorbell. Hop onto one of the delivery apps, pick a pasta, sauce, protein and even lots of other add ons. Plus Italian salads, sides, desserts--it's really like sitting in a restaurant but your kitchen table is the location and the waiter is a delivery service.

I ordered Cappellini with cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, and jalapenos. The noodles were ethereal and perfect, the chicken was juicy and flavorful white meat and overall the dish was mouth-burning, super-spicy just like I like it. My wife did penne with bolognese and grilled shrimp. My son did spaghetti and massive meatballs. For dessert--tiramisu, cheesecake, and gelato. For about an hour our dining room felt like we were in Florence at a neighborhood restaurant that felt like home. We all freaked out about how good it was and I have been craving it ever since. And the portions are gargantuan--these pasta dishes are easily 2 meals per person (but order one per person!)--I can attest that like most Italian, the pasta is even better the second day and you'll want to graze on this for at least another day. Check out the menu here and make it happen!

Will ghost kitchens like The Pastaholics thrive after the pandemic? Maybe not at first when people's pent-up desires to dine out are unleashed but having tried this concept and relishing the quality of the food, the ease of getting it, and the therapeutic/restorative experience of eating artisan-quality pasta of this caliber, I feel like things like this will absolutely stay in my rotation. So try Pastaholics yourself if you are in the delivery zone...and also consider Krungthep Tea Time, Bangkok Bold Asian Fusion Kitchen, Mattchews Asian Sandwiches; Chi-Talian Beef Sandwiches; and Moonbowls Korean which source out of the same ghost kitchen.

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Let me know your favorite places to dine and dash off to. I am always looking for inspiration!

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