Takeout meal elevates a picnic in the park

by Tallahassee Table

Back when we started writing Tallahassee Table, we said that eating was the best way to bring people together and to enjoy what’s around us. That has become harder of late, but not impossible — with a little help from our local restaurants.

We ordered takeout family meals from Mimi’s Table, which we paid for in advance by credit card, and picked up curbside. (The last time we dined at Mimi’s, we were at tables covered with white linens and served by an attentive staff with accents of fresh flowers and retro posters. It was something special.)

This time, the scene was our favorite nearby park for a twilight picnic under the oaks. We each brought our own utensils, drinks, and plates. We sat at opposite ends of a long picnic table, the proper social distancing.

We served ourselves — and a shoutout to chef/owner William Lawson for packaging everything in paper boxes instead of Styrofoam — and supped among the wildflowers, serenaded by birds. The food, the camaraderie, and maybe a tad too much wine turned our little outing into something special.

William Lawson, executive chef and owner of Mimi’s Table.

Even in these circumstances, Mimi’s manages to maintain high quality cuisine. Options include a three-course dinner for one, small dinners for two, and large dinners for four plus a la carte items and kids’ meals. You can also order wine and beer to go, which we didn’t get but maybe next time.

My husband and I ordered the grilled pork chop dinner for two. It included bread, a garden salad, two huge pork chops, collard greens and mashed potatoes and a brownie for dessert for $40. Dinner for four is $75. We didn’t want a salad so Mimi’s gave us green beans instead, a delicious substitution.

Our pork chops were perfectly cooked with those desirable grill marks, tender and smoky, served with a small container of wild mushroom cream sauce. My husband said he could have eaten a jar of it. We had a mound of homey mashed potatoes and Southern-style collards with a hint of potent pot liquor. 

Our friends ordered the braised beef short ribs for two, slow-cooked in red wine sauce, served with roasted red potatoes and those delicious green beans. They also raved about their dinner.

We each received a large, aptly named “decadent” chocolate brownie garnished with a slice of strawberry. Just writing about it makes me want one right now.

Other family meal dinner choices include vegetable or meat lasagna and Tuscan chicken. We had enough to take some home for leftovers the next day. 

We ended our picnic happily, grateful that we can still count on simple pleasures in such uncertain times.

Mimi’s Table is at 1311 Miccosukee Rd. Takeout is available from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday to Sunday.  To order, go to Mimi’s website or call 850-999-8406. You can also order gift cards.

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