Restaurants sell extra ingredients as groceries to make extra funds during pandemic

Media Credit: Camille DeSanto | Assistant Photo Editor

D.C. favorites like Founding Farmers, Sospeso and Mola are selling extra ingredients directly to customers.

Struggling to survive off take-out and delivery alone, some restaurants are repurposing extra raw ingredients into groceries to bring in some extra income.

Restaurants are selling their extra ingredients as groceries alongside their regular menus, packaging items like produce, meats, dairy and even caviar by the tin. If you’re still in D.C. and looking to avoid the grocery store crowds, here are some restaurants that are doubling as delivering grocers during the pandemic.

Founding Farmers

Founding Farmers considers itself a one-stop shop for meals, groceries and other household essentials, and it’s right. Along with its regular dishes, the menu includes sections for deli, butchery, seafood and produce as well as pantry staples like dish soap, toilet paper and bottled water. It also offers pet food, CBD products like gummies ($54 for a 30-count pack), assorted wines, beers and bottled cocktails.

Open for pickup or daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Order here from Tyson’s Corner, Reston Station or Massachusetts Avenues locations.

Emilie’s

If you’re skeptical about visiting reopening farmers markets, Emilie’s is offering staples like produce, meat and dairy along with its specialty products. You can pick up ingredients like a sourdough starter ($5), house made Vietnamese chicken pho broth ($7/quart), Szechuan honey butter ($1/ounce) and dried shiitake mushroom ($1/ounce). There’s no limit on the number of items you purchase.

Open for pickup or delivery daily 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Order here from Emilie’s, 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Cafe Fili

Cafe Fili is selling groceries alongside beverages and treats, some of which have a mediterranean flare. Restock on assorted dairy products, eggs ($6.50/half-dozen) and Lyon bakery breads or pick from an assortment of chai ranging in price from $17 to $21 per box of tea bags. You can also shop for bags of coffee beans ($14.95), Italian olive oils ($49 to $69), bottled wines and beer.

Open daily, hours for pickup and delivery vary: view here. Order here from Cafe Fili, 701 Second St. NE

Fiola Mare

If you’re planning an extravagant dinner party with your quarantine partners, Fiola Mare is selling some of its premium ingredients typically used to cook dishes. You can piece together a gourmet cheese plate by purchasing its cheeses like cow’s milk burrata ($2.50/ounce), Parmigiano Vacche Rosse ($2.50/ounce) or Taleggio cheese ($2.50/ounce). Maybe you want to indulge in its Calvisius caviar selection for $40 to $65 per tin or buy some whole soft shell crabs ($12/crab) and beef tenderloin filets ($16/6-ounce piece) for a surf and turf meal.

Open for pickup or delivery 4 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 2 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Order here from Fiola Mare, 3100 K St. NW

Heart + Seoul

Seoul Spice, a Korean comfort food restaurant, launched a new company bodega called Heart + Seoul in late March. The spot distributes local D.C. goods, cleaning products, produce, pantry items and specialty Korean items. On its bodega site, it promotes Whisked!, a local cookie company, RAKO, a local coffee roaster, and Chacotenago, a local chocolatier. You can also shop for items like sushi rice ($2/pound), Gochugaru chili flakes ($5), Korean barbecue beef ($15/pound) and Kimchi ($6).

Open for delivery Monday through Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Place your order here by 5 p.m. the day before your desired delivery time.

Republic Cantina

If you’re missing fiesta Friday’s with your friends, fill your fridge with groceries from Republic Cantina. You can buy flour ($5) or corn tortillas ($3), house-made chips ($2/bag) and salsa roja ($6/pint), refried beans ($5/pint) and most importantly margaritas. These to-go margaritas serve four people. The classic margarita is $32, while the jalapeno and pineapple margarita infused with mezcal and the spicy fresno margarita are both $34.

Open for pickup or delivery daily 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. & 4:30 to 9 p.m. Order here from Republic Cantina, 43 N St. NW

Mola

Mola, a Spanish tapas spot, offers a few basic pantry items but mainly sells specialty and Spanish products. It stocks an assortment of preserved fish ($4 to $15.50/container), Spanish sausages like a smoked chorizo ($12/pound) and cheeses like an Idiazabal aged sheep’s cheese ($13/half pound). You can also order from a selection of bottled Spanish wine and liquor.

Open Wednesdays for pickup between 3 and 5 p.m. or delivery between 5 and 8 p.m. Orders for groceries must be placed here by 11 p.m. Sunday for the following Wednesday.

Sospeso

If you’re looking to replenish your condiments, the mediterranean restaurant Sospeso has you covered. It sells house-made marmalades, spice blends, jams and sauces. Try its Za’atar ($12.99) spice blend with thyme, oregano, sumac, cumin and sesame or its La Mostarda Di Agrumi marmalade ($6) with citrus, honey, rosemary and mustard powder. You can also add items like a whole roasted octopus ($35) or a tray of Spanakopita ($65) to your order.

Open for pickup or delivery daily 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Order here Sospeso, 1344 H St. NE

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