Courtesy of Goldbelly
Some things—like New York’s Pastrami Queen sandwiches—just can’t be recreated at home. But you can have them delivered.
The Goldbelly delivery service lets you support small food businesses and enjoy your favorite meals from a distance.
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If you’re like AFAR’s food-obsessed editors, you’ve likely planned entire itineraries around eating or perhaps even booked a plane ticket to make a pilgrimage to a specific restaurant. But with travel at a virtual standstill and restaurants limited to delivery service across the globe, what are food lovers with a bad case of wanderlust to do?
Intrepid cooks and bakers may be able to recreate some recipes at home, but if you have a hankering for NYC pizza or a half-smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl in D.C., there’s also a way to get your favorite meals delivered straight to your door while also supporting local restaurants and other small food businesses at the same time.
Founded in 2013, Goldbelly is an online storefront that ships iconic American regional foods using UPS or FedEx overnight services within the United States. Goldbelly’s website is loaded with hundreds of options from ice cream to bagels to barbecue all organized by region. To help narrow your options, here are a few favorites that AFAR editors are (literally) ordering right now to recreate their favorite travel memories at home and support small business at the same time.
Where to find the best pastrami is a classic New York City debate, at least in my house. For me, it’s no contest: Pastrami Queen on the Upper East Side. Why? The pastrami is evenly marbled with fat, well-brined, and has a stronger pepper flavor, which results in a meat so tender you can nudge it apart with the tap of your finger. Details matter, too: The seeded rye is always soft, the mustard not too sharp, and the pickles snappy and crisp. One of my favorite afternoon agendas is to visit the Met or the Met Breuer, then walk east to Pastrami Queen for dinner. (The late Anthony Bourdain had his own Pastrami Queen routine, and called the sandwich “if not the best, among the very best.”) And though my itinerary may be off the table for quite some time, I can still get pastrami delivered to my door—and it tastes just like it does in the shop. —Katherine LaGrave, Digital features editor
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Before my first trip to Charleston, friends who had visited the Southern city kept saying I absolutely had to go to Callie’s. I thought, They’re just biscuits, right? Hoo boy. These impossibly buttery, flaky, doughy morsels add a side of comfort to whatever’s on your plate and can be stretched as far as your self-control (which, admittedly, might diminish after you’ve tried them). Bacon and eggs for breakfast? Pop a cheese and chive biscuit in the oven. Grilled cheese for lunch? Perfect accompaniment to the country ham version. Or top off literally any dinner with the cinnamon biscuit (my favorite). —Nicole Antonio, Managing editor
Last fall, I went home to the San Francisco Bay Area and spent a weekend with my mom in Marin County puttering around Stinson Beach and Bolinas. Before I flew back to New York, we stopped at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, and I smuggled back a small package of its creamy Mt. Tam cheese. You can find this iconic dairy’s cheeses in upscale grocery stores in Manhattan, but not where I live in Queens. I ordered this three-pack, which also comes with the seasonal St. Pat and the pungent Red Hawk cheese, not only because I missed good cheese but also because I missed my home and my mom. —Lyndsey Matthews, Destination news editor
I’m the kind of person who convinces everyone at the table to order a different sweet treat at the end of the meal so I—er, and the rest of the party—can try a bite of everything on the dessert menu. Enter the Tiny Pies gift box, the chronic sampler’s dream. The four pack of “single serve” pies—shipped straight from the Austin, Texas, bakery—grants a few bites each of the crunchy pecan with flaky crust (sugary but not overly so); the dangerously dense Texas two step, a hybrid brownie-pecan pie; the bright and tart cherry pie; and the classic apple pie with a hint of cinnamon. —N.A.
I’m currently self-isolating at my dad’s house in northern Maine, where I normally come each summer for lake time and lobster rolls. But right now, the lake is frozen solid and my favorite lobster roll spot is closed indefinitely, so I’ll be ordering the brown butter lobster roll kit from Eventide Oyster Co. instead. These are far from traditional—the lobster is doused in brown butter and piled on top of a steamed bun—but I tried them a few years ago when my brother got married in Portland and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since. Hopefully, they’ll trick me into thinking it’s summer and life is finally back to normal. —Natalie Beauregard, Travel guides editor
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Six months after we’d moved to Virginia and were invited to holiday parties at neighbors’ houses, my snide teenage self noticed one consistent thing on the buffet tables in every home: No matter how elaborate or basic the rest of the family’s offerings were, there would always be a tray of ham biscuits. I’m not talking lofty just-baked biscuits piled with thick slices of moist ham. These were/are little flat, squared-off supermarket-bakery-made biscuits, with a light dusting of flour on top and inside a modest smear of unsalted butter and a few skimpy shavings of crimson-red dry ham. My teen self smirked but, of course, tried one. And unseen angels burst into song, praising pork and all its goodness. Virginia ham is famous for a reason. It’s smoky and strong and you only need a few meager shards to create a flavor explosion of salt and fat and something altogether holy in your mouth. Unless you’ve got a grandaddy with a smokehouse, Edwards Virginia Smokehouse is the way to go. When my ham arrives, I’m planning to make ham biscuits, frittatas, sandwiches, and quarantine hors d’oeuvres and look for recipes that use pancetta or jamon and substitute a taste of Virginia instead. —Ann Shields, Managing editor travel guides
Earlier in April, my mom offered to send me a honey-baked ham so I could have an Easter brunch for one in quarantine in my apartment in Queens. Unfortunately, like many other things right now, hams were sold out most everywhere. So I celebrated in true New York fashion: With bagels, cream cheese, and lox from one of Manhattan’s most beloved bagel spots, H&H. Choosing the best NYC bagel is like picking a favorite child—virtually impossible—but H&H is a city institution that has been referenced time and time again in pop culture (Dwight Schrute uses a tray of them to bribe his coworkers on The Office, and even Cosmo Kramer worked there in Seinfeld). Around since 1972, H&H is still baking with its original recipe that produces a bagel with just the right amount of bite and chewiness. —L.M.
When I was in Austin last year with my boyfriend and our local friend, we woke up early (just once) to drive an hour outside the city to get to Louie Mueller before it opened, with the hope of skipping its famously long line. It was all worth it after the first bite of pulled pork. Normally I end up raving about brisket at barbecue joints, but I found myself deflecting my companions to dig into the brisket and ribs while I devoured more than my fair share of the juicy and salty shredded meat with just a drizzle of sauce. Luckily, the Goldbelly package is enough for three to four people to indulge (or two people for multiple meals). —N.A.
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