Out and About

Best family-style meals

Posted March 4, 2013 6:23 p.m. EST
Updated March 5, 2013 11:58 a.m. EST

— Maybe you like to cook. On the vast majority of nights, you'll prepare a home-cooked meal for the household. But sometimes, you don't want to put in the work at home or the wait at a restaurant. That's where these family-style takeout options come in. There are so many easy ways to pick up an entree and sides that we couldn't limit it to just five.

Simple Southern

For Southern standards served in bulk, head to Cary, Morrisville or Durham for Danny's Bar-B-Que. Choose your meat – pork, fish, beef, chicken or turkey – then order enough to feed your crowd. Danny's also offers sides a la cart at a selection of sizes.

The Q Shack’s tailgate specials are another option to feed four to six people. For about $23, you get two pounds of pork BBQ or chicken BBQ, two medium sides, such as mashed sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, collard greens and more and lots of hushpuppies.

Mideastern tastes

Neomonde, the Mediterranean restaurant with locations in Raleigh and Morrisville, is a reader favorite that also serves up family style. You can buy their salads and other delicacies by the pound or try their sampler platters. There’s even a make-your-own platter option where you’ll have to make the difficult choice of deciding exactly what you’ll take home – baba ghanouj or stuffed grape leaves, falafel or fatoush. And it’s always a treat for kids to pick a little something from the dessert case.

If you are interested in some more upscale sampling, taste the Mideast at Sitti in downtown Raleigh. Your server will guide you through the options for small and large plates, cold and hot appetizers and kabobs. Tasting menus are also available, including an all-vegetarian option. Just about everything is portioned to share.

From the market

For between $15 and $18, Whole Foods serves up a platter for four of an entree and a large salad. The options at the Whole Foods in Raleigh on Wade Avenue the other day included turkey meatloaf, an alfredo dish and roasted chicken. Just pick it up at the store and heat it up at home.

For a bit more, you can knock out a week of dinners with the Foster’s Market family meal plan. For $100, get five made-from-scratch meals. There are kids menu and vegetarian options. 

Reader suggestions

Mami Nora's tasty rotisserie chicken is also available for the family from Raleigh and Durham locations. Prices start at $7.95 per person for meat, sides – including the unexpected plantains and yucca fries – and drinks. Mami Nora's will also assemble a fresh plate to go with options ranging from chicken salad to steak and vegetables over rice.

And finally, Zoe's Kitchen, with locations in Morrisville and Raleigh, makes it even easier to bring home dinner for the family. They offer "take home tubs" by the pint and quart of popular salads and sides, or order up a "dinner for four" to include a starter salad, enough entree to share and a side.

We also got "honorable mentions" for honorable mentions: Assaggio’s in north Raleigh; the deli at Harris Teeter; K&W Cafeteria, which has a to-go family-size menu; Tropical Picking Chicken in Wake Forest; the family packs at Dixie Belle’s BBQ in Apex; and Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q.