Eating Out Amid Covid-19

Are you afraid of the Covid-19 virus?  Being a healthy individual in my forties, I am not afraid.  I have been going about my business and eating out.  I have also been promoting eating out to support local businesses including Chinatown.  But after the new State regulations in California that Governor Gavin Newsom announced today about Covid-19, I admit I’m a little scared.   I’m having second thoughts about eating out.  I feel fine, but I have to worry about others that I may be in contact with.  My mother is over 65 with preexisting conditions so even if she stays home, she may not be safe if I visit her having been in contact with others.  I haven’t visited my 101 year old grandmother who lives in a skilled nursing facility in about a month and that was mandated by the facility early on.  It’s sad, but I totally support this decision since seniors are the most vulnerable and we know what happened in King County in Washington State.  

Covid-19 is all I think about and its been giving me anxiety so much that on Friday, I just wanted to go out for tacos and margaritas.  I have been wanting to try Doña on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.  Doña reinvented themselves when they closed the restaurant Doña Tomas in Temescal and took over the space that was once Chow.  They are now a much more casual restaurant.  Unless you are sitting at the bar, you would go to the register, order your food, and find a table. 

My friend and I missed happy hour, but on Monday through Friday from 3-6, you can get $2 off beer, wine, cocktails and snacks.  It would have been nice to save a few bucks, especially for my margarita.


We ordered chips and guacamole, a salad, and tacos.  One thing I didn’t like was that they brought all our food out together.  It would’ve been nice to have that spaced out. Because now we had to eat our tacos first, otherwise they would get soggy.

chips and guacamole

We had a fish taco and a chicken taco.  I enjoyed the fish taco very much.  The rock cod was lightly battered with cabbage, pickled Fresno chilis and dressed with a slightly tangy chipotle aioli.  The chicken taco had an avocado salsa and pickled red onion. Truthfully the latter taco was a bit salty.


I loved the ensalada de doña.  It was a substantial sized salad full of fresh veggies. It had little gems, jicama, carrots, watermelon radish, scallions, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a lemon vinaigrette.

ensalada de doña

I actually thought the restaurant was very spacious and set up very well for social distance.  There are some booths and the tables had a good amount of space between them.  I also noticed employees conscientiously cleaning tables with spray bottles and towels.  I love that Doña is now offering online ordering with curbside pickup.  

It’s our duty to help flatten the curve.  I’m not an expert, but common sense says stay home if you can and when you are out, wash your hands often.  Restaurants need to be mindful as well and keep everyone safe by being sanitary.  For many local restaurants losing business, they are promoting take-out and some like Doña are offering curbside pick up.  Can you afford to buy gift certificates to use later? How about purchasing restaurant merchandise or restaurant cookbooks?  That would help businesses too.  We are all in this together and have to look after each other because we can’t trust the federal government to do so. I can’t think of anything better than to enjoy some delicious take out and catch up on The Crown.