Restaurants like Huckleberry Cafe which have long lines can be very frustrating if you don’t have much time or patience. Yes, the menu is pricey, but the quality ingredients from the Niman Ranch Bacon to the Valrhona chocolate used in the croissants are costly, and it is worth it if you want to eat a wonderful meal.

If you long for a taste of the high quality food at this popular cafe, but have to get your meal to go to work, or go to a show, or go to pick up your kids, the only solution to getting what you want without sacrificing too much time is to pick up food to go that is already prepared. Thankfully Huckleberry has many prepared salads, sandwiches, and side dishes which are ready to go. I picked up their famous Turkey Meatballs (3 for $7.50) and a side of sauteed Spinach ($3.75) to heat up at home. The meatballs were juicy, light, and meaty, served with a tomato sauce that had a hint of cinnamon, giving them a nice slightly sweet flavor. The spinach was nicely sauteed with a little salt and some cayenne pepper to give it a bit of a kick.

Their Beef Brisket is probably the best version I have ever tasted. The meat is tender, flavorful, and robustly fills both the stomach and the senses with a nicely balanced melange of ingredients. I loved details like the whole tomatoes that are cooked down without having been cooked to death. I may never make beef brisket again because why should I go to all that trouble when this perfect dish is available for pick up six days a week? The portion was big enough to serve two for only $8.50.

The wonderful cinnamon sugar doughnut was actually a last minute indulgence at the register. The entire array of baked goods, including Valrhona Chocolate Croissants ($3.50), Old Fashioned Coffee Cake ($5), Blueberry Muffins ($2.75) and Bread Pudding ($6), was just too tempting to resist trying at least one item from the bakery case.

I’m glad I chose the doughnut, but next time I may skip the main courses and just pick up a completely sweet meal for a holiday breakfast.