Culture

Out of Toilet Paper? Restaurants Might Be Your Best Bet

A gift of toilet paper from the Wharf.
A gift of toilet paper from the Wharf. Photo by Laine Doss
click to enlarge A gift of toilet paper from the Wharf. - PHOTO BY LAINE DOSS
A gift of toilet paper from the Wharf.
Photo by Laine Doss
Earlier this week, the Wharf, an open-air food hall with locations on the New River in Fort Lauderdale and the Miami River in Miami, sent out a pandemic-appropriate care package to its loyal customers.

Along with a note imploring the recipient to "stay tuned for exciting details on our grand reopening," the box was filled with giveaways: a gimme cap, some plastic to-go cups, a few stickers — and a roll of toilet paper.

It's not news that toilet paper has become scarce. Stores can't keep it on the shelves, and online retailers like Amazon are measuring backorders in weeks or months.

Some helpful news outlets are running lists of alternatives, including rags, sponges, cotton pads, and, yes, corncobs, but local restaurants are getting in on the act as well, and they're offering the real thing.

At no charge!

To lure customers and help their fellow human beings, at least four Miami establishments are throwing in a roll of toilet paper with every food purchase.

What goes in must come out, after all. (Makes sense, when you think about it.)

Sushi Maki offers a free roll of toilet paper with every takeout or delivery order of $20 or more. “With this last week being extremely tough for everyone, we wanted to do something fun for our guests,” CEO Abe Ng writes via email. “Toilet paper is such a hot commodity right now. Plus, toilet paper rolls… sushi rolls… it just made sense." If you want TP, you have to order directly through Sushi Maki's app or website. Good while supplies last. Various locations; sushimaki.com.

You might say Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is offering the most complete family meal ever conceived. For $82, you get two dozen pieces of 27-hour-brined chicken, plus macaroni and cheese, biscuits, a bottle of wine, a bottle of water, and a roll of toilet paper. The restaurant accepts phone orders for pickup and direct delivery with no distance limit. (Ordering directly helps support Yardbird employees.) 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-5220; runchickenrun.com.

In addition to prepared food, Beach House in Pompano Beach is offering a host of supplies, including produce, bread, meat, and seafood. To sweeten the pot, so to speak, they're throwing in a complimentary roll of toilet paper with every purchase over $20. Brittany Chapman, director of sales and marketing for Beach House's parent company, Brimstone Restaurant Group, says the TP offer provides a bit of comic relief "in the face of this toilet-paper pandemic." Order by phone or online for pickup or delivery. 270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-607-6540; beachhousepompano.com.

And last but not least, Red the Steakhouse's Peter Vauthy is extending a hand — make that a roll — to anyone who needs it. The chef/partner at the South Beach steakhouse, who's also selling quality meats to take home, says he's happy to sell his stock of toilet paper at cost. "The entire toilet-paper thing has blown my mind," he tells New Times. (Ours too, we replied.) Be sure to call in advance, in case the chef runs out. 119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-3688; redthesteakhouse.com.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss