This Time, the Restaurant Came to Me

Rather than going to a restaurant this week, as I was snowed in, I’ve elected to do a bit of writing about a recent development in restauranting: app delivery.  But before I could, I had to justify writing it. This is, after all, a travel blog.  I pondered the question: “Can a service I usually use to deliver directly to my front door really count for an Umbrella Terms article?”  Then, I realized that the proper angle is thus: your flight has just landed.  It’s six thirty P.M. in a brand new city, and you’ve got five days here and jetlag to work against, so it’s early to bed tonight.  However, while traveling, you’ve never been able to eat at a restaurant that you can get at home (if you can help it), so how do you find a restaurant quickly enough?  Better yet, figuring out transportation on unfamiliar ground is beyond a hassle, especially when you’re already hungry. I submit that this is the perfect time to pay a bit extra to have quality, local food hand delivered to your door.

Another wrinkle: which app do you use? There’s three major ones: Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, and on the surface, they all appear pretty much the same.  They’ll all coax you in with delivery fee discounts for new users and the like, and there’s a great deal of restaurant overlap on their lineups.  However, the options are not all the same.  As I am not in an unfamiliar city, I had an idea of where I wanted to order food from.  Mad Mac’s is a mac n’ cheese joint that’s been around for a while, but I’ve never actually been to.  Since Morgan and I moved back, I haven’t even thought to go, as cheese is a distinctly non-vegan dish, so since she was away this week, I decided it was the perfect opportunity.

For those of you that haven’t used these services before, allow me to illuminate their beauty. Take our “new in town” example. You know you want Mexican food, but obviously don’t know any of the restaurants in the area.  All three sites are organized by types of food (Mexican, pizza, sushi, Chinese), and you can also search by name.  From there, it’s pretty much exactly like delivery from restaurants that have their own drivers.  The only other difference is that it generally takes more time between hitting “place order” and your doorbell ringing.  I find this understandable, as the entire appeal of the app(s) is that they’re delivering food from kitchens that aren’t optimized around delivery (some even might not have their own take-out).

I wound up using Grubhub, as it’s the only service that actually goes to Mad Mac’s. The food arrived exactly within the window projected the moment I placed my order, precisely an hour after I hit the button.  This is a bit of a time commitment, I realize, but if you’re ordering delivery, odds are you’re not leaving your house tonight anyway.  The benefit to this is the fact that when my buffalo mac n’ cheese arrived, it was the perfect temperature to start eating immediately.  I’ll be going to Mad Mac’s within the next few weeks to properly review both it and Grubhub, so we’ll see what’s different when the time comes.  Until then, order with confidence!

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