S.F.'s New Delivery Services Don't Feature Fake Restaurants Like New York's Seamless
In this week's paper I wrote about my experiences testing some of the city's new food delivery services. One of the reasons restaurant delivery is ready for disruption, pardon the phrase, is that San Francisco's delivery options are pretty weak -- especially compared to a city like New York's.
Everyone I know in New York uses Seamless GrubHub, but it's not without its problems. Eater has a troubling report from the Tribeca Citizen that discovered that one Chinese restaurant was selling its food under four different names. Eater NY also recently found one Chinatown restaurant apparently using three different names on Seamless. Not saying that this is happening here in S.F., but the biggest reason I don't use the service is because it's overrun with restaurants I've never heard of, so I wouldn't be shocked if some of the same shenanigans were happening here.
Either way, there are plenty of new options for those with disposable income to get hot food delivered to their doors. Of the new services, I was most impressed with Sprig, a delivery-only restaurant with a kitchen helmed by former Google chef Nate Keller. Every day brings three new entrees, usually a chicken, a beef, and a vegetarian. All cost $10, delivery fee is $2 per order. I've used it twice, and the hot food has arrived at my Hayes Valley apartment within 12 minutes of ordering it on my phone. You can't beat the convenience.
SpoonRocket, which contributor Molly Gore is a big fan of, runs on the same model, and though it only offers two dishes a day, they cost $6 each. It's currently only available in teh East Bay and SOMA lunchtime, but a company spokesperson told me that SOMA's just a "jumping off point" they were planning to expand into more of S.F. soon.
There are also a host of new services that will deliver food from restaurants that don't have their own delivery, apps like Postmates and websites like Caviar. With those I found that your mileage varied depending on how many people you were ordering for (to help defray the costs) and also what food it was. Some foods need to be eaten hot -- like soup dumplings from Shanghai Dumpling House, which I always want but hardly make it out to the Richmond to try.
Perhaps the best use I've heard for the gopher service Postmates is to order from Old Mandarin Islamic way out in Parkside. Unusual, tricky-to-access food that goes great with a group: Count me in next time.