Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.
2808 McKinney Avenue
Promised Delivery Time: "between 12:00 and 12:40"
Actual Delivery Time: 12:25
Easy online ordering: 20
Estimated delivery time that rivals that of cable guy: -5
Build-your-own salads with dozens of cool toppings: 30
Dressing on the side, for the ladies: 10
Options for carnivores: 30
Impatient delivery person who felt right at home at my desk: -15
New Big Wong 92
Tuk Tuk Asian Cuisine 91
Lover's Pizza and Pasta 91
Philly Connection 90
Piggie Pies Pizzas & Pasta 90
A few times a week, I like to indulge in a little--well, big--treat from McDonald's. I'm a fan of the Big Breakfast (with extra sausage), so on my way to work one Friday morning, I made a stop at the Golden Arches. As I stood in line, the manager caught a glimpse of me and yelled, "Big Breakfast, extra sausage?!" I blushed as the other customers stared at me, probably thinking, "Damn, how often do you eat here?"
So when I got to work, I promised myself that I wouldn't make the same mistake during lunch.
I remembered that a couple co-workers recently picked up lunch at Greenz, and I have to admit the food wasn't the spinach and alfalfa mass I had imagined. I routinely drive by Greenz and balk at their slogan, "salads for z' adventurous." Are they catering to vegan skydivers?
I found the website and discovered they deliver to the Observer without an additional charge. (For orders outside their delivery zone, you have to use diningin.com, which does charge a delivery fee.) I got even more excited when I saw the option for online ordering and decided that it wasn't too early (at 10 am) to order lunch.
The website redirected to netwaiter.com, and I was amazed at how user-friendly the process was. To order, you just simply click on the "order" button next to the menu item. Then you have the choice to add special instructions or additional toppings ranging from BBQ pork to wasabi peas. Why can't Domino's be this simple?
Thanks to my McDonald's moment, I decided to go with a couple of healthier options and picked the fruit salad and the Mediterranean salad. I also got an order of brie pastry puffs, just so I could try one.
Just one, I swear!
The checkout was a breeze, even though netwaiter.com requires users to set up an account. It only took a minute to do this and get my order in the system. But I was perplexed when I saw the estimated delivery time: "Today between 12:00 and 12:40 pm." Maybe they should consider a merger with the cable company.
Netwaiter.com doesn't have an option for payment by credit card, and the confirmation page told me I was going to have to pay cash. Five minutes later, a guy from Greenz called to confirm my order and get my credit card information. He said my order should arrive around noon, so I kept an eye on the clock as the lunch hour approached.
I left my desk up front for two minutes and was stunned at what I found when I got back. The Greenz delivery woman was hunched over my desk. She had picked up the phone and was jabbing at keys in an attempt to reach someone to sign for the order.
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Slightly intrusive, don't you think?
I dug in to the box of brie puff pastries, accompanied by a light strawberry sauce. The pastries were good, but the strawberry sauce wasn't as interesting as it looked. The fruit was fresh, but the cinnamon in the yogurt sauce was overwhelming. I felt like I was eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I moved on to the Mediterranean salad, a bed of romaine topped with tomato, red onions, feta cheese, and olives. The salad on its own was tangy, but the cool tzatziki dressing balanced out the tartness of the salad.
Overall, I was pleased with my meal, but the $18 price tag was a little steep for salad, fruit, and pastries.
Oh wait, this is uptown-- that's probably a steal.