Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.
Promised Delivery Time: "between 15 and 20 minutes"
Actual Delivery Time: 20 minutes
Easy online ordering: 0
Estimated delivery time and actual delivery: 10
No on-line menu: 0
The chance to flaunt your familiarity with Japanese food by ordering favorites off the top of your head: 10
No spoon included to eat soup: 0
No spoon included, which means less trash for the landfills: 10
Delivery person made me come downstairs to pick up the food instead of finding a way into the building: 5
Quality sushi at a reasonable price in downtown: 20
Sushi that tastes better at your table rather than in a plastic container: 5
Tempura was fairly crispy and soup was definitely hot: 15
New Big Wong 92
Tuk Tuk Asian Cuisine 91
Lover's Pizza and Pasta 91
Philly Connection 90
Piggie Pies Pizzas & Pasta 90
As a downtown resident, I find giving fair commentary to a downtown restaurant's delivery service difficult. I want to be stone-cold, but I can't.
Why? Because I know how hard it is for a business to survive these empty streets. Especially if you're a new sushi restaurant at the intersection of Ross Avenue and Griffin Street. Have you been there recently? Across the street is a vacant building and parking lot. Not a whole lot going on.
But a story is a story. And last night, when the temperatures were hovering near freezing outside, I decided to ring Sushi World and place a delivery order. And that's when I ran into one hurdle after the next.
Sushi World didn't have a Web site, as far as I could tell. A Google search produced two different phone numbers. Nobody answered at the first number, but I did reach Jerome with the second number. "As far as I know, we don't have a menu on line," he told me--although the next day one appeared when I googled.
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Okay...So I decided to order a few favorites from memory: miso soup, vegetable tempura and a spicy tuna roll. He offered to read the ingredients of the more complex and fancy rolls over the phone, but I didn't have the time to spare. After all, when you order delivery, you're looking for convenience and efficiency.
Jerome explained that they deliver to residences within a five mile radius. Luckily, I lived two blocks away. Twenty minutes later, he called my cellular phone from the building's entrance. While I appreciate his respect for the building's security, I would have been more thankful if he had waited for somebody to exit the building, snuck in, and taken the elevator up to my door. Again, convenience is everything when you order delivery.
No matter. I met him on the ground floor, and traded a few extra bucks for a tied plastic bag of my food. I went upstairs to my building's community room to watch Sunday night TV on the big screen. I opened the bag and unpacked the soup, sushi and tempura. Chilled from stepping outside, I wanted to have the soup first. But there was no spoon included, only two sets of chopsticks. I sighed as I gathered the Styrofoam cup in my hands and sipped directly from the container. My fault for not going back to the flat, I guess.
While the food is usually decent from Sushi World, and very reasonably priced, I found it to be less favorable when eaten from the various plastic containers. I'm glad Sushi World is here in downtown, but next time, I'll just walk over and eat inside the restaurant.