I have a confession to make. Well, two.
First, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ordered delivery since moving to my new place. (It’s two.) I don’t know, I just prefer not to order delivery; if I absolutely must get food to go, I usually pick it up myself, placing my order at the restaurant. I just like seeing the restaurant, getting a feel for what’s going on that day (is it mobbed? Is the kitchen on fire? Is the place deserted? Are there a ton of people waiting around, to be seated or to be served? Are there any specials written on the board that won’t be on the copy of the menu I have at home?), before I make my choices. But even then, I rarely get food to go, not least of all because I like eating in restaurants – for the atmosphere, casual dive or upscale trend-monster… also because I try to be kind to my wallet.
Second, I rarely go to the same place more than a few times. I get bored or tired of the food or I just want to try something new, whatever the case; even my favorite restaurants, I probably haven’t been to more than a handful of times. (There are a few restaurants that I’ve been to easily over 20-30 times and still visit occasionally, but they’re from the “before” days – before I began photographing my meals and sharing them here, before I really cared about food all that much, before I became the Feisty Foodie I am 😉 hahaha.) Even more so – if I do return, it generally isn’t for a while afterwards.
You ask, “What the hell is your point? You ramble enough as is, what the freak, get to the food!”
Okay, fine. I ordered delivery recently. From a restaurant I’d just been to the week before. And then I – gasp!!! – ordered delivery again, the very next night.
You see, last Friday, I worked late. By the time my bus approached my stop, it was raining, no it was POURING down from the sky like a faucet had been turned on. Highly unusually for me, the rain was not making me crave miso udon (my own version), and I mentally raided my fridge but came up empty handed. My mind kept wandering over to Tower Diner. That day, I’d wanted to order other stuff, but my stomach can only hold so much. In my post, I even mentioned wanting to try other things. But the bus lets me off a block closer to my apartment than the diner is, and to walk in the pouring rain away from my apartment… to then have to lug food to my apartment… all while getting soaked… did not sound appealing.
The final push to order delivery? I went home and pulled out the menu, droolingly gazing at the Buffalo wings offering… and the ultimate nachos… I knew it was going to be a Netflix Night for me, and nachos were really calling my name. But even that wasn’t enough. I hate calling places (I’m a weirdo) because then you have to explain what you want, and even then sometimes it doesn’t quite give you what you want.
But the front of the menu listed a website, boasting that you could order online. Holy crap!!! There’s no SeamlessWeb in Queens unfortunately (are you listening?!), but this meant I could “safely and securely order online” using my credit card and even indicate on the order exactly what I wanted, if it weren’t quite what the menu was offering.
I was sold. Now the test lay in how accurately the website predicted my order would get here, and how well the diner would pack its orders for delivery.
On the former issue: the website said anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes.
My order arrived after 19 minutes.
And the latter?
The Buffalo wings, which I requested with extra blue cheese. The celery sticks were limp, floppy, sad misrepresentations of what celery sticks should be- having cooked slightly from the heat of the wings, but they obliged with the extra blue cheese (at no extra cost), including nearly a full take-out coffee-cup of the delicious stuff. And… this might be my imagination… but is that house-made blue cheese? Though it was blended well together, it didn’t have that tinny/apple (don’t ask, I don’t know why, but that’s what it tastes like to me!) taste to it that most bottled blue cheese dressings seem to have. The wings themselves were still hot, though they lacked the super spiciness that I expect from most diner Buffalo wings… though that worked in my favor. I was happy with these- they were even still crispy.
The Ultimate Nachos, “tortilla chips with chili, tomato, onions, cheddar cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream” – the Ultimate Test! What you see above is not what came to my door. I put a little note with a smiley face “please put all condiments in separate containers so the nachos don’t get soggy! thank you! 🙂 ” in the “notes” section, so this is what I received:
Tomato & onion in a little paper boat (much like you might receive fries in at the ballpark), wrapped in wax paper several times over
Chili which was watery and thin but the flavor was good – the cheese was on top, in the cup, not that much, and it had all melted by the time I got it. Not a truly negative point though (the cup underneath is my blue cheese)
A two ounce container of guacamole, a two ounce container of sour cream, and a four ounce container of salsa. I put together everything to get the first picture of the Ultimate Nachos. Don’t know about ultimate, since towards the end, everything is soggy, but still yummy. Great for a Netflix Night, which is what I had 🙂 with plenty of chili leftover! (And the containers were washed and set aside for future bento…)
All that was fine and dandy, and I was pleased with the results of their online ordering system. There’s also an option to pay by cash, which is also cool still so that you can, let’s say, have friends over who want to each pay cash for their own things, or whatever, and there’s no minimum purchase if you use cash (it’s $15 if you pay by credit card).
Of course, that’s just the first time I ordered delivery… The next day was BF’s birthday. We know BF is picky and a little strange in his food choices, but anyway, after a long and oddly paced day, we found ourselves about to pop a movie in at 10 pm, having skipped dinner because we weren’t hungry during those normal hours, and now slightly hungry. I absentmindedly mentioned that the diner he’d liked the previous week had an online ordering system and he said, “Sold! Let’s order.”
The funny part here:
“Ok, I want fries- “
“The fries were mealy and no good.”
“Ok, onion rings then-“
“No, those were the kind we don’t like, the onion powder kind.”
“Oh… what did we like then?!”
“The zucchini sticks, silly.”
“Right! let’s get some of those… and…”
So we ordered more fried food.
Mozzarella sticks – the container came with holes poked in the plastic lid, to prevent them from sogging up. Unfortunately, BF – a connoiseur of mozzarella sticks, you could say – said these were terrible and disgusting. I didn’t find them awful but nor were they yummeriffic… he really didn’t like them.
I ordered cream of turkey soup, something I have this weird attraction to (ever since trying it at Georgia Diner and finding it so yummy). This one was quite good, despite having rice throughout it – I think the rice was used as the thickening agent. In any case, lots of red bell peppers, corn, onions, made the overall soup very sweet. The turkey itself was big chunks of white meat, which I don’t like as I find it kind of dry – and this was no exception – but the soup part was absolutely yummy!
Blurry picture of zucchini sticks, which also had holes punched in the plastic lid to prevent sogging. Very yummy like last time.
After a lot of debate, I decided on the turkey club sandwich with waffle fries (extra $1). Again, the plastic lid came with holes poked in it. The waffle fries were the obvious right choice, as they were flavorful, crispy, and the way fries should be. Mayo came in a little plastic cup on the side (2 oz) for the sandwich, which I won’t be ordering again, as it was unfortunately too dry and just overall not as yummy as I’d have liked a turkey club to be. Bacon was spread unevenly across the sandwich, too much dry and flavorless turkey (hmm, does the turkey that doesn’t get used go into the soup?), the lettuce limp and uninteresting, not enough tomato… meh, meh, meh.
In keeping with my original impression, it’s inconsistent with what’s good – as BF pointed out “I don’t understand, if they can make such good zucchini sticks, why can’t they make good mozzarella sticks? Use the same damn batter!” But the online delivery option really does make this place likely to become a favorite place of mine from which to order on those rare occasions when I really must order something.
Yvo says: Online delivery is kickass, and both times, they arrived a minute or two quicker than their short time frame predictions. Polite deliverymen, well-packed food, I definitely like this place even more now. I expect the menu has a couple of hidden gems here and there, and I look forward to finding out what they are over time. So far, it’s been the zucchini sticks, cream of turkey (a Saturday special), waffle fries, tuna salad, Ultimate Nachos, and Buffalo wings (which you won’t like if you only like saucy wings or if you like them super spicy, though a couple of dashes of hot sauce should fix that right up)… lots of good movie night munchies for me. I am definitely sold on the place.
online delivery option highly recommended; restaurant itself maintains ‘recommended’ rating