So the other day a combination of hunger and laziness led to a pretty neat discovery.
Actually, we'd heard about Mealeo, the local online food delivery service, but we finally got around to trying it.
We ordered from Shining Rainbow on Central Avenue. Actually -- we just went to their website to check out a menu and found an "order online" button at the top. The button took us straight to the Mealeo website.
What we liked:
It was easy.
Even though we had to create an account with a password, it was simple to do and it didn't pull us off track from our goal of stuffing our faces with Chinese food.
We could pay with a credit card.
Often times delivery places leave you scrambling for cash. Here you just plugged in your card number. And you could include the tip.
Special orders are OK.
There's a little box for special instructions which is great if you want things extra spicy, not so spicy, on the side, or -- you know -- just want them the way you want them.
This part appealed to the nerd in us -- we could track the order. We knew exactly when it reached the kitchen and when it was finished and on the way.
Our food arrived at the downtown office in less than 30 minutes.
What we're wishing for:
Mealeo is still growing, and owner Blake Hanan says that right now about 200 restaurants are participating from Albany to Lake George. Lots of restaurants let you order pick-up from Mealeo, but if you're looking for dinner delivery right in your 'hood, your options are still a little limited. Hanan says more is coming.
Minimum orders vary from around $5 to around $30. A $30 minimum sounds high, but if you're ordering lunch for the office, it's pretty easy to meet.
You'll also see some higher end restaurants on Mealeo with $200-$300 minimums. That's not so much delivery as catering. Still, if you're ordering dinner for 4 from Dale Miller, you'll easily meet the $200 delivery minimum.
For the most part, there's no extra charge for the service, though if a restaurant doesn't normally accept credit cards, they might charge a 2 or 3 percent fee, but that's uncommon.
Right now Mealeo is a Capital Region only service. Hanan is a graduate of Shen and Siena and wanted to start his business here. There are services like it in larger cities, but he's preparing to expand to other mid-major markets while growing the base here at home.
We'll use it again.
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.