How Quarantine Changed my Delivery Patterns
I used to be very reserved when it came to food delivery. I would stick to only ordering ‘traditional’ delivery items – pizza, Chinese, Thai, Indian – that felt low risk. I worried that if I were to branch outside of those staples, I would end up with soggy mush and money not-well spent. Traditional delivery offerings feel safe – you know it will arrive warm and in decent condition, and if it doesn’t, at least it is easy to reheat.
Oh, how I had been missing out!
In today’s times, where I can no longer just venture out to eat the ‘real thing’ at a restaurant, I’ve explored further into the delivery world. With the vast majority of my experiences being overwhelmingly positive, I’m certain it has changed how I will order food even after quarantine.
Ordering delivery or takeout has also been my small way helping support local restaurants, suppliers, and bars through this unprecedented time. I’ve been astounded at the ingenuity and resilience that many owners have demonstrated as they’ve pivoted their offerings in an effort to battle this difficult phase.
Read on for what I’ve discovered in Toronto…
Make-At-Home Meal Kits
Speaking of pivoting, since quarantine was enforced, many restaurants have launched make-at-home meal kits. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or with a loved one, the kits are a great way to enjoy restaurant quality meals with the added satisfaction that you contributed to the end result.
My favourites have been the Pizza Margherita Tradizionale Kit from Ferro Bar Café, the Carbonara Kit and Nodini Kit from Buca, and the Red Curry Meal Kit from Sala Modern Thai Kitchen & Bar.
Stay tuned for a comprehensive list of meal kits that I’m dying to try!
Cocktails & Alcohol
With Ontario now allowing alcohol deliveries, many bars have transitioned to selling make-at-home cocktail kits, and many restaurants, breweries and distilleries are offering local alcohol deliveries. I’ve had beer hand-delivered by friends at True History Brewing and enjoyed incredible make-at-home “Get Hype and Skype!” cocktails delivered from Project Gigglewater.
Also, don’t be afraid to order through Instagram (as long as it is a reputable company) – I’ve ordered True History & Project Gigglewater, as well as plants via instagram during quarantine! You generally pay by e-transfer or call and provide them with your credit card information.
I’ve even had wine delivered to my mom in NYC for Mother’s Day, along with a make-at-home pasta kit from Rezdôra.
Stay tuned for more on make-at-home cocktails!
I honestly used to think that ordering dessert delivery was the last thing I’d do. Then my work started to order Craig’s Cookies for celebrations, and I was hooked. Lately, I’ve forayed into ordering pints of ice cream – and no, it didn’t melt on the drive over. Shockingly – it’s the same process as when you drive ice cream home from the grocery store, only delivery couriers actually have insulated bags to keep the ice cream cold. … so yes, it delivered just fine!
My favourites so far have been homemade chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream & fresh cookies from Booyah (for ice cream sandwiches, of course!), individual crème brûlée pots and Brussels waffles from Craque du Crème, and to-die-for coconut cream pie from Fourth Man in the Fire (I’ve since re-ordered this!).
Expanding beyond the ‘traditional’ takeout / delivery options
Stepping out beyond the traditional delivery items has unlocked a world of possibilities for me. Whether you want a rack of lamb or freshly seared scallops from Brown’s Bistro, PEI mussels or a lobster roll from OysterMine, burgers for every craving, or fresh hummus, pita and tabbouleh salad from Parallel, I assure you it all exists.
Some restaurants have gotten really savvy about how they package meals, separating salad dressings or sauces for you to add at home, ensuring the food doesn’t get soggy before it hits your plate.
I’ll caveat this section with – although most of my experiences have been fantastic, they aren’t all perfect. For example, I’ve had some incredible burgers (Harry’s Charbroiled, Cabano’s & Chen Chen’s Hot Chicken) but I’ve also had some that arrived with a soggy bottom bun. Consider ordering from places closer to home and provide feedback directly to restaurants (rather than posting a negative review online) when something doesn’t travel well. Give them the opportunity to adjust their packaging, and consider giving them another try when they do.
Is it just me, or has it been moderately terrifying darting down one-way aisles, attempting to touch as little as possible, while maintaining six feet of separation from everyone in busy grocery stores?
In an attempt to avoid the mayhem, I’ve opted to order delivery direct from suppliers or local shops. I’ve found that a lot of places have comparable prices to your regular grocery stores, especially if you order products directly from the supplier. Many also offer low or no delivery fees with a certain basket size.
My favourites so far have been produce from Country Boy’s Produce and meat and dairy from Kendall Hill Farms.
More to come on other at-home-grocery delivery options.
I’m thinking of venturing into the world of brunch delivery. Aside from a MacDonald’s egg McMuffin, I am still skeptical about how well brunch delivers, but stay tuned!
More to Explore
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