Experiments in instant gratification.

Ever feel lazy?  Sure you have – why else would NYC offer delivery of just about everything at just about any time of day?  Services like FreshDirect and Amazon’s same-day-to-Manhattan delivery are more recent additions to the near-instant delivery sphere, augmenting the more traditional restaurant deliveries.  Many restaurants even do a majority of their business this way – for plenty of families (not just in New York, admittedly), I know that “Chinese” and “delivery” are virtually synonymous, much like pizza before it, and Indian and Thai seem to be not far behind.

The internet offers new paradigms of delivery, though – faster, with more diverse offerings.  One delivery site that straddles the line between FreshDirect’s grocery and pre-prepared foods field and a restaurant’s delivery service is MaxDelivery.com, which offers as close to instant gratification as is possible without actually leaving your chair.  MaxDelivery’s gimmick is that they deliver in an hour or less, and I was astonished to note after ordering at 12:38 that their website updated, nearly-instantly, that my order was assembled within five minutes and out the door in another two, and slated to arrive by 12:53.

Such punctuality is almost unheard of in areas other than German train service, so I awaited the arrival of the delivery dude with some interest.  Of course, given the security of the building I work at, a four minute delay (I received the call indicating the drop at 12:57) is more than acceptable.  The food was delivered in a series of white bags, making me look like an idiot on the way back to the desk, but enabling the easy hiding of my two pints of Ciao Bella gelato and sorbet in the freezer on the way back to my desk ($4.50 – actually cheaper than buying pre-packed pints at the C.B. scoop shop).

I had ordered a sandwich for my lunch, believing the promise that it would be freshly assembled, and believing that it couldn’t possibly be worse than the shite I’d eaten once at Togo’s/Dunkin’ Donuts (easily the worst sandwich I’ve ever eaten).  I’m happy to report that the incongruously-named “Harlem” sandwich is the closest thing to banh mi delivery we’re likely to get in the West Village any time soon.  It’s got chicken breast, cilantro, pickled carrots, cucumbers, and seedy jalapeños(!), with a swab of mayo on the very fresh, dense hero bread – all that’s missing is the hot sauce, really, and I probably could have ordered a bottle if I’d been thinking ahead.  For $6.50, it’s obviously the most expensive banh mi ever created, and its authenticity is Nicky’s-lite, but, all things considered, it was a lot better than I was expecting.

Sugar Sweet Sunshine is my favorite NYC bakery; their baker’s dozen cookies-in-a-box is a good alternative to the rest of MaxDelivery’s cookie category – all Chips Ahoy and Pepperidge Farm stuff, basically.  This is not to say that the cookies were hot off the press – though the date on the bottom of the box indicated that the window for consumption wouldn’t be over for another three days – but they were far from stale.  At $5.40 (on sale, for some reason), they were, again, a little expensive, but they sure made the office a lot happier when I shared.  Brownies are also available.

In a few years, the stoner “classic” Half Baked might seem more dated than even Reefer Madness, and not because of Dave Chappelle’s then-sanity.  After all, with MaxDelivery.com, Harland Williams would never have had to go on a munchie run.  For just over ten bucks (the sandwich and cookies came to $11.90, plus tax), with free delivery this week and next (and two free deliveries with any new account at any time), even the guy on the couch would have had to turn over and give his approval.

1 Comment

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One response to “Experiments in instant gratification.

  1. I’m extremely lazy, but I’ve never even though about getting delivery. People in my dorm get fresh direct and delivery from nearby restaurants but…for some reason, I have no inclination to try them. It’s probably weird considering how lazy I am…hell, I’m spending my entire Saturday inside, as I don’t really have the need to go out. If I got desperate enough for food (but I have enough on hand), I’d just go out.Okay, I think I figured it out. The last thing I need is an excuse to stay inside considering how easily I already do it. Food is almost the ONLY thing that’ll get me out of the dorm, so it’s important that I leave it that way. 😛

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