On a Wednesday evening, I found myself sitting in front of my computer at my desk, stomach growling. I had eaten too much trail mix from the vending machine already, and the sandwich shop down the block didn’t sound that great. I wanted tacos. Dos Rios tacos, with a side of guacamole.
So I ordered delivery.
No, Dos Rios doesn’t deliver. But The Meal Man does, and so I went to the business’s website. After entering my zip code, I was given a long list of participating restaurants (including the Court Avenue Mexican cantina) from which The Meal Man driving staff could pick up my food and bring it straight to me. All it took was a couple clicks.
The list included Abelardos, Appare, Haiku, Bistro Montage, Big City Burgers, Ruby Tuesday’s, Sbrocco and more. I clicked Dos Rios and was provided a (slightly edited) menu where I could easily select what I wanted. I selected the chicken tacos and a side of guacamole, entered my credit card info, and gave special instructions for the driver to call when he arrived.
Then, I waited.
The Meal Man is a meal delivery service that opened in Des Moines about a month ago. It brings meals from about 30 area restaurants to homes, businesses and hotels. It costs $4.99 for the delivery, in addition to the cost of your meal. Most restaurants require a $20 minimum food order, and while some menu items on the list reach that figure easily, on others, it may be best to pick it up yourself (such as Quizno’s) if you’re dining alone.
The business, founded in Arizona, also operates in San Diego, Scottsdale and New York. The service is available in Des Moines daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to about 9:30 p.m.
The website says it will deliver your meal within an hour. I ordered my meal at 6:40 p.m., and at 7:10 p.m. it was delivered. Everything that was supposed to be hot (chicken tacos, beans and rice) was hot. Everything that was to be served room temperature (the guac) was room temp. Dos Rios’ packaging also kept everything from running together — the beans, rice and tacos were in separate containers, three varieties of hot sauce were split up, and the chips were in a no- crush box.
As I returned to my desk, I reveled in this idea that I could eat my favorite meals without having to leave the house or office. Then, I dug into the guacamole.