Remember the Yellow Pages that “let your fingers do the walking”?
The blurb referred to the act of flipping through the pages of the thick yellow directory (as opposed to the white directory that listed residential numbers), using just one hand, with the pointer and middle fingers reimagined as legs walking towards the desired number. This was before the advent of the Internet and the mobile phone, when business transactions through the phone always involved paper.
Today, your fingers can still do the walking – no longer on Yellow Pages this time but through the web pages. Practically any information you need is accessible through the web, with restaurants creating their websites and Facebook pages and food bloggers sharing details and restaurant info, with some even posting pictures of menus. Sites like ClickTheCity.com, TripAdvisor.com and spot.ph that make listings sometimes even provide maps and reviews.
But most interesting of all are the food delivery sites where practically the entire restaurant world becomes literally just one phone call away. There are two food delivery numbers that, combined, have majority of Metro Manila’s restaurants at your fingertips. Best of all, the listings do not include just fastfood chains like McDonald’s or Jollibee but also bistros like Mamou, higher end restaurants like Chateau 1771 and dessert from the likes of Mrs. Fields or Sonja’s Cupcakes.
There are two ways to order. First, the old school way, which is by phone. Dial either 87878 for City Delivery or 2121212 for Quick Delivery a.k.a. Delivery 21. A phone receptionist will guide you through the restaurant choices, menus and prices. Of course it would be much better if you can already check out the options at the websites: citydelivery.ph or quickdelivery.ph where menus are available in pdf form, i.e., as you would view them at a restaurant.
Truth be told, the websites are overwhelming. The list of restaurants is quite extensive – which is a good thing! You may scroll down the complete list of restaurant partners or you can choose by location and, for some sites, by cuisine. Then you can browse through your chosen restaurant’s menu and place the call.
The other way is to not use the phone at all and order online. This is an equally effective way; you place your order by filling up a form, and confirmations are made via email. If there are problems, you can expect the delivery service to contact you by phone.
There are advantages to ordering via phone, though, the most important being that inquiries regarding time and prices are sooner settled. For instance, eager to satisfy a craving for mushroom pasta, I placed a call to 2121212 to order from Va Bene Pasta Deli located near Dasmariñas Village, Makati. Upon learning that my location was all the way in Quezon City, I was informed by the phone “waiter” that considering the distance, 1) there would be an additional delivery charge of P300 (yes, almost the same price as the pasta), and 2) the wait would be between 90-120 minutes. After which I was persuaded by the practical phone operator to forego the order lest they deliver cold pasta.
We need to appreciate such warnings to better manage one’s expectations. Such warnings, although less detailed, are online as well, with 2121212 presenting this caveat: “Off Zone deliveries are charged P85 or more, depending on your distance and pick up point.”
Other downers are instances when “delivery is not available in your area at the moment” because all their motorcycle boys had already been deployed. There are also human errors such as the delivery boy not bringing change for you when you specifically asked for it. (Both experiences with Delivery 21).
But save for these minor inconveniences, these food delivery services are fantastic. Hermitage is made possible and even pleasant when even the best of restaurant cooking can be brought right to your home! •
City Delivery 87878 citydelivery.ph. Restaurant partners at http://www.citydelivery.ph/ partners
Quick Delivery 2121212 quickdelivery.ph. Restaurant partners at http://quickdelivery.ph/all-restaurants.php