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Spoonrocket: Designer meals $6 delivered

Melanie Wong Jul 12, 2013 07:32 PM

How's the food and service?

https://www.spoonrocket.com/invite_me

http://m.fastcompany.com/3014043/most-innovative-companies-2013/todays-most-innovative-company-spoonrocket-weaning-us-off-fas

http://m.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/b...

  1. b
    buster99 Jul 13, 2013 06:28 PM

    The service is fantastic, the food was good. I only ordered once. Ribs, mac & cheese, and a biscuit. I think braised or slow cooked meals will be best. Delivered hot in 8 minutes! With text and email updates on estimated delivery time. Hard to believe. I will order again. Only one meat choice a night, so that will be one factor for me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: buster99
      Melanie Wong Jul 13, 2013 10:22 PM

      Thanks for the word. And you're in Berkeley?

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        b
        buster99 Jul 14, 2013 07:56 PM

        Sorry Melanie, have been offline. Yes, next to BART Ashby Station

    2. PegS Jul 13, 2013 09:57 PM

      Huh. I live two blocks outside of the delivery zone. I wonder if they'll think of expanding?

      7 Replies
      1. re: PegS
        Melanie Wong Jul 13, 2013 10:21 PM

        Maybe you can meet them at the corner. :)

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          PegS Jul 14, 2013 03:57 PM

          I actually thought about that! "Uh, just meet me at the Arco Station!"

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            s
            shanghaikid Jul 14, 2013 04:06 PM

            when one signs up for the membership, an address and phone number is requested,

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              t
              trhirsh Aug 21, 2013 09:28 PM

              I live in Berkeley a few doors from the zone. The site would not take my address so in fact I did put in the intersection on the corner and it did take it. I got a call from the driver about five minutes later, gave him my address and it was delivered out front. No problem.

              We did though find the food to be mediocre.

            2. re: PegS
              Ruth Lafler Jul 13, 2013 10:21 PM

              I couldn't find their delivery zone on their website.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                wolfe Jul 14, 2013 01:20 AM

                South about Emeryville City Hall and the Maze. Northeast corner about the Rose Garden.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  Robert Lauriston Jul 14, 2013 04:22 PM

                  Maybe you have to sign up to see the map. In Berkeley the north border is Gilman, east is a few blocks east of College.

              2. s
                sydthekyd Jul 14, 2013 06:19 PM

                How do you figure how much to tip the driver?

                6 Replies
                1. re: sydthekyd
                  l
                  lmnopm Jul 14, 2013 06:28 PM

                  I just placed my first order (not yet delivered) and the tip space was not functioning.

                  1. re: lmnopm
                    Melanie Wong Jul 14, 2013 06:38 PM

                    Ooh, are we going to get a live report tonight?

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      l
                      lmnopm Jul 14, 2013 07:16 PM

                      Order completion time to order delivery time - 12 to 13 minutes. At T-9 minutes, an email and a phone message came. We shared tonight's dishes - the black bean pasta - was relatively tasteless, and the beef stew - a decent portion, and not bad tasting - definitely worth $6. They must drive around with the food already in the van, in warmers.

                      1. re: lmnopm
                        Melanie Wong Jul 15, 2013 07:19 PM

                        That would be an interesting service model. How's the food packaged?

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          l
                          lmnopm Jul 15, 2013 09:44 PM

                          In something that will survive for about a billion years, the bottom is dark, and the lid is clear. They hand you the container directly - I don't know if you order several multiples if they put it in a bag.

                    2. re: lmnopm
                      s
                      sydthekyd Jul 14, 2013 06:49 PM

                      I read that you're supposed to tip the driver with cash.

                  2. p
                    PennyPeinado Jul 14, 2013 07:37 PM

                    I live in Berkeley an ordered last night.
                    Food came in 6 mins and I ordered the short ribs dinner.
                    It came warm with mashed potatoes, carrots and kale.
                    I can imagine doing this 2 x a week.
                    I tipped the driver $3.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PennyPeinado
                      s
                      sydthekyd Jul 14, 2013 11:20 PM

                      Thank you!

                    2. i
                      indigirl Aug 6, 2013 12:59 AM

                      Was having a hunger fit this evening & remembered this. Ordered vegan black bean chili with corn on the cob.

                      Service: very compelling indeed -- I was eating within about 12 minutes.

                      Food: surprisingly good. Chili had smart flavor (in other words, not dumb salt+hot) & corn was very fresh.

                      My only complaint is the portion size, more of a snack than a meal. Especially considering this is essentially beans & rice, you would think they could give you 4-5" of corn cob (which would fill the space) instead of the scant 3" provided (albeit artfully presented in 2 pieces arranged at perpendicular angles). Yes, I measured.

                      It did what it needed to do though: restored my blood sugar to a level at which I was then able to fend for myself & complete my dinner with veggies from my fridge.

                      I'll probably try them again, but will wait for a poultry entree. I suspect the meat options are better value.

                      I would happily pay a dollar more for a more complete meal, but maybe I'm not their target market.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: indigirl
                        l
                        lmnopm Aug 6, 2013 08:51 AM

                        The meat options tend to be more substantial - some are a really decent portion, others could use a bit more, but when we get this for dinner, we either add a salad/extra veg, or get the veggie dish to share as the extra veg. (Or, you could just catch one of the many turkeys roaming around the neighborhood, and add a few slices to the chili.)

                      2. t
                        truepeacenik Aug 7, 2013 04:21 PM

                        Thanks for this, Melanie. I signed up, and they took my Oakland address. So, while its free and not $40/yr, one might want to sign up just to have the membership.
                        I get the feeling it is a likely franchise, at least in concept, too.

                        1. e
                          ernie in berkeley Aug 15, 2013 02:06 PM

                          I tried this for lunch today. A filet mignon shish-kebab was nicely marinated and grilled, chick pea salad was excellent, but roasted purple potatoes were a little dry. Delivered in 8 minutes, for less than the price of a typical restaurant sandwich around here.

                          1. wolfe Aug 22, 2013 12:43 PM

                            I sent in order at 1:13, received text message 25 minutes later while trying to get in touch with Spoonrocket. Returned to street and waited 5-10 more minutes without ever connecting. Have been trying to get credit for undelivered dinner without success although have received email reply. Am I the only one with this problem?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wolfe
                              wolfe Nov 13, 2013 01:20 PM

                              Must apologize for the gap but was reminded by PA's post. Sometimes they may be too fast. They did remove the charge for the missed meal.

                            2. p
                              Pius Avocado III Nov 13, 2013 01:11 PM

                              I had been watching their daily offerings online since learning they’ve expanded to a second delivery area in downtown Oakland and today’s ginger-soy braised short rib w/ roasted purple potatoes, cauliflower, carrot and fennel appealed, so I gave it a shot.

                              Immediately after placing the order I got an email citing a 4-minute delivery time, by the time I walked across half the floor to the elevator I had a call saying the wait was 2 minutes. Less than a minute after hitting the corner I had specified, I spotted the driver and gave him a nod- couldn’t have been easier.

                              The dish was better than one would expect from food sitting in a car for an indeterminate amount of time (I suspect not long). The ribs were tender, the cauliflower and carrots well-roasted. The potatoes were a little puckered, but not bad. The 3 chunks of deboned short rib were tender, with just a hint of the ginger-soy braise. By the end I found myself wishing a bit more braising liquid were present, but I can see why they don’t want it to sit in too much liquid during delivery. For lunch eaten at my desk, it was a good serving size; for dinner, I’d probably want a salad or bread. I’ve certainly had worse things to eat around here for $6.

                              The credit card tipping function was working, but I set it to zero and tipped with cash so the driver would get it faster.

                              I will certainly try them again when the offerings are interesting, and expect that SpoonRocket will at least be a solid rainy-day option for me.

                              1. Stephanie Wong Jan 16, 2014 06:50 PM

                                Just tried Spoonrocket for the first time after having agreat conversation with Adarius, Customer Service Manager, because my address was not accepted as within their delivery region. He set up a bogus primary address for me with the actual delivery address as the second address line.

                                We started our conversation at 4:58 pm and got the driver's call from our front door at 5:15 pm. This definitely met the advertised "within 15 minutes" AND included time for the Spoonrocket work around to be set up and my completing the order of 3 entrees for 2 people: 2 stuffed Sonoma chicken breasts with drummettes (described as stuffed with sourdough, brie cheese, dried cherries, pecans and custard in a herb gravy, smashed potatoes, green beans -- I missed the pecans and cherries in the stuffing) and 1 farfalle pasta "in white wine herb sauce, butternut squash, kale, pine nuts, capers, Parmesan cheese". Brownies "white and dark chocolate marbled with toffee bits" at $3 were sold out.

                                Chicken breast is not my fav, but the herbed stuffing was flavorful. Green beans and pasta were al dente. We added extra grated cheese to our taste to the pasta.

                                Conclusion:
                                FAST -- barely had time to set table and warm our dinner plates.
                                EXTREMELY REASONABLE @ $6 per entree. Our dinner pretax & tip (all charged to credit card) was only $18 -- less than what the taco truck parked 1/2 block away charged (and this was a nutritionally more balanced meal).
                                FOOD: Fair but we're continue to audition their menu. As DH says, "Beats the sh-- out of Domino's guarantee to deliver a piece of cardboard within 30 minutes for the same price or more!)
                                VERY ACCOMMODATING SERVICE: THANK YOU, Adarius!

                                1. Robert Lauriston Jan 17, 2014 08:35 AM

                                  They keep their delivery time down partly by distributing the food to the delivery people from vans rather than a central location. One of them parks at my corner.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    Tripeler Jan 17, 2014 08:39 PM

                                    I wonder how they would react if you walked up to the van to make an order?

                                    1. re: Tripeler
                                      l
                                      lmnopm Mar 5, 2014 08:07 PM

                                      So, within the past couple of weeks, Spoonrocket raised its prices by 1/3 overnight (from $6 to $8, plus tax) - so with tip, it becomes an $11 meal. Shortly thereafter, they had a Groupon deal - $10 for $20, so they're willing to take $5 (what they'll get from Groupon) for a bit shy of 2 meals.

                                      I haven't ordered since $6 went to $8, but did receive a couple of meals once they switched to the new packaging, which doesn't hold up too well. Curious if portion size has increased, per their memo. No more weekend delivery, either.

                                      1. re: lmnopm
                                        m
                                        mdpilam Mar 5, 2014 08:44 PM

                                        Their portion sizes did increase (that was my original complaint - I would have needed two meals to satisfy me).

                                        As a single guy who works and has class twice a week, I think SpoonRocket is great.

                                        Groupon today for $20 for $45. I got two.

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