EVER SINCE I got a 3 am delivery of Colt 45 and bodega sandwiches on a trip to New York, I've been enamored with that city's amazing delivery services. There's something Jabba the Hutt-esque about blobbing out on one's couch and having wings brought to you.
Portland's always been a bit of a wasteland for delivery (I'm looking at you, Chinese restaurants), but with the recent arrival of services from Amazon Prime Now, Postmates, and Caviar, I donned sweatpants, started watching the latest season of America's Next Top Model, and did your research for you.
AMAZON PRIME NOW, amazon.com/primenow
Their deal: Our favorite corporate overlords from the North launched a Portland-only food delivery app on October 20. They work with a select few restaurants and are adding more as they go. (Amazon Prime Now also offers an incredible array of other products for last-minute ordering).
Cost: Two-hour delivery is free (for a limited time). One-hour delivery is $7.99. Plus tip. $20 minimum.
The order: There's a $20 minimum for delivery, which means my lunchtime order to the Lloyd District (my house isn't in their zone) made me look like a hefty eater (which, let's be real, I am). I started by trying to order a couple of Garden Monsters salads, but when I went to pay, it became inexplicably unavailable. I settled on kuaytiaw reua (boat noodle soup, $11) and vegetarian suki haeng ($10) from Sen Yai (3384 SE Division).
Mode of transportation: Drone. (JK! It was a car.)
Timing: I placed my order at 11:56 am and watched my app to monitor my noodles' progress. The app told me Margaret was on her way, and she arrived smiling at 12:41 pm.
Quality upon arrival: I threw Amazon for a loop and ordered a soup item, which leaked onto everything else in my bag, but not a ton. Everything was warm, if not steaming hot.
Their deal: Postmates, available as an app and online, does restaurant and grocery deliveries. Their selection is the most eclectic: McDonald's and Greenleaf Juicing Company share homepage real estate. Their general store delivery includes ballpoint pens, diapers, and Zantac.
Cost: Delivery fee of $4.99 and up (this order was $8.25; surge pricing during peak hours applies), and a nine percent service fee. No minimum.
The order: My love for Nicholas' lamb platter—oh lawd, that saffron rice—is one that must be indulged on a quarterly basis. I ordered from their NE 32nd and Broadway spot to my Northeast house.
Mode of transportation: A picture of Adam K appeared online, saying he'd arrive by bike.
Timing: This was the first of the new wave delivery services I tried, and my mind was blown watching a little Postmates logo (think Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service on a bike) work its way up NE Sandy, giving me just enough time to put on pants before the knock. I ordered it on a Sunday at 5:32 pm, and it showed at 6:15 pm.
Quality upon arrival: Nicely warm.
Their deal: When Caviar first hung a shingle in Portland, it was offering delivery from restaurants like Aviary on NE Alberta... but then not delivering to homes on the same street. Dumb. Since then, their range has expanded and there are some great options, including Pizza Maria and Smallwares. With the lowest delivery fees and a low minimum, this might be my go-to from now on.
Cost: Free for first time, $1.99-6.99 after. Eighteen percent service fee covers tip. $12 minimum.
The order: I was feeling like sushi, so I got an octopus salad, a tuna roll, and a few nigiri from Sinju (1022 NW Johnson) delivered to my house, pushing the 82nd Avenue limit of Caviar's delivery range.
Mode of transportation: Bike.
Timing: Ordered at 6:24 pm on a summer weekday. It arrived at 7:15 pm. You can track your delivery on the website and app as it's being delivered.
Quality upon arrival: This was a hot summer day and I ordered sushi from across town. I was amazed that this guy got to me in under an hour without passing out, but the rolls had tumbled over and everything was just a bit warm.
PORTLAND PEDAL POWER, portlandpedalpower.com
Their deal: A local bike-based company that delivers from partner restaurants, including Nong's Khao Man Gai and Mi Mero Mole, and does promotional services.
Cost: Delivery fee of $7.50, plus tip. $25 minimum.
The order: In order to test out Portland Pedal Power, I had to share the love. I got a dozen delicious Bowery Bagels (310 NW Broadway) and two schmears for $30 and made my coworkers carb-happy. This one seems best for a company lunch delivery or the like.
Mode of transportation: Duhhhhh. Bike.
Timing: I looked into ordering the night before, but got weirded out by having to pay through PayPal. I got an email at 7 am, asking if I would still like to order. I answered yes at 8:45 am and paid; a good-looking and rain-soaked cyclist dropped off the bagels at 9:45 am.
Quality upon arrival: Bagels and schmear were fresh and dry.
PORTLAND DELIVERY DUDES, portland.deliverydudes.com
Their deal: Delivery Dudes pair with restaurants to bring you their food. They'll stop at more than one place and will go to non-affiliated restaurants too, for a 20 percent surcharge.
Cost: Delivery is $5 for cash and $7 for credit card ($5 each additional restaurant), plus tip. No minimum.
The order: Half corn, half sausage pizza from Dove Vivi (2727 NE Glisan) to my Northeast house.
Mode of transportation: Car.
Timing: I placed my call for my favorite deep dish at 6:45 pm on a Tuesday and was quoted 45 minutes. By 7:48 pm, I was gnawing on my Ikea pillow when a dude named Mason called to say there was a backup at the restaurant and they'd be there in 15 minutes. The apologetic delivery dude hit my porch at 8:12 pm and gave me a free delivery card.
Quality upon arrival: The pizza was hot and ready.
DELIVERED DISH, ddish.com/Portland
Their deal: Delivered Dish is one of our old-school delivery services. It's serviceable, but the online ordering is clunky, and it doesn't work with as many big-name restaurants as the new fellas.
Cost: Delivery fees vary depending on distance (in this case it was $4.99) and tip. Minimum varies based on restaurant (mine was $25).
The order: India Grill (2494 E Burnside) mutton special, palak paneer, and a $5 garlic naan to clear that $25 minimum.
Mode of transportation: Car.
Timing: I got an email at 5:58 pm saying my food would be there at 6:58 pm. It was there on the dot.
Quality upon arrival: Just dandy.
Their deal: GrubHub started as an online clearinghouse of delivery, with the restaurants providing the delivery power. That's starting to change and GrubHub is also hiring delivery workers. Right now, you put in your address and restaurants that have agreed to deliver to your area appear—which means the farther you are from downtown, the slimmer your options. If you live in Hillsdale and want something from Pollo Norte, this is not the service to use.
Cost: The delivery fee was $1! $10 minimum (that was average, other restaurants had higher minimums), $2 minimum tip (but, really, give at least 15 percent, people).
The order: After all this delivery eating, I needed a salad, so I had a quinoa power salad with grilled "chickin'" ($12.60) sent over from downtown's Veggie Grill (508 SW Taylor).
Mode of transportation: My guy was a GrubHub employee on a bike.
Timing: I ordered online at 12:38 pm, at 1:37 pm, one minute shy of the estimated one-hour wait, it was in my hands.
Quality upon arrival: Super duper.