Baba ghanoush, dolma, and albaloo polo from Sadaf
I’m amazed how many restaurant delivery apps and web sites have sprung up in San Diego the past few years. Read about some of them here, here, and here.
As I dig deeper into available options, what seems like a limited niche service now includes four contenders and counting. Most of these probably won’t be in business by year’s end, but when I decided to order-in last week I had a choice of new ones.
I went with Delivery.com. I mean, it’s catchy, right? The business has either been around for a long time, or its founder paid a tidy sum for the domain to avoid something ludicrous like OKFoodie or Delivster.
I’m guessing it hasn’t been around long. Sites like this usually ask for your address on the home page so they can guide you straight to a long list of businesses serving your area. The Delivery.com home page does this and even highlights that your options include Food, Alcohol, Groceries, and Laundry. Trouble is, when I entered my address, it returned a list of exactly five restaurants. And I live close to downtown. The Delivery.com sales team has clearly not convinced local business owners to buy in. There was no booze, no laundry, just two Italian restaurant choices, two Indian…I went with the fifth choice, Middle Eastern.
Specifically, Sadaf, a Persian restaurant I’d never heard of, mostly because it’s located in a busy section of the Gaslamp I tend to avoid. The delivery included a $4 delivery fee with a $15 minimum order, not bad for this sort of business. A refer-a-friend offer gives a $7 credit, so I was able to zero out the delivery charge and tip by asking a friend to sign up and refer me to the site.
Food always looks better on a plate.
Ordering proved a little clunkier than competing delivery sites, but the food arrived quickly. I’d gone with baba ghanoush, dolma, and albaloo polo — charboiled chicken served over rice with black cherries mixed in. The food didn’t look great arriving in Styrofoam containers, but once I got it all onto a plate it was more appetizing.
The baba ghanoush was a disappointment, but the ground beef- and split pea-stuffed grape leaves proved better than the average dolma. The chicken was also on point, though the canned cherries in the rice turned out to be almost too generous. I mean, you’d think with something like that the complaint would be “not enough cherries,” but that was not the case here. Fortunately, a charred roma tomato boosted the umami of the dish as a whole.
The outlook is not great for Delivery.com unless it can add a wider choice of restaurants. Sadaf, on the other hand, warrants a deeper look. It’s not the greatest, but given the depth of its menu and my affinity for Persian cuisine, I will probably drop by to see what dining in is like.