Hot Spots

Meet Mixteco Grill, Your New Favorite Restaurant

Here at delivery.com HQ, we get to try a lot of great restaurants. New York, after all, is the city that never sleeps — because it’s too busy eating. But when we hear our friends in Chicago talk about anything the way they talk about Mixteco Grill, we start to get some serious food envy.

We figured we had to find out what all the fuss was about, so we got in touch with Mixteco’s founder, Osvaldo Garcia, to find out more about the Mexican sensation that’s rocking Cubs Nation. Now we just hope we can talk him into delivering to Midtown Manhattan…

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delivery.com: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Osvaldo: I have 30 years of experience working in the kitchen, mostly in Mexican cuisine, which is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. I also spent time working at what’s widely considered one of the best Mexican restaurants in the U.S., Frontera Grill. That’s where I truly realized my passion for food. After that, I took the opportunity to open my own restaurant and named it Mixteco Grill.

dcom: Why that name?

O: It was very important to me to find an easy but meaningful name. Mixteco is a region in Oaxaca, and also the ethnic group from that region. In my opinion, Oaxaca has the most delicious food in all of Mexico — it’s 100% authentic because it really has no outside cuisine influences.

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dcom: How long have you been in business? Can you tell us about the process of opening the restaurant?

O: We had our grand opening in May of 2008. Back then we only had a front dining room, but Mixteco Grill was such a hit that six months later we remodeled and opened the back dining room. We also decorated with cool, colorful art from local artists. Also, when we started we were only BYOB. People seem to like that, so I’ve kept the policy, but we also offer margarita mixers.

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dcom: What about the menu-making process? 

O: That was definitely the biggest and most important challenge because I wanted it to be perfect. My goal was to create a small, simple menu, but one that could still cater to everyone. The reasoning behind having a small menu is that you want everything to be fresh. So we handpicked our produce and prepped every day. I wanted all the meats to be grilled in a wood-fire grill for that unique, smokey taste.

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dcom: Does anything stand out as your absolute favorite?

O: My favorite entree would have to be our house specialty, Borrego en Mole Negro. It’s a rack of lamb that we grill to perfection in our wood-fire grill and serve in a Oaxacan black mole. This complex mole is made with over 26 ingredients: herbs, nuts, chocolate and spices that all impart their color and create the perfect balance.

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dcom: That sounds… amazing. Any special plans for the future?

O: We plan to open a patio for next summer. We’re just really proud to be part of this community and I look forward to continuing to cook for our guests, neighbors, and industry friends for a long time to come.

Have you had a chance to get a taste of Mixteco yet? Make us feel really left out in the comments!

Hot Spots

Fast, Casual Indian Cuisine with a Conscience

This week we met with Kaushik Guha, founder of Hakka Bakka, a Lincoln Park fast casual restaurant specializing in delicious kati rolls. So pull up a chair, order up a kati roll, and find out how it all got started!

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delivery.com: Can you tell us about your background and how you got involved in the restaurant industry?

Hakka Bakka: My background is in economics. For eight years I was an economist for various consulting firms, which allowed me to work with a lot of multinational food companies — and that’s where the interest began. At the time, looking at high-level industry overviews, I noticed a pattern with the growth of various ethnic cuisines; when you looked at Mexican or Chinese food, they really took off when the second generation of immigrants had more disposable income.

And so you start to see large ethnic food companies like Panda Express or Chipotle, but there’s nothing like that for Indian food. I wondered why that was, and saw an opportunity there, so I quit my job and went to culinary school in Chicago. After graduating with a certificate in Culinary Arts, I put together a business plan, brought together some financiers — mostly friends and family — and started Hakka Bakka.

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DCOM: When was it that you first opened your doors?

HB: It’s been about nine months now since we opened.

DCOM: And what does Hakka Bakka mean?

HB: It means “surprise,” but our use of it really means “flavor-struck.” When you talk about fast, casual Indian food, people might not expect great flavors. Most of our competitors use frozen, pre-prepared food that they just re-heat, but we do everything from scratch. So the goal is to highlight that fact: that food can be really tasty and delicious but also served quickly, as long as time and effort is put into the process.

DCOM: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?

HB: Well, the most basic Indian curry requires seven to eight different spices, so being able to standardize that was probably my biggest challenge. It took me about two years of research and development to get to a point where my recipes were completely standardized, so that I didn’t have to be in the kitchen any more. So despite other operational challenges that might need to be ironed out, that’s the most important step toward opening more locations.

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DCOM: What’s your favorite item on the menu?

HB: Very traditional is the chicken tikka kati roll with an egg. I think that’s by far the most popular, and my favorite. Our kati rolls are slightly bigger than what you might get back in India. The other unique thing is ours are fully customizable, so when you order, the bread is made fresh, we add the chicken and egg, and then the customer can choose from onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, and our house-made chutney. Anything they want.

DCOMIn the short amount of time that Hakka Bakka has been open, you’ve already become really involved in the community. Is that something that’s been important to you as a business owner?

HB: One of the big things for my wife and me is to push back against the idea that business is some kind of zero-sum game, and that you have to be ruthless to be successful. Everyone can give back. Even at an early stage like where we are, we can’t spend millions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but even a small donation of food goes a long way. Because for most of these charities and organizations, it’s the small donations that really keep them going. And for us, it’s wonderful to see how even small contributions impact the community directly. For example, we work with Inspiration Kitchen, which helps at-risk youths and adults to get stable jobs. We’ve worked with Refugee One as well, which helps people displaced by war and strife. And Lincoln Park has a very vibrant community of schools and organizations, so by virtue of being here, there’s no dearth of opportunity to help. At the very least, everyone can always do with a nice meal.

Everyone can be so afraid of failure, but when you do something kind, even if you get nothing immediate in return, it creates a kind of karma, and along the way you find that you get help from others, and it creates a wonderful culture and community. That’s what we’ve been experiencing.

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Hot Spots

A Taste of Sicily at Salvo's Pizzabar

This week we sat down with our good friend Sal Inzerillo of Salvo’s Pizzabar, one of the Upper East Side’s tastiest hidden gems offering great Italian fare. Between bites of Sicilian slices and spoonfuls of spaghetti, Sal told us all about this family affair, and how Salvos’ success has led him and his co-founders (or, really, his famiglia), into recently opening a second restaurant, Olá Vivabar, now taking orders on delivery.com!

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delivery.com: Thanks for talking with us today, Sal! So first things first: are you the famous Sal who inspired the Salvo’s Pizzabar name?

Sal: You know, it’s a funny story. Salvo is short for Salvatore, which is my name of course. Right before we opened, my cousin, who was working in the kitchen as the chef, gave birth to a son named Salvatore — so it’s a pretty common name in our family. Believe it or not, one of my older brothers, who also co-founded the restaurant, has the name “Salvatore” on his birth certificate, even though he goes by Rosario.

delivery.com: Wow, OK. So there are lots of Sals! But the big takeaway is that this is definitely a family-owned and operated business. How did Salvo’s Pizzabar come to be?

Sal: My family always worked in the industry. My father spent most of his life as a pizzaiolo before he retired in 2004 and moved back to Palermo. But Salvo’s was the first time any of us had started our own restaurant.

In December 2012, the business that previously occupied the Salvo’s space closed down, and the opportunity arose to take it over. So my cousin’s father (also Salvatore, of course), helped us get set up, and the next thing you know, Salvo’s Pizzabar was born.

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delivery.com: Can you talk a little bit about making the menu?

Sal: First thing we did was make sure that we got the best ingredients we could find. For example, we use 100% Grande cheese, East-Coast blend, which is really top quality. We make sure we get a great dough — from the oil to the salt to the yeast — and really perfect it. Same for the sauce of course. But nothing too out-there, because as long as you’re working with quality ingredients from the start, you can get a really great product.

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delivery.com: Any favorites?

Sal: Personally, I love the square Sicilian slice. For pasta, I know it’s simple, but I really love the broccoli, garlic and oil, which you can get with whatever pasta cut you prefer: spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni, fettuccine… I prefer the short pastas though. And for an entree, it’s hard to beat the classic chicken parmigiana.

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delivery.com: [Chewing] We can confirm that these are all excellent options. [More chewing]. We were really excited to hear that you have a new restaurant that just went live on delivery.com  Can you tell us about that?

Sal: Absolutely. As it happens, a space in the same building opened up around the corner last September, so we decided to do a new location with a Latin-inspired menu and a full bar, which we called Olá Vivabar.

We love the Upper East Side, love the neighborhood here. And it’s a really great area for delivery. So we were really excited, because it’s a small spot — about 22 seats — and we knew that we could create a really unique business there, but we’d need the delivery aspect to reach the full potential.

Now, this location was a hand-laundry spot for about 40 years, so construction took six months: new plumbing, new electric. Total demolition basically. That was a totally new experience for us from opening Salvo’s, which at least came with a kitchen and a pizza oven. But this was a complete architectural overhaul, which gave us time to really perfect the space and the menu and hire a great staff.

delivery.com: Then we will definitely have to check that out!

 

In The News

How to Survive a Snowstorm

There’s some serious winter weather headed to the Northeast. When a big snow storm hits, our first instinct is to hunker down, order in, and do our best not to leave the apartment. If you’re planning on doing the same, we’ve got some tips for ordering during the storm.

  • Some merchants may not be accepting orders. It’s important that our merchants and their delivery staffs are safe throughout the storm. To make sure of that, we will be monitoring conditions and working with merchants throughout the day. If a merchant feels that the weather is too bad to make deliveries, they will be temporarily closed on delivery.com. Don’t worry. We’ll bring them back as soon as the weather clears up.
  • Tip. Really well. If restaurants and stores are delivering, that means their delivery people are working really hard in really bad weather. Make sure to tip your delivery person well.
  • Expect some delays. Really bad weather means that delivery times may be longer than usual. Thanks for being patient.
  • Contact us. If you have any questions or happen to have a problem with your order, we’re here for you. Just give us a call at 1-800-709-7191 or email us here.
  • Buy groceries and booze in advance. It’s a snow storm after all, so where are you realistically going? Always be prepared — that’s our motto!

Stay safe and stay warm!

Odds & Trends

Score $5 off with Android Pay!

If you like our new Android app, and you love getting free stuff, then get a load of this:

For a limited time, you can get $5 off one order every single day. And all you have to do is check out using Android Pay. Easy right?

Add any credit or debit card to your Android Pay account, and voila! It’s the fastest way to check out, and super secure since your actual card number is never shared — instead, a virtual account number is used so that your card details are always kept safe.

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The only catch? Just make sure you already have Android Pay installed on your device. If not, head to the Google Play Store and smash that download button.

Once you have it installed, open the Android Pay app and tap the plus button to add your credit or debit card. Once it’s been activated, you’re all set! Re-open the delivery.com app, add items to your bag totaling $15 or more, and be sure to select “Android Pay” as your payment method.

Special Deliveries

Take a Spin through Hoboken!

Hey, hey, Hoboken. Feel like you know the neighborhood pretty well? With so many awesome delivery options in the Mile Square City, no one could blame you for not trying them all. Yet.

But here’s your chance to try something new! Today we sent a nifty little game to everyone in Hoboken, so be sure to check your email inbox and get a special discount at one of five different Hoboken hot spots.

D’S Soul Full Cafeds-soul-full

From the Famous Hangover Cure to classics like cheesy melts and chicken parms, D’s Soul Full Cafe delivers the goods from morning to night.

It’s Greek To Mehoboken-mystery-promo-its-greek-to-me

With everything from classic to contemporary Greek cuisine, It’s Greek To Me will fill you up and make you a fan of their Mediterranean fare in no time.

Pizzeria Hoboken

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Everyone needs a go-to pizza delivery spot. Pizzeria Hoboken fits the bill as the perfect local choice, delivering slices and pies straight from their brick oven to your front door.

Yeung II Sushi Asian Cuisine yeungFor great Asian flavors on Washington Street, look no further than Yeung II. And make sure to check out the menu to see images of their most popular dishes!

Satay Malaysian Cuisine

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Great food and easy delivery at affordable prices. What else do you need? Add Satay Malaysian Cuisine into your delivery rotation, and you won’t be disappointed.

Special Deliveries

Meet the New Android App!

Up until recently, ordering on delivery.com’s website wasn’t always the same as ordering from the apps. But with our latest release to the Google Play store, those days are gone for good. In fact, not only is the new Android app totally up to par with the rest of delivery.com’s ordering options, but it’s fully tailored to the Android experience, taking advantage of unique native features to make for the best delivery app around.

When you really get down to brass tacks, the most important thing for ordering on demand is speed. And the new app delivers. With slick animations and seriously reduced load times, you’ll be able to take care of your to-do list — from ordering lunch to doing your laundry — in less time than ever. See it an action here!

 

 

Of course, if speed and reliability are the bread and butter of any delivery app, it’s the bells and whistles that really make it sing.

Simple Navigation

Big menus are great; everyone loves options. But on a mobile device (yes, even the big ones), working your way around a long menu can be tough. So look for the three little dots on the right side of every menu to pull up a navigation bar that lets you jump from section to section in a snap.

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Pay the Easy Way

When it comes to online ordering, the actual paying part probably isn’t your favorite. But at least it’s easy! With a ton of different ways to pay, including cash, credit, Venmo, or Android Pay, you can save all of your information and check out safely, securely, and quickly every time.

 

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Built for Android

With new phones come new features, and the new Android app takes advantage of improved touch sensitivity with haptic feedback throughout the ordering experience. It’s also fully integrated with Smart Lock, so you can get right down to ordering without entering passwords or security codes.

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Stay tuned for more news about upcoming releases, and head to the comments section below to let us know what you think!

Uncategorized

delivery.com Powers Online Ordering for Facebook Pages

Great news for anyone that likes to get things done fast! You can now order food directly from your favorite restaurant’s Facebook Page, because delivery.com has begun powering online ordering for the social media giant.

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Working together with Facebook, we created a super simple ordering experience that’s fully integrated into the website and app. Just look for a “Start Order” button on select delivery.com restaurant Facebook Pages and voila! You’ll go from Facebooking to feasting in less time than ever.

Plus, it’s now incredibly easy to discover great new restaurants and share recommendations with friends. For more about the integration, Facebook’s Newsroom post and our official press release.

And happy ordering!

Hot Spots · In The News

delivery.com takes Morristown and Montclair!

“Oooohhhhh, growin’ up.” – Bruce Springsteen

Hey there, Jersey. Didn’t think we forgot about you, didja?

Here at delivery.com we’re constantly growing — and growing up — which can only mean one thing: time to check out the ‘burbs!

From Morristown to Montclair and the towns in between, on-demand options are multiplying fast. Suburbanites can enjoy beer, wine and liquor without gassing up the car. They can get their dry cleaning picked up and delivered by the best local cleaners. And when it comes to food, they have a veritable buffet of all the best spots in town, ready to deliver at the drop of a hat.

Check out some of the best restaurants to recently join delivery.com from Morristown and Montclair!

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Don’t see your favorite? Let us know who we’re missing in the comments so that we can bring them on board!