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Testing out a new food platform: Munch Ado

4 Nov

My day job is in digital media, so when people ask me to test out a new site or app in the food space, I am both delighted (I love what I do) and concerned (I’m very particular about the quality of the platforms I use online).  I have very little patience for apps/websites that do not work, make my life harder, or try to solve for a problem that doesn’t exist. But Munch Ado had an interesting proposition and I was happy to try it out (and they kindly gave me $100 towards using their service, which enabled me to treat some of my coworkers to a lunch delivery).

The pitch was that it’s a NY-based start-up that is working on “redefining food discovery and connecting restaurants with people (and vice versa).” Right now, I personally use a big combination of Seamless, Yelp, OpenTable, Eater, Chow, FourSquare, UrbanSpoon, and a few others for all my food needs. The idea of having this all in one place is appealing, though I was skeptical if there really could be a one-stop shop that combined all the best of each so I could find a restaurant, reserve a table, order food, and get deals all while taking reviews into consideration so I could find the best ones.

So does Munch Ado deliver?

First… a tour:

(Home screen)


(Browse for restaurants by location)


(See local restaurants on one map)


(Look for deals… there were a number available for Hispanic Heritage earlier this week)IMG_9175

(Details of the deal)


(Some more deal stuff… this on delivery)

I liked a few of the features, namely that whether I was looking to dine in or dine out, it was all in one place. The idea that was most appealing to me is that I could not know where to go for dinner, pull up the app and look for fun deals in the area, and choose that way. So the “deals” aspect I think was the most interesting.

I was severely missing the reviews to help me decide, however. There are a few reviews but I don’t see any kind of ranking or way of sorting by reviews just yet (it automatically searches by distance, with A to Z, Best Match, and Price being the other options). Also, I didn’t get any easy prompt to add my review, so I think building that will be difficult at first unless they pull in reviews from other places.

My biggest hang-up: I am still not sure what allows a restaurant to qualify for their list, and it’s not like it was just listing the best restaurants, which makes me wonder how exactly I choose.  So picking a place to go is not as easy as I would have liked, leaving me flipping through the entire list of places that delivered to me at that time.

So when I ordered, I went with a restaurant I am already a fan of to deliver.  The process of ordering delivery was pretty easy (though, be warned, you can’t add tip until they deliver and you add it on the receipt) though I wish there was more information on each dish like there is in Seamless.  I also had no idea how long it would take to arrive until after I checked out (I might have missed this but not sure) and then when it was a bit late, I didn’t know who to contact or how.

We all did enjoy a lovely lunch delivery, however! (Thanks again from me and my coworkers, Munch Ado!)

The usability was nice and I liked the look and feel of the app. I also like the cheekiness of the messaging (though I wish they allowed opt in for text messaging rather than automatically sending).

Overall, I think Munch Ado has definite potential, but a key is that it has to do each function as well, if not better, than the individual sites/apps I currently use to truly replace them. I gave them some feedback on how to get closer to that goal, and they were SUPER receptive. So hopefully this is just the start of something fabulous.

Let me know what you think if you try it out!


Three Many Cooks Cookbook Launch Party

13 Apr

A few months ago, we attended our second “Tursgiving” hosted by a friend of ours. The hosting couple mentioned they had a friend who was also a food blogger and also pregnant, and they were hoping we would get along.  And we sure did!  I had a great time sitting next to Maggy and her husband Andy during the meal and loved hearing about the blog she wrote with her mom and sister, Three Many Cooks.

We ran into them a few times since and I’m looking forward to having sons a few months apart (her son was born in January).

When Maggy extended an invite to their Cookbook Launch Party, I was flattered and excited to attend, especially since it was at the OXO Test Kitchen at their Headquarters.  How could I possibly resist going to the home of innovative kitchen products?  And I enjoyed their entry wall of all sorts of fun things.


We socialized over cocktails (or in my case… mocktails) and appetizers before seeing a demo from the Three Many.  Maggy’s mom (Pam, already a great cookbook author) was filled with warmth and excitement and it was obvious to tell why this family was so well bonded.


And the three of them together were just glowing, especially Maggy (on the right) who is only 3 months post partem with that cute little baby (on the left).  I’m inspired to look that good and that happy 3 months after Baby Nom Nom is born.


We then sat down to a lovely dinner of Popcorn Salad (using popcorn instead of croutons, which added a great crunch)


And pasta fagioli soup (and we learned a great tip… cook the pasta separately and add it at the last minute so it doesn’t get mushy… so simple yet so smart).


They then read a section that each had written within the book.  Learning their father was a minister immediately gave me pause (Inner dialogue: “Is this a religious book? Please don’t make this non-practicing, culturally Jewish girl uncomfortable over my delicious soup”) but the sections read were mostly about faith rather than religion (sigh of relief) and they were beautiful words and stories.


I was lucky enough to walk out of there with a few OXO goodies and a signed copy, and I can’t wait to read more over the next few weeks.


Trying Tim Tam’s

23 Mar

I’m a member of BzzAgent, a site that allows you to sign up and then get free samples in return for reviewing them on the BzzAgent site (and optionally interacting with the brands through blogs and social media).   I don’t review most items that I get here on the blog, but when it’s food related and as good as Tim Tam’s, I have to share it with all of you.

I’ve heard a lot of whispered conversations about Tim Tams and how they were a great international treat.  I never got a chance to try one, so I was excited to be offered a sample pack to try.  I also assumed they were not available in the US since they are produced in Australia.  Now, however, apparently they ARE available at Target (which gives me more motivation to go to a Target to try that caramel flavor).

I was not expecting to like a packaged snack as much as I liked this.

They are a sturdy, satisfying size…


And the inside is kind of the consistency of a Twix bar but with chocolate, and then the layer of chocolate cream inside is very tasty, and the chocolate on the outside tastes like premium quality chocolate.


I am SUPER picky about my chocolate, so I was impressed. I also don’t LOVE eating most packaged snacks, but I would go out of my way to eat these.

I also saw that the “thing to do” is to bite off an end, put it in a hot beverage, and sip that through the cookie like a straw. I do not entirely understand, but I’m intrigued!

“Straw” or not, I loved these things (and Mike agreed).  I blame the pregnancy… but our package was gone in less than 2 days.  WHOOPS!

Thanks for sending me a free package, BzzAgent!  While I did get this for free, I was under no obligation to write about it at all. I just enjoyed them that much.  #GotItFree