I was invited to a launch party for a new lunch purchase program for folks working in Center City. MealPal lets you pay per month, and then choose from a multitude of vendors for a daily lunch option. Kind of like Netflix for food. You can choose what you want to eat from a mouthwatering display of Pinterest-style food photos, up until 9:30am that morning, and then pick up your meal around . . . lunchtime. It ends up costing about $6 a day, and you basically just walk in and grab your food without having to pay or wait in line. Some of the vendors were offering samples, so I indulged. My favorite of the night ended up being these Kansas City Beef Dogs from Destination Dogs.
The casing had a great snap, and the short rib chili and house slaw on top added just the right amount of savory and sassy accessories. They also baked the top loader buns in house. I was a big fan.
You could also tell that the care that was put into the assembly process was a carry-over from the general thoughtfulness and "love" that these guys had for the product.
I spent a good bit of time
I may or may not have eaten three (along with all of the other foods I sampled). I felt a bit like Frankie MacDonald by the time I was done.
Real Food Eatery is another newcomer on the Center City scene that I pleased to meet, literally. I spoke to John (co-founder) about his passion for nutrition and how it shouldn't be considered a bad thing. AKA bland. I was surprisingly pleased with his options. I tried some of the sweet potato hummus and the chicken dish, again both surprisingly good for how healthy they looked.
Plenty of herbs on the tender and flavorful chicken thighs.
And here I was trying yet ANOTHER new place with some Asian flair, Oishii Poke in Chinatown. The spicy salmon poke bowl was yet another favorite.
Look at the color on that salmon!
The shrimp "ebi crunch sushi burrito" rolls were also delicious. Reminded me of my original favorite sushi burrito, but with a little less pizzaz (AKA spicy sauces).
The Farmer's Keep brought some ranch flavored beef meatballs that were not made with your packet of dried ranch mix, but with actual fresh herbs. Surprisingly delicious.
I passed on this one, below, from a local fitness-oriented fast food joint (too healthy for my tastes at that moment) but just want to show you that there is definitely a good mix of options for those who might be watching their waste line.
Matt and Marie's brought some sandwich options including their famous Italian stallion. A decent choice for an Italian hoagie in Center City.
This is actually a great lunch option for people who work downtown and want a reason to get out of the office. You have the option to eat on premises or go back to your desk (like so many of us are guilty of doing). You also get a huge variety of options every day, and can get in and out of the restaurant in less than 5 minutes. Definitely worth a trial subscription, if you ask me.