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SeamlessWeb.com vs. DiningIn.com for Delivery


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On Thursday evening, I discovered diningin.com, a terrific online system for ordering delivery from restaurants which is unfortunately not available in Washington (currently it covers Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Denver, and has the further drawback that the site can be painfully slow), and found that I could actually get delivery from Tinto. I decided, though, that that was not a particularly auspicious way to experience a good restaurant, so I decided to order Chinese. I checked on the eGullet Pennsylvania forum, and found that Lee How Fook was thought pretty well of, so I ordered from there. Diningin.com lets you select a restaurant, pick dishes from their menu, specify a delivery time, enter credit card info, and specify a tip, either by percentage or fixed amount. Then you go clickety-clack, and the food shows up at your door. So I chose a spring roll, a shredded turnip and pork soup, and a hot-pot of oysters, scallion, and ginger. The food arrived earlier than promised, the spring roll was still crisp and hot, the soup was dull if inoffensive, and the oyster dish wasn't nearly as good as the similar dish at Full Kee, but was pretty good. Perhaps diningin.com will come to Washington some day; it would be a nice complement to OpenTable.

Try Seamlessweb. It's fast, not slow, and is available in more "big" cities (and London), like DC. One caveat - it does seem like they are working through takeout taxi for some restaurants at the moment, but that is bound to change. Seamless has made late nights at the office here in NY bearable.

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Try Seamlessweb. It's fast, not slow, and is available in more "big" cities (and London), like DC. One caveat - it does seem like they are working through takeout taxi for some restaurants at the moment, but that is bound to change. Seamless has made late nights at the office here in NY bearable.

Interesting. I compared seamlessweb to diningin for the 19103 zip code (Rittenhouse Square). Seamlessweb offered me a choice of 49 restaurants, while diningin showed me 86. And yet many of the seamlessweb restaurants are shown as being "Brought to you by Dining In". Checking my home address (zip code 20009) on seamlessweb, I got 30 restaurants, of which only 11 were not through Takeout Taxi, and some of which I'd never heard of. I'll have to keep my eye on this and see how it develops. When it's not being slow, the diningin user interface is distinctly better than seamlessweb. One of them well probably end up buying the other, and the combined company will be bought by Google.

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