The conclusion of the first month of the new year serves as a major milestone for those that made fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. And while behavior change is always a challenging endeavor, the phenomenon of the Polar Vortex hasn’t aided the cause. The cold leads to discomfort, discomfort leads to comfort food, comfort food is seldom known for its nutritional value. This vicious cycle is particularly prevalent when the internet is capable of locating numerous restaurants that anxiously await your high-calorie delivery request.
Fortunately, HealthyOut, a New York-based startup incubated by health-focused venture accelerator Blueprint Health, offers a means of combating the paradox of choice. HealthyOut works with restaurants much in the same way Seamless does, however it curates a smaller subset of restaurants and then goes a step further by gathering data at the menu item level. In many ways, HealthyOut is to Seamless what eHarmony is to OkCupid: There may be crossover, though the intent of the prior is more pronounced than that of the latter.
Upon registration on HealthyOut, the site asks for dietary preferences (lactose free, pescetarian, vegan) and then follows up with items to strictly avoid (beef, eggs, pasta). Using these filters, HealthyOut recommended offerings from Mooncake Foods (28 Watts Street, 212-219-8888) and featured high quality photographs of the dishes. The grilled shrimp and rice noodles salad was selected, as was the curried cauliflower and grilled asparagus combination.
Shortly after the order was submitted, a text message was received from the HealthyOut customer service team that provided a 15-minute delivery range and an offer of support via text in the event of any issues. The delivery arrived without incident in just over 40 minutes.
The Vietnamese-inspired grilled shrimp and rice noodles salad featured five thoroughly cooked grilled shrimp, half of a slightly ripe avocado and a range of vegetables including carrot strands, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers atop a bed of arugula and baby spinach. All of the components exuded a crisp freshness. The citrus-laden ginger chili dressing was provided in a separate container.
The curried cauliflower and grilled asparagus arrived in separate containers. The cauliflower was cooked to a firm, but not mushy texture and was warm upon arrival. The asparagus was delivered on a bed of leaf lettuce, topped with sesame seeds and covered with an ample amount of balsamic dressing. The balsamic dressing inundated the asparagus and caused it to lilt.
The Morning After: The rice noodle salad remained crisp, as the dressing was served on the side. As a dish that is intended to be served chilled, the experience remained much the same. The curried cauliflower remained firm and enjoyable. The grilled asparagus, still covered in balsamic dressing became soggy and inedible to those that don’t strongly desire vinegar. In hindsight, the dressing should have been drained prior to refrigeration.
Repeatability: The offerings from Mooncake Foods were universally fresh and crisp and paired with distinct, flavorful condiments that eased the anxiety associated with eating healthfully. HealthyOut, off to a solid start, will likely continue to improve as their user base increases, more orders are placed, and the recommendation engine gets more data to chew on.
28 Watts Street (at Varick Street)
New York, NY 10013
Locations: 4 (FiDi, Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, SoHo)
|Hours/Limitations:||$10 delivery minimum|
|Delivery Estimate:||30-50 minutes|
|Delivery Time:||40:30 minutes|
|Distance:||0.5 miles; 4 minutes|
|Ordered at 6:46PM, Cloudy|
|Time is measured from confirmation page to door buzzer.
Distance and time estimate is based on biking via Google Maps.