Uber for crabmeat? Yup, it’s a thing.
UberEATS, the rideshare giant’s year-old foray into high-end food delivery, is mostly about prepared dishes. Users can browse menus from more than 100 Philly restaurants, tap to order, and then wait for a ready-made meal to arrive at their door.
But as of last week — in a Philadelphia first — you can also turn to the app if you’re looking to cook.
Ippolito’s in South Philly has partnered with Uber to offer a full array of fresh seafood alongside its regular menu of fried fish sandwiches and deli salads.
Click the drop-down to reveal the semi-hidden menu and you can choose from a variety of cut and cleaned fish filets — sushi-grade salmon, local fluke, big eye tuna — plus octopus, squid (DIY calamari is 100) and shellfish like wild-caught shrimp, giant scallops, jumbo lump crab. You might recognize Ippolito’s as the home of crispy fish jawns, but it’s also the retail storefront for chef-standby Samuels Seafood, so the product is top restaurant quality.
The ability to order raw ingredients instead of just prepared food via the service is unique to Philly, as far as Uber reps know.
“We have lots of experiments happening around the world,” an Uber spokesperson said via email. “We’re constantly innovating with our restaurant partners to find new ways to satisfy EATS customers.”
Ordering groceries via an app isn’t new. Companies like Instacart, Peapod, Fresh Direct and Amazon Prime Fresh have been offering the ability to shop online instead of wait in line at the supermarket for years. But the directness of this new UberEATS option — which connects you directly with one expert vendor — plus familiarity with the interface, makes it an appealing option for home chefs looking for pristine seafood.
Turns out other high-end delivery services are also tiptoeing into the grocery game.
Asked if Caviar had any customers offering ingredients along with prepared dishes, a spokesperson at first answered in the negative. Later that same day, the answer changed.
Starting this past Friday, the Caviar listing for the Living Room Cafe in Queen Village goes beyond French toast and turkey wraps, and also provides the option to order goods like butter, milk, eggs, bacon and flour.
Caviar is still looking into whether any restaurants in other cities are offering this kind of thing, but for now, it seems like Philly is at the forefront of this brand new trend.