Best Food Delivery
December 18, 2017 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Looking for ideas for great food I can have sent to my family cross country. Think beyond fruit and cheese baskets.

I'd like to send my family some good eats for Christmas. I'm thinking of the kind of local specialties that you would pay through the teeth to have delivered when you move out of the area. Anything goes: bagels, ice cream, lobster... I'll consider it all. Currently I'm considering a delivery of Beecher's frozen mac and cheese (but I think that's become more widely available nationally, so maybe not special enough). I'm in Washington and family is in Maryland, if that matters. I will happily pay exorbitant shipping.
posted by whodatninja to Shopping (25 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
There's a site called foodydirect that gives a good idea of some big ones available nationwide in the US. I sometimes use it just to get ideas and then order directly from the retailer.
posted by Miko at 9:48 AM on December 18, 2017 appears to be very very similar to foodydirect. (FD carried bread's bakery babkas, which are insanely good).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:59 AM on December 18, 2017

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza:
Gino's East
Lou Malnati's
posted by Comrade_robot at 10:11 AM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Where in Maryland? Depending on the area, it may be pretty easy for them to obtain a fair number of 'specialty' foods locally. Really good NYC-style bagels / babka / appetizing-type stuff were all around, when I was there, and lobster / oysters / all seafood, too. (Though if they like seafood, shipping them some West Coast oysters could be nice, since it's something special from your location! Maybe Kumamotos? Bonus: they are a delicious, delicious variety of oyster.)

Wegman's and Whole Foods and similar places tend to have a lot of specialty and regional items, including ice creams, so if you go that route I'd check to make sure you're not getting something they can find. I don't think Wegman's or WF stores in MD carry Van Leeuwen's ice cream, which is good stuff. (OddFellows is better but they don't ship outside of NYC, sadly.)

Something I couldn't get in MD and would have loved: Hatch green chile.
posted by halation at 10:14 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Portilos in Chicago will ship their Italian Beef & Hotdogs.
posted by wwax at 10:16 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Smart Source Seafood: salmon and halibut from Alaska.

Superb. Can't recommend it enough.
posted by slipthought at 10:19 AM on December 18, 2017

I would second FoodyDirect, and add that the restaurant I used to work for signed up with them specifically because they could ship stuff for us cheaper than we could do it ourselves.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:25 AM on December 18, 2017

Zingermans bakery. Way too expensive to order for yourself, but always a memorable gift. Even if there's a top-rate bakery where your recipients live (I've tried many of the country's best bakeries), Zingermans stuff is different, and better, and life-changing.

I'd suggest the brownies as an easy choice, and the chocolate/cherry bread as something a bit more unusual (must slice, toast and lightly butter; it's not good at room temp. Freezes very well). Coffee cakes also great, though not as sharply different than the norm. Lots of other choices, as well.
posted by Quisp Lover at 10:28 AM on December 18, 2017 [9 favorites]

Re Zingerman's, you don't need to limit yourself to the bakery. They also deliver meats, cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, mustards, and a whole host of other deli items. If you want to go for something more pricey, they have a Reuben sandwich kit. I've sent jarred Cristal peppers from Spain, which at $25 a pop, I'd never buy for myself. Their customer service is legendary.
posted by FencingGal at 10:38 AM on December 18, 2017

Thirding Zingerman's. They have a wide range of options, more like a deli than just a bakery.
posted by praemunire at 10:49 AM on December 18, 2017

See if there's a decent or even favorite restaurant nearby that delivers, and then order a meal over the phone. Italian and Chinese restaurants are particularly likely to do this. No shipping (though you'll want to tip)! If your family is in Baltimore, I can be more specific.
posted by ubiquity at 10:52 AM on December 18, 2017

Russ & Daughters from NYC? My colleague orders platters from them regularly.

My aunt-in-law just sent us some red chile from New Mexico - label says it came from The Fruit Basket of Albuquerque. Life-changing stuff, red chile.

When we do crawfish boils there are a number of Louisiana farms that ship crawfish overnight via FedEx. If they are already in Maryland maybe they are set up for crab boils (large pot, burner, propane)? The shipment always includes some Tony Chachere's boil spice or similar. It's a great party food, just add corn, potatoes, and sausage and lay newspapers over a folding table. Lots of cheap beer.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:07 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Zabar's has all kinds of stuff, not just lox and bagels, but I did have a spread of same delivered from NYC to California with no problem.
posted by 8603 at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2017

Check out Goldbely - I haven't used their service but they list some very familiar and delicious NYC eateries as well as specialties from other cities and regions.
posted by rdnnyc at 11:11 AM on December 18, 2017

Oops sorry - someone already mentioned Goldbely. At any rate - I will reiterate that there are some delicious spots on there.
posted by rdnnyc at 11:13 AM on December 18, 2017

Hancock Lobster Co. lobster mac and cheese.

La Tienda has some nice Spanish food. They are based in Virginia.
posted by gudrun at 11:35 AM on December 18, 2017

Also Good's Potato Chips really are amazing, and they are in Pennsylvania.
posted by gudrun at 11:43 AM on December 18, 2017

Also from NYC - Send a salami to your boy in the army.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:43 AM on December 18, 2017

Tastes of Chicago ships the previously mentioned Lou Malnati's Pizza, Portillos Italian Beef, Chicago Hot Dogs and some other Chicago-centric edibles.

My Texan brother-in-law sends us a package from Cooper's BBQ every Christmas, which is delicious.
posted by sarajane at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2017

This might sound disgusting if you aren't from Memphis, but the Rendezvous restaurant will ship a kit to make barbecue nachos. Unusual enough to be a cool gift, and really darn delicious.
posted by raspberrE at 1:58 PM on December 18, 2017

S & S cheesecake--the finest exemplar you'll find of a New York Jewish cheesecake. Most people who aren't from New York City have heard if it. In fact, most New Yorkers haven't heard of it if they're not from the Bronx. It's sooooooo delicious!
posted by zorseshoes at 2:03 PM on December 18, 2017

DiBruno, a Philadelphia Italian Market institution, is always very well-received when I send it.
posted by jshort at 7:18 PM on December 18, 2017

we do greenberg smoked turkeys in east texas. carcass is excellent for smoked turkey gumbo.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 11:59 PM on December 18, 2017

Lawn Beaver: My aunt-in-law just sent us some red chile from New Mexico - label says it came from The Fruit Basket of Albuquerque. Life-changing stuff, red chile.

Their store has a good array of New Mexico-specific foods, but for my money, I'd stay the most New Mexican items are 1) Hatch green chiles, 2) biscochito cookies, and 3) Piñon coffee (not sold via ABQ Fruit Basket). While the state question is "red or green?" (referring to options for chile with your meal), red chile doesn't have the same NM feel and impact as the Hatch greens do (but I'm a semi-recent transplant, so maybe I don't appreciate the red chiles as much).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:09 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Not to boast too hard but in our box with red chile, there were several dozen homemade biscochitos. My in laws don’t play.

I just like red chile, is all. I mean Hatch chiles are great and NM specific but they don’t do the same thing for me.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 5:17 PM on December 19, 2017

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