There is an app for everything right now, from identifying spiders running around your apartment to brokering business buyouts. Sure, there is a hum from citizens who wish people would put down their smart phones and take part in “real life”, but nobody can hear them because they’re taking an online course over their lunchbreak, learning a new language at the gym, or hosting a conference call with Japan while out walking their dog.
There is no fighting it. Smart phones aren’t the future, they’re the present. In fact, unless you’re holding an actual copy of our paper in your hand, it’s likely you’re reading these very words on your smart phone, whether through the link on Facebook, or through your subscription to The Reader on your Issuu App.
So other than subscribing to updates from your favorite food column, (that’s us, by the way) are you using the right apps to get the most out of your local dining experience? We’ve put together a list of some of the more useful products in the sea of dining apps available.
For the Reserved Diner
Planners, parents, and those who just have a high respect for time use every second wisely. Their minutes are sacred currency and of the highest value, and standing in a restaurant lobby waiting an unpredictable amount of time for a table just doesn’t fit their budget. OpenTable allows you to view menus, see reviews, and book a table from anywhere. Earn points toward dining, and skip the wait!
For the Sensitive Type
Food allergies and sensitivities were once a lifetime sentence to dining in. Now, more establishments are sensitive to sensitivity, and are going to extreme lengths to help people avoid their trigger foods. AllergyEats App, free from Itunes, allows you to scout out restaurants that claim to cater to food allergies. It specifies which allergen the restaurant avoids, a sneak peek at the menu, and allows customers to rate the experience and flag places who are dishonest about their practices.
Available allergen options are tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish, sesame, and soy. The more users on the app, the more accurate and comprehensive it becomes!
For the Dieter
Vegan, vegetarian, keto, Atkins, paleo, diabetic, celiac, or on a heart healthy diet? The solution is Tasteful, free from Itunes. You have the option to not only select your dietary preference, but to narrow your choices by cuisine, cost, and location. Whether you’re looking to shake up your weekend routine, or are on the road and don’t know where to go, Tasteful can find the food to fit your macros!
For the Dining (In)trovert
Some of us work long, hard hours and find there is just no time to shop, prep, and cook at the end of the day. Some of us want to enjoy the finest dining in Omaha without putting on pants. Whatever your reason for refusing to go sit in a restaurant, there is a solution! Skip The Dishes, UberEats, and Fast Guys Delivery are all waiting to bring you your favorite dish, no shoes, no shirt, no problem.
Search by address and all participating restaurants in your delivery area will appear before you. You can browse menus, make notes, and pay right from the app. The delivery charge and adjustable tip are included in the final cost, so once you submit your order, all that’s left to do is answer your door.
I have personally used this app to order food for friends who were sick, injured, or who had recently delivered a baby. Nothing says love like a hot meal you didn’t have to cook yourself! Simplify the “meal train” and send them a Skip the Dishes gift card!
For the Indecisive Adventurer
Meal of Fortune uses your location to grab more than a dozen nearby restaurants with excellent Yelp ratings. Can’t decide where to dine? Give the wheel a spin and settle the argument without resorting to sulking over greasy takeout again. Once the wheel has decided, you can choose to spin again, or click the link to visit the establishment’s Yelp page and find out what other diners ordered and what they thought of it.
For the Aspiring Connoisseur
Delectable is your pocket Sommelier. Simply scan the label and the app delivers expert advice about pairings, insider info on the vintage, and walks you through the notes as you taste. Enjoy the art of the savor as Delectable shows you how to dissect the drink, drawing out the subtlety in each glass. Free for Iphone and Android.
Ya, ya. You probably already have this app, but are you using it to its full potential? Explore all restaurants available and choose something new! Take the opportunity to indulge in a tasting experience at half the cost, removing any risk associated with trying a new place. Just remember to always tip on the pre-groupon total. There are no discounts on excellent service!
What apps do you use to elevate your dining experience? Leave us a note here, on Facebook, or email us at Crumbs@TheReader.Com