We all know those weeknights when you’re exhausted after work and the last thing you want to do is make dinner. Your possible options are eating out at a restaurant, ordering takeout, or gracing your grocery store’s prepared food aisles. You know that eating out is expensive, takeout food can take forever, and the quality of supermarket’s prepared foods is less than you desire. But you usually settle for one of those options. Starting last November, you now have another more promising option. Enter Sprig.
Sprig is a new San Francisco based start-up that aims to get you food faster with greater ease. Backed by big names such as Nate Keller (ex-Google chef) and Gagan Biyani (former Lyft advisor), Sprig is carrying out their four main goals.
1. Deliver food fast.
2. Make the food affordable (relative to restaurants in San Francisco)
3. Maintain a level of quality in ingredients and preparation.
4. Keep the entrees interesting by offering different dishes daily.
Before we forget, let’s mention that there are a couple of catches. Sprig only operates 4 days a week from 5:30pm to 9:30pm and they only deliver in the “Sprig Zone” within San Francisco.
If you are in the wrong time or wrong place, you are out of luck. Last month we sampled Sprig’s offerings. Did it meet our expectations? Let’s find out.
It is apparent that Gagan Biyani used his experience at Lyft to influence the development of a simple interface for ordering food. Similar to Lyft, the Sprig app is equally as simple and easy to use. You download the app, choose your entrees, enter your personal information, and tap the place order button. You can get down to 3 taps for subsequent orders.
Another similarity with Lyft is the concept of “drivers”. Information is texted about the driver’s progress immediately after ordering. They are responsible for delivering food from the kitchen to your home with meal boxes being the only exchange. There’s no tip to be given and all the monetary transactions occur via the app. For a SoMa address, the drivers had an impressive 15 – 20 minute delivery time.
Did we compare Sprig’s food to a fine-dining restaurant? How about a home-cooked meal? No and No. The food was rated based on comparisons with other food establishments that have similar promises of cheap, convenient, and fast delivery of food. Three random entrees were chosen and reviewed over the course of a month.
The Shredded Chicken Topped With Queso Fresco
This entree consisted of a cornmeal cake topped with peppers, queso fresco (soft cheese), cilantro and shreds of chicken. The spiced chicken was tender and juicy and the accompanied roasted zucchini and red peppers were properly cooked and tasted fresh.
Herb Roasted Chicken
Despite the chicken being tender and flavorful, the other accompaniments were somewhat dry and boring. The rice was under cooked and lacked spices or herbs to make it interesting. The cauliflower broccoli hybrid vegetable had a nutty flavor but lacked salt and other seasonings.
The fresh tofu made the vegetarian chili a creative dish but the black and brown beans added a slight heaviness that was felt sometime after the meal was finished. Accompanied braised kale and carrots both tasted fresh and well-cooked. This dish was both gluten and dairy free. Sprig offers one vegetarian entree each night that caters towards vegetarians and those with food allergies.
Ultimately, the food was rated relative to the convenience and price. It was fresh, creatively chosen, and well balanced. Most of the entrees contained the three main food groups (vegetables, starch and meat) and there is always one vegetarian gluten-free option. Also, with an ever rotating assortment of dishes each night, we did not get food fatigued.
When compared to other food delivery options, Sprig offers the following advantages: ease of ordering, quickness of delivery, and minimal cost. In addition, none of the entrees were over salted and contained heavy unhealthy oils. The quality of food exceeded our expectations for a food delivery service given all the aforementioned advantages. Sprig should be seen as another potential solution to your weeknight’s food dilemma.