Reviews, deliveries and more: The food apps every Wash. U. foodie needs to download

| Staff Writer

If you’re anything like me, food is a very important part of your life. And in this burgeoning technology age, the way we consume food is rapidly changing. Here are a few apps that have revolutionized my world and should revolutionize yours, too:

NoWait:

If you are someone who hates having to wait to get into a restaurant, this app is about to change your life. Instead of having to show up to the restaurant to get in line, you can electronically enter line from this app. Mission Taco Joint, First Watch and Pastaria are among the places the app lets you queue. Besides its extremely user-friendly interface, I love how this app provides an accurate estimate of the time left until you are seated. Often, I find that hosts and hostesses tend to tweak this number a bit in order to appease the costumer…but computers can’t lie (not yet, at least). Once at Pastaria, the app told me I had no time left until I could be seated, but the restaurant was not yet ready. To make up for the incongruity, the manager gave our table a free plate of their signature crispy risotto balls. Since the app is free, I would say I got more than my money’s worth.

Yelp:

This one is pretty obvious, but I felt as though I had to put it on here, considering how frequently I use it. There are lots of ways you can get restaurant recommendations, but I like how Yelp lets you search for very specific categories of food (for all of those times when you have very specific cravings). Another feature that is really useful is the ability to find out what the popular, quintessential dishes are at that restaurant. Now, before ordering at a restaurant, I find myself scrolling through the photos people have posted of their dishes on Yelp to see whether or not they will effectively stimulate my taste buds. It’s all about maximizing your experience, kids.

FoodShare:

Started by a current Wash. U. student, this app is a great way to help others while helping yourself. If you share a photo of your meal at a local restaurant on the app, then Operation Food Search, a St. Louis-based food distributor, will automatically donate a meal to someone in need. You then use the photo to recommend the restaurant to friends, who can also recommend restaurants to you, making it easy to find new good places to eat. Win, win, win.

Postmates:

Warning: this app is highly addictive for those who tend to order delivery pizza because they are too lazy to walk over to Bear’s Den. When you initially launch the app, you are greeted by a long list of places you can order from, with pictures of the delectable dishes they offer. When I first started using it, I was amazed at the range of restaurants: Chick-fil-A, Half & Half, Pastaria, the Original Pancake House, Pappy’s Smokehouse, Strange Donuts—almost anything you could think of is on Postmates. If for some strange reason you’re not looking for food, Walgreens and Best Buy are among some of the non-restaurant options available. Once you check out, you’re assigned a “postmate” who will drive to the location, pick up the food and bring it back to your residence. Like Uber, you only have to enter all of your payment information when you initially sign up. You can also track the progress of your order by following the postmate’s movement. My personal favorite feature is the referral program, which gives you a $10 credit for every person you get to sign up for the app. (I apologize to all my friends and family who have felt harassed by the invite code messages that may have inundated their phones in the past.) The only downside to this app is the delivery fee, which is usually $5, but can significantly increase during peak hours. Plan your ordering time wisely!