Let’s order in: Four of Foggy Bottom’s favorite deliverers

Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Magic Gourd offers a variety of flavor-rich Chinese food. For a late-night craving or study break, you can have a delivery brought to your residence hall in less than a half if you order through GrubHub.

From greasy pizzas to vegetable samosas to salty wonton soup, delivery is the way to go as midterms loom and winter refuses to loosen its grip.

We broke down some of the popular options around campus, giving you the pros and cons before you order.

Magic Gourd

528 23rd St. NW.

Magic Gourd is the closest I’ve had in D.C. to New York Chinese food: The menu has a standard selection and your order is delivered quickly. The problem with most Chinese food outside of the tristate area is restaurants are shy with the salt. But Magic Gourd understands a college girl’s need to fill a craving, and so it earns a nod as a great Chinese take-out place.

Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

The menu is divided into different meat groups. I ordered egg drop soup, wonton soup and chicken with mixed vegetables. A downfall of ordering from Magic Gourd is you don’t have much choice in portion size. I wanted a larger helping of egg drop soup, but instead of large, I had to order two mediums. (I was trying to get rid of a cold.) Regardless, the food was delicious.

I used Grubhub to order. I was a little annoyed by the $15 minimum amount for delivery service, so when you order, keep in mind that you’ll have to split the cost with your roommate or have leftovers for a week. Still, I was excited when I was eating a hot meal in my room just 15 minutes after I hit the submit button on my computer.

– Gabriella Morrone

Manny and Olga’s

1841 14th St. NW.

Manny and Olga’s is the college student’s basic late-night go-to. It might not be the best-tasting pizza place in town, but its large pies, sandwiches, wings and Greek dishes are worth their prices. The calzone is gigantic and the pizzas are larger than any sizes available at Dominos. Even the garlic bread comes as a loaf.

The quasi-pizzeria definitely sacrifices taste for cheap prices and those large portions. Every mouthful was greasy and the calzone was undercooked. The gyro was so smothered with sauce that the chicken was almost lost under a mountain of tahini.

A saving grace of Manny and Olga’s is a delivery minimum of $10, plus a $2.50 fee. In an effort to improve customer service, Manny and Olga’s calls you five minutes before delivery and again when the food is at your doorstep. The downside is their unpredictability: Manny and Olga’s has delivered food between 20 minutes and about two hours.

The cheap cost and ability to pay with GWorld keep Manny and Olga’s on my delivery rotation, but the taste and uncertain delivery times keep it from being a staple.

– Regina Park

Wingo’s

3207 O St. NW.

The Mecca of GW chicken, Wingo’s both accepts GWorld and offers fried goodness to satisfy your late-night cravings.

First time users of the Wingo’s online system could be confused by the sheer number of customizable options. For every order, you can choose the type of chicken (wings, drumsticks or mixed), the crispiness of the skin and the amount of sauce. If that doesn’t appease your inner control freak, Wingo’s also gives you a complimentary tub of sauce, from ordinary barbecue to Insane Inferno.

Once the ordering process is out of the way, it’s time to wait for your sauce-drenched, extra-crispy wings. Luckily, Wingo’s tends to have a reliable delivery time. Unluckily, that means you’ll have to wait an hour for your customized wings.

An average 10-piece set of wings will cost $10, although Wingo’s does sell the Mini Pack (six wings) for lighter eaters and the Super Bucket (100 wings) for those who want to go big.

For people who’d like it morning, noon and night, Wingo’s also offers breakfast dishes, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, desserts and soups in addition to their signature wings.

– Regina Park

Taj of India

2809 M St. NW.

Most people have strong feelings about curry, the ambiguous combination of spices associated with Indian food. Those who detest its strong smell tend to avoid Indian restaurants, so they miss out on flavorful gems like Taj of India.

Many items on the menu ignore curry in favor of herb marinades and yogurt-based sauces over lamb, chicken, vegetables and seafood. While ordering from Taj is less enjoyable than sitting down at its Georgetown location – instead of a steaming basket of fluffy naan, delivery comes lukewarm, wrapped in tin foil – it’s still my first pick for Indian cuisine in the comfort of my room.

Delivery took about an hour, but my vegetable samosa ($5) and chicken Taj Karai ($17) were still restaurant-quality when they arrived. Main dishes at Taj run a little pricey ($15 to $20), so ordering two appetizers, like chat papri (flour crisps with diced potatoes) and chandi kabob (grilled chicken with onion chutney) is a good way to get the flavors of Taj without sabotaging your budget – even if you hold the curry.

– Jeanine Marie

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