Craveble — A New Food Delivery Service

Lobster roll from Oakland's Sea Breeze on the Dock delivered to my door via Craveble.
Lobster roll from Oakland’s Sea Breeze on the Dock delivered to my door via Craveble.

If you’re a regular user of food delivery services, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a new one in town: Craveble.

It actually launched 2 1/2 years ago in Sacramento to deliver premade restaurant dishes to consumers. But slowly but surely, it has expanded its geographic reach to now include six other Western states besides California. They are: Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

It was established by Darren McAdams, who also founded past food delivery concepts Foodjets and FoodToYou.

My delivery box.
My delivery box.

What sets Craveble apart is the fact that you can mix and match dishes from its local partner restaurants to bundle together in one order. In the Bay Area, that means you can assemble one delivery from 10 different restaurants.

You won’t necessarily find Michelin-starred or big-name restaurants on this site. Instead, its partners are more mom-and-pop places. Craveble also won’t work for spontaneous cravings necessarily. That’s because the company ships only Monday through Thursday right now, with a guarantee delivery within 48 hours.

There are no taxes, tipping, or service fees. A minimum of six dishes is required per order. Order eight dishes and shipping is free. Most dishes feed one, though, a few items can serve 2 or more.

The restaurants prepare the dishes, then the Craveble team picks them up and transports them to their facility in a refrigerated truck. There, the dishes are sealed and blast chilled before shipped out. Once you receive them, store them in your fridge or freezer until you enjoy them.

Chicken tikka masala and Nepali chicken dumplings, both from Tashi Delek Cuisine in El Cerrito; plus butter chicken from Keeva Indian Kitchen in San Francisco.
Chicken tikka masala and Nepali chicken dumplings, both from Tashi Delek Cuisine in El Cerrito; plus butter chicken from Keeva Indian Kitchen in San Francisco.

Craveble invited me to try the service for free recently. I ordered nine items from seven different establishments in six different cities in Northern California. My delivery box showed up in 24 hours with everything cold and packed neatly. Every sealed dish was labeled to show what it contained, which restaurant it came from, and directions for heating.

If the wave of takeout during the height of the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that certain foods definitely take better to delivery than others. From that experience, I knew that anything braised or stewed certainly would withstand any travel time well.

That showed in the Indian and Nepali dishes I ordered. The butter chicken over rice ($13.99) from San Francisco’s Keeva Indian Kitchen heated up easily in the microwave. The saucy chicken had plenty of mild, creamy tomato sauce, though, the rice was a little watery.

The rice with the chicken tikka masala ($13.99) from El Cerrito’s Tashi Delek Cuisine suffered from a little wateriness, too. But the chicken itself was smoky, and redolent of cardamom and fenugreek. It hit squarely on the mild side of the heat meter.

Keeva Indian Kitchen’s Nepali chicken dumplings ($13.99) also reheated well in the microwave. The eight dumplings were plump and nicely seasoned with cilantro and onion. You almost wished for a sauce to go with it, though. At the actual restaurant, they’re served with a tomato sauce for one dollar less at $12.99. At home, I just spooned over a little soy sauce and chili crisp.

Koja Kitchen's braised pork bowl (left) and short rib bowl (right).
Koja Kitchen’s braised pork bowl (left) and short rib bowl (right).

From the pandemic, I also knew that rice bowls would hold up well in transit. That was spot-on with the two entrees from Sacramento’s Koja Kitchen. The Original Short Rib Bowl ($12.99) had chunks of boneless tender short rib meat that reminded me of Chinese-style beef jerky with its sweet soy taste. It came with a mound of rice and a bit of kimchi. The braised pork bowl ($12.99) had plenty of juicy, fatty meat that was similar to pulled pork. The rice and kimchi definitely helped lighten the richness.

In comparison, if you had picked up these entrees at an actual Koja Kitchen, the short rib bowl would have been $14 and included a couple more flourishes including katsu aioli and fried onions. Same for the braised pork bowl, which is $12 at the restaurant and comes with garlic aioli and fried onions.

Jambalaya from Nola's Kitchen food truck in Sacramento.
Jambalaya from Nola’s Kitchen food truck in Sacramento.

Heating up the chicken and sausage jambalaya ($14.99) from Nola’s Kitchen food truck in Sacramento in the microwave was a breeze. This is a comforting dish with hits of pepper and spice.

Lobster rolls from Oakland’s Sea Breeze on the Dock (three in a pack for $39.99) was the most expensive item I tried — and probably the least successful. I’m sure that these buttery lobster rolls are wonderful eaten fresh at the actual restaurant. But as you can imagine, delicate lobster doesn’t take well to reheating, no matter how gently, as it tends to dry out. So, your choice is to either consume these ice-cold — bread and all — or warmed and not optimal tasting.

Hand pies from Ikeda's to heat up in the oven.
Hand pies from Ikeda’s to heat up in the oven.

Pies of any kind, on the other hand, were made for a service like this. Whether chilled or frozen, simply bake them in the oven until warmed through. The marionberry fried hand pies from Auburn’s Ikeda’s (two for $18.99) heated up golden and flaky with a sweet and tangy jammy filling loaded with berries.

East Bay Pie Co.'s incredible apple pies.
East Bay Pie Co.’s incredible apple pies.

The individual mini apple pies from Berkeley’s East Bay Pie Co. (two for $14.99) were especially impressive. The all-butter crust was impeccable, baking up super flaky. The company adds its own special touch to the filling with the addition of saffron, but neither my husband nor I would have guessed it was there had we not known about it beforehand. Nevertheless, the filling of juicy diced Granny Smith apples was plenty flavorful with cinnamon, cloves, and apple cider vinegar.

If you’d like to try out Craveble, first-time customers can get 50 percent off their first order. Just use the code: CRAVE50.

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