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Credit: NYCPlugged

I’ve been hearing about MealPal for a while now, but have yet gotten a chance to try it, until last week when they offered us to give them a try!

MealPal is a relatively new app which promises daily lunch from a variety of restaurants, cafes and stores across the city for one low set price.

The site takes a minute to get used to, but basically, every night at 5pm (until 9:30am the following day), a new “menu” of options opens up. There is one pre-decided option from each restaurant and the restaurants vary day-by-day.

The only rules they have is that you can’t make substitutions or customize dishes, “that’s what makes lunch so easy”, and you must pick up within the 15 minute window you specify (anytime between 11am and about 2:30pm). And yes, you pick up- no delivery.

Now that we’ve got logistics out of the way, let’s talk food.

We opted to keep most of our meals close to home (AKA our office) so we’d have an easier time picking them up. That being said, there were still a ton of options for awesome food at places we’ve never been before.

Day 1: Kimchi Bunn & Red Bean Bunn from Bunn

We’d always wanted to try steamed buns, but had never had them before. Knowing the taste of kimchi and red bean, it was easy to guess what the filling’s flavors would be, but it was great how the buns balanced them out.

The kimchi was more savory, garlicky and had a real spicy kick at the end. The red bean was a great follow up adding a sweeter note. They also added an order of delimanjoo- a fish shaped pancake dessert filled with custard- the perfect finish.

Credit: NYC Plugged

Day 2: Falafel Pita with Drink from Middle Eats

This one was a classic. Though they said no customizing, once we were in the shop, they took our requests to leave some things off. In addition to the falafel, the meal came with a drink, which was a great, since we didn’t get any the day before.

The falafel pita was huge and very filling. The falafel itself could rival any halal cart or specialty store in the city with more acclaim.

Credit: NYC Plugged

Day 3: Veggie Burger with Fries and Pickle from Wolfe and Tones Irish Pub & Kitchen

We’d never heard of this bar before, though we work so close. We were also surprised they had takeout, given how authentic of a bar it was.

The vegetable burger wasn’t homemade, but that didn’t make it any less delicious as it was prepped and cooked to perfection. It was piled high with lettuce, tomato, onion and a huge bun, with delicious fries and ketchup on the side.

Credit: NYCPlugged

Day 4: Life in Color Cereal Bowl, Milk and Coffee from Kellogg ‘s NYC

This was admittedly the most exciting meal. The Kellogg’s cereal pop-up was meant to be open for a week, but it was so popular that they just well.. stayed open. They serve some really creative combinations with cereal and pop-tarts.

The bowl was a mix of Froot Loops, passionfruit jelly and marshmallows- sugar heaven- and came with your choice of milk on the side, coconut for us! It also came with an iced coffee, all perfectly packed into a bag that keeps everything travel-safe and stable. We never knew you could upgrade basic Froot Loops until that day.

Credit: NYCPlugged

Day 5: Avocado Toast with Mixed Greens from Pergola

Pergola’s system was a well oiled machine. You simply grab one of the many bags on the counter that was already good to go, and cross your name off a list.

The avocado toast seemed to be an off-the-menu item- one of what we’re sure are many that are offered exclusively to MealPal customers. It was creamy, and garlicky atop perfectly toasted bread that managed to avoid getting soggy en route back to the office.

Credit: NYC Plugged

All-in-all, MealPal had some great meals. Are there some things we would change? Maybe. I’d love to be able to get it delivered or make a change or two to what is included in certain meals; but for the price you’re paying, if you’re someone who eats out a lot, it is well worth a sign up. And we can tell you we’ll definitely be returning to try some more dishes from the new spots we found through the app. Start ordering here!

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