Let's face it; for some people, it's quite possible that mom's mysterious and mighty gene that cultivates culinary skills has simply gotten lost on its swim through the gene pool.
Sure, you appreciate the subtle genius that others pour into creative domesticity, but when it comes to preparing a delicious home-cooked meal yourself, well, let's just say you've got the home-cooked part of the equation covered.
For the part of the population for which cooking remains an intimidating, arcane task, carry-out is more of a vital element of survival than just another eating option.
But what about if you could have all the tempting menu offerings of several restaurants at your disposal without ever having to leave your home? Yes, many pizza places deliver the goods to your door, but there's only so much 'za one can handle.
Knowing first hand what pizza delivery abuse can do to a person -- particularly during the I'm-too-broke-for-much-else college years -- Alex Biggam and Chris DeWulf set out after graduation to help the next set of undergrads heading down the same monotonous meal path.
Move over pizza, Milwaukee is hungry for options.
In February 2005 the business partners started "Campus Carry Out" -- a meal delivery service that picks up a variety of food from area restaurants that don't offer their own delivery and brings it to the apartments and dorm rooms of grateful college students.
But what started as a business catering to Milwaukee's college campuses has now graduated to the city as a whole.
"The business just exploded at UWM and Marquette, so we've taken the plunge to include service for all of Milwaukee," says Biggam. "We've changed our name to 'Meal Mobile,' so as not to get pigeonholed into being strictly a campus service."
Available every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Meal Mobile works with 10 restaurants -- including Cold Stone Creamery, Qdoba, Noodles & Company and Chin's Asia Fresh -- to offer food delivery for a $3 to $5 fee. Customers place their orders over the phone -- each restaurant's menu is available on Meal Mobile's Web site -- and the estimated delivery time is 40 minutes.
"We will deliver to homes, dorms, businesses, wherever," says Biggam. "Customers can order from multiple restaurants in one order, and we're also wiling to go to places that aren't on our list for an additional fee."
What started out as a two-man operation has grown quickly in just their first year, and, from the looks of it, thing don't seem to be slowing down.
"We've added three other employees and we're looking to hire more students to help with the driving and dispatching. We started out getting two orders a day and now, about a year later, we have reached 100-order days and are still growing."
The Meal Mobile's Web site is themealmobile.com.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”