The cost of “takeaway” or “carry out” delivered meals…

Me and the chef on the cruise through the Panama Canal in January 2013. The chef was excited to prepare special meals for me. He did a fantastic job!

When starting my day this morning, I decided I didn’t feel like cooking tonight. And after dinner out on Wednesday night, I wasn’t quite ready to go out to dinner, nor did I think we should spend another $100 for dinner in a restaurant. Tom said he’d be fine going out again since our grocery bill has been so reasonable, and we aren’t paying for a rental car.

Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for dining out and suggested we arrange for takeaway/carry out through Grubhub, where we have a free delivery account through Amazon Prime. I was definitely in the mood for Chinese food, and when I suggested it to Tom, he enthusiastically agreed.

Usually, when we order dinner delivery in the US, we buy enough to last for two nights. We’ve found with tips and Grubhub’s service fee, it’s more economical to order for two nights as opposed to one. Since we love Chinese food, it’s a logical plan for us.

I usually order steamed vegetables with shrimp or chicken. But today, when I placed our order, I found that I was more in the mood for shrimp egg foo young. Tom wanted his usual sweet-and-sour pork and pork fried rice. We’d ordered takeaway once since we’d been here, and when I started searching through Grubhub, it was easy to find the restaurant we’d ordered from early on after we arrived.

China Tango is nearby, and using my phone in two minutes, I had our order placed, paid, and ready for delivery today. As mentioned recently, since we eat so little during the day, if at all, I requested the delivery for 5:00 pm. I usually pop my food in the microwave for a few minutes since I prefer my meal to be very hot, whereas Tom is fine if his meal has cooled down. Of course, on the second night, we both use the microwave.

Here is a preview of today’s order plus the costs:

Your order

Jan 27, 2024, time ordered 11:28 am
1. 2 Sweet and Sour Pork $32.50
2. 2 Shrimp Egg Foo Young $35.90 “No oil, please.”
3. 1 House Fried Rice $12.95 “NO CHICKEN OR SHRIMP. ONLY PORK, PLEASE

Your payment method will be charged for the amount of this order within the next 24 hours.

Items subtotal


Service fee


Sales tax


Delivery fee


Driver tip


Total $105.22

When ordering through Grubhub or Door Dash or another such service, it’s surprising how much the tax, service fee, and tip come to; in this case, those totals were $28.87. However, if we’d had a rental car and picked up this order, we’d save $16.51 for the service fee and tip. However, it’s worth it since we aren’t paying $40 daily for a rental car. Even when we have had a rental car, the convenience of avoiding traffic and saving time makes the extra fees worthwhile.

This total of $105.22, divided by two nights, is $52.61 each night. We’d easily have spent $105.22 for one night dining out in a restaurant, let alone dining for two nights. Besides, having a meal delivered and watching a good movie is always fun, a special evening “at home.”

All the ingredients I have for the dinner I planned to make today will easily stay fresh until Monday, when the meats are frozen. The vegetables, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and cauliflower, will remain fresh.

Since we’ll be in the US for another 4½ months until we leave for South Africa, most likely, we’ll order through Grubhub on other occasions, especially when we so much enjoy Chinese/Asian food.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, January 27, 2014:

Ms. Turtle scooted across the edge of the driveway. We’ve spotted her in the same general garden area on several occasions. For more photos, please click here.

Busy chopping and dicing for Monday’s guests…Ethnic foods in South Africa…

Such an unusual looking animal.

Ethnic food is not particularly popular in this part of the world. Locals like their Pap and Sheba (see a photo here), meat on the braai, and starchy sides. For dessert, they like malva pudding and Melktart (milk tart). For more on South African desserts, please click here. Based on my way of eating, none of these traditional foods fit my way of eating, other than sauce-free meat on the braai.

There are few options for ethnic specialties here in Marloth Park, although Giraffe Restaurant offers sushi, attracting many visitors, including locals and tourists. It’s not that South Africans don’t have a taste for ethnic foods. Mostly, they do, and they seem to love trying new dishes.

A few zebras and a few giraffes came to call.

But, for a restaurant to make a go of it in Marloth Park, local cuisine is the way to go. Otherwise, an ethnic restaurant would have a hard time being successful enough to survive. Thus, when I started shopping for ingredients to make Leon’s favorite Asian dishes, Sweet and Sour Pork and Fried Rice (with Spicy Prawns with Asparagus for Dawn and me). It was tricky finding the ingredients necessary to make these Asian dishes. I ended up placing an order with an online Asian grocer in South Africa.

In my old life, one of my favorite meals to make was what was then referred to as Chinese food. Politically correct or not, it is no longer called Chinese food but Asian food, although I doubt Chinese people have stopped calling it Chinese food, based on the names of restaurants we’ve seen throughout the world in bigger cities.

Zebras were eating the remnants of the last lucerne delivery

Asian food is quite popular in Cape Town.  According to TripAdvisor, there are 74 entries for Chinese restaurants. See here for details. Surely, tourists who visit the beautiful big city seek out all types of ethnics food. But it’s not the case here in sleepy little Marloth Park and nearby Komatipoort.

This morning, I decided to tackle the fried rice, having chosen to make a huge batch. This way, we’ll be able to give Leon and Dawn a good supply “to go” and we’ll freeze single portions for Tom. This way, when we braai, or make other dishes, we can take out one container at a time to accompany his dinner instead of his usual plain buttered white rice.

A baby zebra nibbling on lucerne while resting.

Tomorrow, I’ll start chopping and dicing for the two remaining dishes we’ll cook on Monday. Our guests are planning to arrive around noon so we can enjoy relaxing time on the veranda. With everything cut and ready to stir, preparing the two remaining dishes won’t take long.

Today, we received another bale of lucerne. We scheduled another bale for Monday morning so our friends can enjoy watching the animals with us. We’re hoping all of our favorites will stop by and say “hello.”

We always love it when giraffes stop by.

I am still holding my own with the headache and facial pain. On Thursday, I had the headache return for a few hours but went away on its own. The facial pain is almost completely gone. I am practically holding my breath in hopes the pain won’t return.

Last night, we had an enjoyable evening and dinner at Jabula, as surely we will again tonight, hanging out with Leon and Dawn and other patrons, laughing and telling stories. His attitude is amazing.

On the move…

We just finished making the fried rice and once it cools, we’ll place it in containers to serve and to freeze. After standing in the kitchen for several hours, I am ready to get off of my feet and take a little rest with the fan on. Although the temperature isn’t high today at 81F, and 28C, the humidity is outrageous, and the dew point is tropical once again.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more. Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 29, 2021:

We purchased these giant cabbages for the kudus, bushbucks, and duikers, which love cabbage, for about US $0.70, ZAR 10.69 each. We tear off the leaves, break them in half and toss them their way. For more photos, please click here.