DC Food Scene: MealPal App

I’m going to be honest with you guys. Honestly, though. Honestly. Okay, sorry. I’ll stop. But honestly, I was apprehensive about MealPal at first. I was nervous that my hopes and dreams for this beautiful start-up wouldn't align. But I was wrong. So wrong. Because MealPal is so much cooler than I thought it was going to be. I loved the concept originally, but I LOVE everything that MealPal has become. 

There was an article recently published talking about MealPal as the Tinder for desk lunches. Read it then come back here. I’ll wait. That article is exactly how I feel. 

“If you start to really trust Pal, you’ll start to get dishes you might not have tried before, but you actually really like,” Biggins says.

My week with MealPal. 

First, let's go over the app. As we explored above, MealPal is like the Tinder of desk lunches. I say desk lunch because if you're working from home, I'm assuming you're cooking at home? I don't know. This is a no judgement zone! 

The app is built kind of like how Tinder/OkCupid is built in that it asks you a series of questions to limit down the number of possible matches. 

TUESDAY

On the Tuesday after MealPal’s launch, I ordered Jrink Juicery…in Dupont Circle. Ugh, I thought. There’s nothing available for me in Friendship Heights so I’ll have to metro it all the way down and back. 

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And after each meal, you can review with your comments and if it fits in for your opinion of a light, medium or heavy lunch. And that's awesome because something that might be a light lunch to Maxim or a super active person might not be heavy for me, a 9-to-5 desk sitter.

WEDNESDAY

Today I decided to try something I’ve never had before. Dangerous, I know. It was bimbap. I feel like I’m the last person to jump onto the Bibimbap trend — and I honestly don’t really understand it. Or how to pronounce it. 

Does anyone else feel like all of our food lately has been served in a bowl or in a glass? Maybe it’s just me and where I eat. 

ANYWAYS. 

I ordered the Temple Bibimbap from Rice Bar on 15th. Maxim pulled up while I hopped out (I was on my way in to the office for a half-day). It was wicked busy and I was a little apprehensive to just “cut” the line to get me food. But I looked deep in my soul and told myself to just DO IT. I did. All I needed to do was show them the app + tell them my name and it was waiting for me. They’d made it fresh like five minutes prior (it was still hot!). Suffice to say, I was very happy. 

As for the food — it was more than enough for me. I would call it, “what to order when I want two meals in one.” Super yummy, super fresh. The rice was moist and sticky like it should be. And I was definitely the envy of the office. Take that #SadDeskLunch of chips + salsa (okay, chips + salsa are awesome, but having a proper lunch is a part of being a success. And I’m trying to be less of a shitshow. Honestly, though. 

THURSDAY 

This was my off-day, technically. There was literally so much food in my bibimbap that I ate it for lunch (like I said, it's two MealPals for the price of one, right?) and added a handful of spinach. I'm really against food waste, and so I always try to eat leftovers until they're gone.  

FRIDAY 

Yafa Grille — Tofu Bowl. Super fast — no wait (like it should be). It was fast + easy and my tummy was full. Plus, more leftovers. I also got grape leaves because #tgif and my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Think of Yafa as like a more niche Cava Grill. And trust me, I have NOTHING against Cava. Yafa is just smaller and they sell grape leaves. and baklava. And you can watch them make pita. 

Final Thoughts: I love MealPal. I will admit that I was super concerned over the number of vegan options that would be available. The launch party didn't have tons of options, and when you order meals, there are no substitutions or modifications. BUT I WAS PROVEN WRONG. AGAIN. I can eat somewhere different every single day and still have new places to try. 

I love that the app literally learns what I like + don't like and caters to my needs. I can tell it that I'm in the mood for a medium-sized, vegetarian lunch with Asain hints and BAM — options pop up. And I honestly can not wait to continue using MealPal. 

Remember when I told you guys that you need to get off your butts to go and get lunch? Good. Because you do! And so do I! On Thursday, I didn’t even go get lunch and instead sat at my desk, like, all day. 

But Phoebe, I work through lunch every day. 

I get it! I get it! I do the same thing. We’re all busy people. But guess what? Getting up and walking to grab lunch (that’s already paid + waiting for you) is a way for you to be eating yummy food + getting some exercise. Even 10 minutes of walking is going to improve your concentration and your productivity. Give your butt a rest from the chair. Get some Vitamin D. 

pssst. Educate yo'selves here + here

So here’s the deal: I want to give you some free lunch.

And that free lunch is an ENTIRE MONTH of MealPal. All you have to do is follow me on Instagram here + follow MealPal on Instagram here. Then comment on this insta with your favorite desk lunch (+ bonus points if you tag someone who you think should enter)! Winner will be announced Friday, Oct. 7. 

Excited? Me too. So get to it, and go get some lunch! Honestly, though. 

MealPass Launch Party {recap + What I wore}

MealPal DC Lauch Event

A huge thank you to Epic Yoga DC for hosting

the event and to MealPal for having Maxim and I! 


Hello, hello, hello! I’m writing from under my covers...and the metro...and while walking to the bathroom at work...because I’m so excited to tell al you guys about what I’ve been up to! 

But first, I do need to make a little confession. Well, not even a confession. I just need to explain something. I am vegan (that’s not a confession, obvs). And oftentimes, I think that being vegan makes people believe that I don’t support those who lead non-vegan lifestyles. And oftentimes, I feel that I have some odd standard to uphold where I can’t endorse or believe in..or even LIKE people who don’t agree those ideals. But I’m here to tell you all that that’s not the way that it is! 

I am a vegan and I blog about vegan food. But I also blog about food-related trends, companies and ideals. I blog about what I'm wearing, where I'm going, what I'm reading and, if I start writing more, the working world. And I take advice from non-vegans on where to eat. My fiancee, Maxim, is not vegan by any means. He's my non-vegan taste tester (and photog + everything. I love you!) He eats vegan when I’m cooking at home and loves to make me vegan grilled cheese when I’ve had a tough day. He also loves a good bison burger and Whole Foods chicken strips or Chicken Tiki Masala. 

My point is...let's just love and respect each other. I'll be vegan and continue to eat french fries when there's nothing else but lettuce on the menu. And you can continue to tell me that you could never, ever be vegan and ask me about why I don't want real leather on my shoes. We shall *~*CoExiSt.~*

OKAY. 

Now that I’ve gotten that all off of my chest, I can continue on to why I’m writing so excitedy right now. I am working with MealPal (previously MealPass) to help you discover your new #LunchtimeBFF and to end the #SadDeskLunch. 

MealPass? MealPal? 

Yes. They’re a food startup from the co-founders of ClassPass. On Monday, Sept. 19 (launch party day!) they rebranded to MealPal (see below). They started in Manhattan in NYC and have now spread to cities like Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and, of course, Washington, D.C.!

Honestly, though: You get lunch for like $6-7 every week day from awesome places around the District. It's one flat fee that's charge per cycle, aka every month. It's a fraction of what you'd usually pay. No, it's not delivered. You go and pick it up. You need to get up from your desk, anyways. Haven't you heard? Sitting kills. Get in those lunchtime steps, you desk dwellers. 

Anyways, I had known about MealPal from some friends in NYC and was excited for its entrance into the #DCFoodScene. So, like the good food blogger that I am, I attended the launch party! It was held at Epic Yoga DC (connected to a Jrink location!) — on Connecticut Ave. next to The Big Hunt and MadHatter. It was dark though, and littttttle crowded for my liking…or for my camera’s liking! Okay, let's be honest. The lighting sucked, but I ate yummy food and I had a great time. I'm sharing what I was able to get below. 

There was food from a variety of local restaurants: 

  • Mini Chicken Pesto Wraps from MadHatter. 
  • Meat Likers + Veg Me Pizza from DC Pizza.  
  • Salmon Ceasar Salad from MaSo. 
  • Spinach + Pesto Bowl from The Little Beet
  • Hoagies (and absolutely addicting potato chips) from Bub & Pop's

...and so much more!

Favorites from launch party:

  • Beet Gazpacho from Souper Girl. I'm a fan of both gazpacho and Souper Girl, but in the small space, it was 10x more delicious. 
  • Salmon Veggie Couscous Salad from The Front Page. Shoutout to Chef Roberto for being so accommodating and making me a custom vegan bowl of couscous to eat! 
  • Juice from Jrink Juicery. I mean, who isn't a fan of Jrink Juicery? Seeing them there made my heart so happy. They're a local cold-pressed juice company that delivers fresh each morning and have everything from cleanse aiding to protein packed drinks. 

Over the next week, I'll be testing out MealPal and it's whole situation. Then on Monday, I'll be letting you know me thoughts..

BUT THERE'S MORE.

Because I love you guys, and there's no point in having MealPal unless you guys can too. MealPal is letting me give away some awesome discounts and free meals starting next week! So when I post my review, I'll be posting about the contest too! STAY TUNED! Can't wait to reveal more soon!

Cool, Phoebe. But this post is about what you wore (What I'm pretending you're saying). If you're here for outfit only, scroll down!

I love love love this romper from Target! According to the website, it's technically a junior's piece, but it fits so well on my frame! I'm petite (5" 3') and have very long legs. And by that I mean my torso is non-existent. In the world of rompers and jumpsuits, that means I work hard to find ones that are more form fitting so that my wait doesn't get lost in a balloon of fabric. My co-workers told me that I look like Peter Pan, but hey. Peter Pan was cool AF and worked the transition to fall fashion better than anyone. 

Scroll down to shop my look! 

Hat: LouLou. | Romper: Target. | Vegan leather booties: Dolce Vita. Find similar herehere and here. | Clutch: South Moon Under. 

What's your favorite kind-of-fall-but-kind-of-not look?