5 food apps that will change the way you eat

In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo,  smartphone application "Halalminds" founder Agung Pambudi demonstrates the app to find Halal products and restaurants in Japan during an interview with The Associated Press in Tokyo. Pambudi, originally from Indonesia, designed the app earlier this year, and it has been downloaded 5,000 times. Speaking from the experience of a Muslim living in Japan, he understands the difficulties in finding food. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
These days, there’s an app for everything. And when it comes to food, there’s no shortage of programs to help you decide what to cook, where to eat and how to keep track of your calories. So where does one start? If you’re in the D.C. area, these five food apps will help make everything — from weeknight dinners to weekend happy hours, and yes, even ordering booze to your front door — easier. (AP Photo)  (AP/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Pedestrians walk past the shops and restaurants on 18th Street NW, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 in the Adams Morgan area of Washington. Residents of Adams Morgan enjoy a bevy of bars, restaurants, exercise studios and shopping, just steps from their row houses and condo buildings. Few neighborhoods can match the perks of Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. — a reality that reflects a broader problem for the U.S. housing market. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Spotluck: When you can’t decide where to eat We’ve all been there: You’re meeting up with friends in Dupont Circle or Adams Morgan, but no one has a preference on where to go. Let Spotluck decide for you — and give you a discount at the same time. Here’s how it works: The user selects from one of the app’s 21 local neighborhoods and “spins” its wheel of restaurants within that area. The wheel lands on a restaurant and offers dining discounts (the minimum is 10 percent) based on a number of factors, including the day, the time and even the weather.   “So the discount will be higher on a Monday, lower on a Friday; higher if it’s raining, lower if it’s nice out,” says Spotluck Founder and CEO Cherian Thomas. (AP Photo)
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Ankara, a traditional Turkish restaurant that opened in May in Dupont Circle, is now serving Washington’s favorite weekend pastime. But unlike most local brunch establishments, you won’t find your typical slabs of bacon, stacks of pancakes and bottomless beverages on the menu.
Spotluck: When you can’t decide where to eat The goal, he says, it to bring more business to local spots during times of low occupancy and to offer deals for diners at the same time. “Merchants win, consumers win and the community wins,” Thomas says. In the past year, Spotluck has grown to include 275 restaurants throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Thomas says the company will continue to expand in the local area, as well as other cities, such as Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia. (WTOP/Rachel Nania) (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Galley: When you want a healthy, chef-prepared meal delivered — plus a bottle of wine If a dinner of pan-seared Atlantic salmon on top of a bed of black and wild rice with roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pistachios sounds up your alley, you’ll want to download Galley. There’s no shortage of meal delivery options for busy Washingtonians, but Alan Clifford, co-founder of Galley, says his on-demand business is different from the others: Its focus is on healthy and well-balanced meals that feel as if they were prepared at home. Each day, Galley’s team of chefs prepare four different meal options out of its Ivy City kitchen. Customers can order the meals on-demand for lunch and dinner; they arrive chilled within 30 minutes of ordering. (Photo credit Laura Fruchterman, courtesy Galley)  (Laura Fruchterman)
Galley: When you want a healthy, chef-prepared meal delivered — plus a bottle of wine Clifford says the recipient just needs to do some “quick finishing” to the meal before it’s ready to eat. Typically this step involves heating the food, plating it and adding any sauces. “Because you’ve done that last-finishing step, it really feels like you’ve actually done the work of cooking, but without any of the real work associated — none of the grocery shopping, chopping, etc.,” Clifford says. The meals cost between $10 to $16, including tax, delivery fee and gratuity. Customers in D.C. proper can also order a bottle of wine with their meal. So the next time you don’t feel like cooking, consider ordering a dish of tarragon chicken with a side of creamy parsnip purée and a bottle of pinot instead of a Styrofoam container of soggy sesame chicken. “Most food that you get from a delivery standpoint is just not really made to be delivered,” Clifford says. (Photo credit Laura Fruchterman, courtesy Galley)    (Laura Fruchterman)
Three cocktails in a row
Drizly: Skip the food. When you just want the wine delivered Want to skip the meal and just go for the wine? Drizly will deliver. The app allows D.C. residents to order a variety of beers, wines, liquors and mixers, and have the products delivered directly to their door. Drizly partners with local retailers, so many of the options include local brews and spirits. Throwing an impromptu party? The Drizly app also features a section of recipes so you can make sure you order all the ingredients needed to make the perfect Mai Tai. Now, just wait for the doorbell. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/Wavebreak Media/Wavebreakmedia Ltd)
PickingOutPeas.JPG
Instacart: When you don’t have time to get to the grocery store Need groceries? All you need is your phone — or iPad. The Instacart app allows users to order everything from produce to meats and cheeses from their favorite grocery store. A personal shopper with the company goes to the store to hand-select the items, then delivers them during a specified window — sometimes in as little as an hour. “If you’re coming home from work and you’re stuck in traffic, and you want some groceries at your door by the time you get home, we can accommodate that,” Erica Hard, city manager for Instacart told WTOP in an earlier interview. (WTOP/Rachel Nania) 
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Instacart: When you don’t have time to get to the grocery store Instacart does not operate out of a warehouse, Hard explains. Its operating model is what The New York Times calls “part of the sharing economy.” It relies on existing grocery stores and an existing population of workers with cars who want part-time or flexible work. The delivery fee is $3.99 for every order over $35; the one-hour delivery fee is $5.99 for orders over $35. The Costco delivery fee is more expensive ($9.99 per order), mostly because the orders are often large and pack the cars of the personal shoppers. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)  
Cheerful young woman texting on mobile phone in supermarket.
ipiit Food Ambassador: When you’re doing the shopping, but have a food allergy Shopping or cooking for someone with a food allergy? Betty Toth says ipiit Food Ambassador was developed specifically for that reason. “This really simplifies the shopping and takes the hassle out of it,” says Toth, the app’s co-founder. Here’s how it works: Consumers download the app and enter in their food preferences. Toth says those preferences don’t need to be restricted to an allergy. Users can set up the app to identify foods that don’t stick within a specific diet as well. At the grocery store, the user can scan the bar code of a food product with ipiit, and the app will say whether the product fits within the specified dietary restrictions. If the food doesn’t, it will recommend a few alternative brands that do. Toth says the app includes most major brands, and is always working to expand its database. (Thinkstock)    (Getty Images/iStockphoto/LDProd)
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 11:  A visitor bouys Mexican pork tacos on the first day of Street Food Thursday at the Markthalle Neun market hall in Kreuzberg district on April 11, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Street Food Thursday features sidewalk delicacies from a variety of culinary traditions and will be open every Thursday from 5 until 11. Berlin has become a major tourist destination in Europe and has developed a reputation as a hip, affordable and open-minded city.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Boozy: When you want a good taco special or happy hour On the hunt for a good happy hour? Or maybe just a deal on tacos? Download Boozy, an app that helps you find local bars and restaurants with daily food and drink specials.   Fancy a taco? Users will be clued in to Tico’s $4 taco specials from 4 to 7:30 p.m., or El Centro’s $2 tacos on Tuesdays. Pizza lovers can discover Local 16’s $5 pie, available from 5 to 9 p.m. daily, and Graffiato’s $5 pizza from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The happy hour tool will show the best deals in Northern Virginia, Baltimore and several D.C. neighborhoods, and the brunch tab will point you in the direction of the best bottomless options. (Getty Images)    (Getty Images/Sean Gallup)
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In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo,  smartphone application "Halalminds" founder Agung Pambudi demonstrates the app to find Halal products and restaurants in Japan during an interview with The Associated Press in Tokyo. Pambudi, originally from Indonesia, designed the app earlier this year, and it has been downloaded 5,000 times. Speaking from the experience of a Muslim living in Japan, he understands the difficulties in finding food. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Pedestrians walk past the shops and restaurants on 18th Street NW, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 in the Adams Morgan area of Washington. Residents of Adams Morgan enjoy a bevy of bars, restaurants, exercise studios and shopping, just steps from their row houses and condo buildings. Few neighborhoods can match the perks of Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. — a reality that reflects a broader problem for the U.S. housing market. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Ankara, a traditional Turkish restaurant that opened in May in Dupont Circle, is now serving Washington’s favorite weekend pastime. But unlike most local brunch establishments, you won’t find your typical slabs of bacon, stacks of pancakes and bottomless beverages on the menu.
Three cocktails in a row
PickingOutPeas.JPG
CheckingOffProduce.JPG
Cheerful young woman texting on mobile phone in supermarket.
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 11:  A visitor bouys Mexican pork tacos on the first day of Street Food Thursday at the Markthalle Neun market hall in Kreuzberg district on April 11, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Street Food Thursday features sidewalk delicacies from a variety of culinary traditions and will be open every Thursday from 5 until 11. Berlin has become a major tourist destination in Europe and has developed a reputation as a hip, affordable and open-minded city.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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