Who ya gonna call? For an average fee that's cheaper than a baby-sitter for an evening, dinner-delivery companies will ring your bell, bearing fare ranging far beyond pepperoni pizza. Here's a brief buffet of these proliferating gourmets a-go-go:
Chicago's ROOM SERVICE DELIVERIES serves up to 300 dinners a night from 14 of the city's top restaurants, all presented at table by tuxedoed waiters.
San Francisco's WAITERS ON WHEELS brings goodies from 35 wildly diverse eateries, including Bobby Ray's Bar-B-Que and We Be Sushi.
RENT-A-MEX of Watertown, Mass., will send over a Mexican gourmet feast for $18 to $30 a person; flamenco dancers are $150 extra.
MAINCOURSE of Washington, D.C., drops off a week of meals on Sunday night for an average cost of $60 per person.
Houston's DIET GOURMET will cater a day's menu, totaling 1,000 to 1,800 calories, for $10.50 to $12.
For homebodies with the energy to peel and chop, MCFADDEN FARM, in Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, delivers a basket of organic, freshly picked herbs and veggies, including arugula, once a week for $35.
In the Los Angeles area, PAMPER & DINE dispatches a married team. Amy Tunick relaxes the guests with massages instead of cocktails, while her husband, Matthew Sarver, whips up dinner. Minimum tab: $300. At least there'll be no valet parker to tip, and no dents in the Porsche, either.
It's the '90s, time is tighter than money, the dinner hour is set askew by grown-ups staggering in from work and kids romping off to soccer. You'd like to eat at home, but shopping and cooking don't fit on the schedule, and gourmet takeout—that cornucopious '80s phenomenon—requires a daunting foray from the nest.