Have You Been Wonder-Ing? (POLL)

Montclair, NJ – By now, you’ve seen the purple trucks and maybe even wondered…”What is Wonder?”

Or maybe you already had one of those trucks parked in front of you house, on a night you didn’t feel like cooking.

Wonder Trucks hanging out at the former Mayfield Farms in West Orange.

Wonder, a mobile kitchen and food-delivery startup, has made a big push in our area, not only with the purple trucks that are probably their best advertising, but glossy mailers as well.

The Wonder business was first piloted in Westfield, New Jersey; by end of summer it seemed like the trucks were everywhere in Baristaville.

So how does it work?

First, you download the Wonder app. Then you can peruse menus from chefs or restaurants you may have heard of before (think Bobby Flay, Jonathan Waxman, or Di Fara Pizza)

The whole process feels a little George Jetson. You push a button and a truck parks in front of your home and a trained chef starts cooking your meal in the truck’s kitchen. Soon after, your dishes are delivered to your door.

We tried Wonder twice with mixed results.

In their own advertising, Wonder states “when our mobile restaurant comes to you, your fries are crispy, your pizza is hot, and your steak is just how you like it.”

For our first order, we tried Di Fara pizza, described by Wonder as “the famed Brooklyn pizzeria that’s a permanent fixture on ‘best pizza’ lists.”

Di Fara Pizza from Wonder.

We ordered two pies — one pepperoni ($25) and one white ($18) — and waited, excited to see whether we would get that hot from the oven experience.

When the pizzas were delivered (a little longer than promised, but with regular updates in the app), the pepperoni box felt hot, while the other box was barely warm to the touch. We ended up reheating both to get them to the desired temperature.

Both pies were generous in size, but taste wise, we wouldn’t order either one again. The pepperoni was good, but not remarkable (we’ve had much better rectangular pies from Blue Steel, Teglia and Belgiovine’s). The white was just plain bland.

Thinking maybe pizza wasn’t the way to go, we tried Wonder a second time. We landed on Chef Michael Symon’s Chios Taverna.

Greek dishes from Chios Taverna from Wonder.

It would not replace Stamna for us, but the Greek dishes were a way better Wonder experience. Spanakopita was perfectly crispy; grilled octopus was surprisingly tender and flavorful. Crab keftedes (meatballs) were a tasty alternative to the traditional and the lemon potatoes — more like fries — were a hit. The pastichio was fine, not remarkable. Entire cost: $62 before tip.

Since we’ve tried Wonder, the app has expanded to offer delivery from local restaurants (Marcel, Minia’s and some other eateries are listed) and added a marketplace where you can order prepared dishes to heat up yourself as well as meal kits. In other news, founder Marc Lore recently laid off 7% of Wonder’s workforce. There has also been criticism of the impact of all those trucks on the road and idling concerns.

Have you tried Wonder? Tell us what you think.

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