Turning my kids into take-out ordering Jedi's

pizza_boxI'm the take-out king and damn proud of it. There's an art to ordering and finding those diamonds in the neighborhood rough that can bring food-goodness to your doorstep in 45 minutes or less, every time, no matter what you order.

We've taken a bit of a break from ordering out because we've been diligent about food shopping. Not this week though. We've had such a busy go at our daily lives with some curve balls throw in that we've had to order a few times this week. It's gotten to the point where my kids are deciding what they want to eat per "where we are ordering from."

So without any further adieu, here are some wise tips I've passed or will pass along to my girls about how to be a taken out jedi.

- Don't be afraid to experiment. The only way you are going to find what places are good and what places suck, is by trial and error. Once you have your places nailed down, give the menu a run for it's money. Try everything and anything that you think you might like. Do the same at each and every place so you can figure out who has the best chicken parm, steak and cheese, etc.

- Know their schedules. You need to know who is open on Sunday's (especially during Pats games) as well as who is open late (for those evenings where you need to top things off with a steak bomb).

- Another key to a good take out place are the sides. You can't been good french fries or onion rings. Try each place. Try the lot of what they offer so you can nail down the best combination.

- Be sure to tip the delivery guys good. Once you set a standard, the drivers will know that the delivery will be worth their time and your food will come hot, all the time. They won't mess up the order either.

- When you make the call, be sure you're doing it in a quiet place and you speak as clearly as possible. Be sure to articulate exactly what you want. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat the order either. After all, if you order a steak and cheese with peppers and onions, but get a steak and cheese with mushrooms and pickles, it'll ruin your experience. You can't call them back and complain because they'll spit in your food.

- Be sure to stack up the menus, especially if they offer coupons with the menus. Keep them organized and in a folder and weed out the bad places. Only keep the keepers.

So there you have it. It's not rocket science, but it's a system that works. My girls have caught on and they like looking at the menu's like they are story books. That, in itself is sort of funny, because each menu is a story -- just one about a killer cheese burger sub with a side of curly fries and a large cheese pizza for good luck.