It never ceases to amaze me how many of Antigua's hospitality businesses are owned and managed by rank amateurs.
The precise proportion is frankly anyone's guess, a pie chart that much harder to plot owing to the presence of businesses owned by people who are at least trying to offer a professional service, and yet are prone to the (more than) occasional mess up.
The other stay, staring kitchen ennui in the face, we decided to call up one of the newest entrants for a home-delivered antojo.
No names, as this experience could, unfortunately, be said to be all too exemplary.
The bloke that answered the phone sounded as if the call had woken him up. It was late lunchtime, a period that in Spain at least might qualify as siesta time.
The order was progressing just fine until after I had provided my address, at which point the man on the end of the line informed me that he'd need around thirty minutes to start cooking and then perhaps another twenty or so to deliver.
And then he murmured that there would be a Q20 delivery charge.
While I was mulling all this, he suddenly added 'Oh, I seem to have run out of chicken...'
By then I was close to suggesting that I could deliver some pollo for him to cook from my own freezer.
Here's the thing. This is a new business with the term 'Express' in its name. From the pictures on el feis, I can deduce that it is almost wholly geared up for home delivery. The Q20 surcharge is absurd as it would have cost me less to go and collect this meal in an Uber.
The chicken dish in question is something I have prepared myself and I am well aware that it is not something that can be knocked up from scratch in half an hour.
By far the best home delivery experiences we've during the pandemic have been from local operations that are not hiding behind a brand or a concept and are generally not trying to be something that they are not.
Reina Alvarez's roast chicken offering is one such. Recommended.