Been a while since we’ve done a sort of Pot Pourri kind of thing, often entitled “Of This and That” which I guess is good enough… Hopefully not a single subject will go on and on… but we’ll see
Food in a Box
Funny how you report on something and readers jump in with their experiences and pretty soon you’re off to the races. So it was with my “fun” little posting on Blue Apron. Several people chimed in with experiences and recommendations, so apparently a lot of people don’t like to shop, chop, cook and clean, but still want higher quality, healthy, portioned meals. And turns out I found out there are hundreds of meal delivery services, among which was my initial foray with Blue Apron.
I did a little poking around and seems most programs are pretty much similar although one that was recommended had what I considered a nice feature (which I’ll get to in a minute). Generally, you get ingredients for three meals, some control over the menu, good directions, and uniformly what all report is high quality stuff. Some claim you don’t have to “sign up” and just get what you want, or not. Others (like Blue Apron) require you to enroll in the program.
If you’re interested, you can browse Hello Fresh; Chef’d; (which claims they can do special menus, including diabetic considerations); Home Chef which has an interesting video comparing the home deliveries with Grocery Store prices (Chrome had trouble with it). I didn't run across any touting Vegan, but is suspect they're out there. I didn’t really scour the landscape, but a friend recommended Terra’s Kitchen. I was attracted to their headline: “We prep, you cook”, showing nicely prepped bits of this and that, which apparently arrive individually packaged in a (returnable) cooler.
If you’re interested, just Google “food (or meal) delivery services” and stand back. Prices don’t vary a lot (usually around 60 bucks for three meals for two). I suspect the decision driver for you would revolve around how much you want to share the prep, or just get cooking..
After our little communications miscue with them (they were closed for repairs on our first booking), we met some friends for dinner last Saturday night at La Rive Breton. The front of the house (co-owner) guy made it a point to come over and express his disappointment that they were unable to contact us about that despite several tries (upon booking, they didn’t ask, nor did I volunteer our phone number).
We arrived a bit before our appointed time, but were seated immediately, near the front giving us a nice view of the diners on the outside. The first thing that struck me was that the previously bare wooden tables were draped with nice white tablecloths. There was some new art on the walls, and I thought the overall effect softened and elevated the tone of the dining space, leaning toward a bit more formal. Just felt good to this diner..
Would say this visit pretty much echoed previous experiences, food was good, service was adequate, although I had a new (to us) server who gave us the “Hi I’m… of you” speech, obviously not briefed that the Feeder was in the house and had his pet peeves! Anyway, cocktails were ordered with an assist from the floor manager with the Gins available (green hat, blue coat, etc., besides the big three) and I followed her suggestion of Green Hat (Have we ever discussed the origin of that name?....another day perhaps). As in previous experiences the time elapsed between ordering and delivering drinks was longer that I (always) wished, but it was a nice drink, good proportion, served in a proper “up” glass, and kudos to the barkeep who knew enough to stir a clear spirit drink instead of shaking it.
The menu has been reformatted into a quadrant arrangement with “for the table” and firsts on the upper half and entrées and sides the lower. We ordered the cheese plate for the table choosing three of the four options (Gorgonzola, Camembert, Piave, and Manchego) of which we selected the first three, and eventually the attractively arranged board arrived
All the cheeses were freshly cut and quite fine, (although the menu listed the Piave as Sheep's milk, but I believe it is actually Cow). Anyway all were good, and the sides were a nice helper. Eventually got around to food, with two orders of Rack of Lamb, a Bistro Steak Chuck Tender (apparently the Teres Major has been replaced). In due time they arrived and my lamb was (honestly) a bit less cooked (and cooler) than I would have preferred
But had good flavor. A multi spoon Crème Brûlée for dessert was quite good. By the time we left, the house was full. I didn’t intend this blow by blow, but you know me.
They have stopped serving lunch during the week which is a shame, but they know their business and numbers. Partly that may be due to us. We have to do our part by patronizing them whenever we can. They have proven they ARE NOT Café des Artistes II, but have their own identity as a “Coastal Kitchen and Bar”. We need that option in Leonardtown, as the chains are nibbling at the edges.
Dammit, I did it. I see I’m on page three of three..
One quick rant before closing… Starbuck’s has taken to push their (unique?) Cold Brew Coffee. Yet another attempt at marketing “something NEW”! Anyway, in their radio commercials, they set the scene by saying they coarsely ground select coffees, and add cold water and let it alone for 20 hours. Then “the more you drink of it (it’s for sale, see) the more you will notice the smoothness, and eventually the “hint of chocolate”! Arrgghhh, there’s that “hint of” crap that nobody EVER notices. If you want chocolate in your coffee. ORDER A DAMN MOCHA
Lastly a tease for another upcoming blast The Feeder learns about Sous Vide!