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Our last Sun Basket delivery went a little wonky. Andy and I had already decided to end our trial month a week early since we hadn’t been loving the food, but then we were notified that our selections for week 3 hadn’t saved and were going to receive three randomly selected meals instead. Problem 1 – two of the three meals were things that I couldn’t eat. Problem 2 – the company does not have weekend staff so even though I contacted them as soon as I found out, they couldn’t cancel the order since it actually shipped before customer service had even read my email. They did apologize for the mix up and gave us another three meals for free to compensate. So setting that delivery aside I give you the final week of Sun Basket.
Our order made it right on time and everything was pretty much picture perfect. The food was the best set of recipes we’d received yet. The Salmon with roasted new potatoes and green beans was incredible. I am not a huge fish person, but damn. Andy was so please with the results that he has tucked the recipe card away in the kitchen binder so he can make it again. The Yemeni grilled shrimp with fattoush salad was not quite as good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the spice blend on the shrimp, but a am now a HUGE fan of fattoush salad. I would probably eat it once a week if I could.Sadly, we did not get to make recipe #3. Hurricane Hermine hit Tallahassee, and we were without power just long enough to make all the dairy and seafood in our fridge unsafe to consume.
Verdict: I’m glad we tried Sun Basket, and if I’d hadn’t tried any other meal delivery services before I would have been really pleased. However, despite being pretty consistent with delivery schedules and having packing material that can be recycled, the food just wasn’t as good as what we had from Blue Apron. If pressed to recommend one or the other, it would be Blue Apron all the way.
Sadly, this is my last Blue Apron review. I don’t think I’ve ever had a subscription service that invoked such a range of reactions. As you guys remember in Week 1, I wasn’t even sure that I was going to be able to stick with this service for an entire month since there were so many issues that it seemed like it was a waste of money. Then things started to get better -the food, the services, the delivery-, and now I am going to be genuinely sorry to hit that “cancel subscription” button.
I did roll my eyes a bit when I opened the box and realized that I was going to have to find, wash and repack all of the tiny tomatoes, but nothing was damaged and I’ve had similar things happen in the trunk of my car on the way home from the grocery store so I decided to give it a pass.
The food was absolutely phenomenal this week.
Spicy Ponzu-Glazed Catfish
Asian style catfish with garlic rice and veggies? I’d eat it every week if I could.
Corn & Green Bean Empanadas
I was sure there was no way I’d like these, but man, they were good. We are already planning on making them again.
Fresh Basil Fettuccine
I knew I was going to love the zucchini and fresh basil pasta, and it did not disappoint. It’s one of those dishes that make you wonder why you’d ever settle for dried pasta when you could be eating fresh herb infused noodles instead.
The Verdict: I would absolutely recommend Blue Apron; in fact, Andy and I are considering going back to it after I am done with this round of subscription service reviews. I would warn all first time users that the service is only as good as your local delivery guy and to be aware that there may be a little bit more effort involved than you initially think, but the food is pretty darn good and is something that can be an interactive family experience. I’d give it one and a half thumbs up.
To change things up a little bit for Round Three of Thinking Inside the Box, I decided to review a subscription service that delivered weekly vs. monthly, Blue Apron. You’ve probably seen it all over the internet, but in case you haven’t, Blue Apron is a service that delivers recipes and ingredients for three meals to your door each week. You fill out a quick and easy form about the things that you will and won’t eat and then select the 3 meals you’d like from a list of 6. Each week new recipes are available.
We had some issues with our first order. Fed Ex delayed our package overnight and then delivered our box battered and bruised at the end of the day (where we’d been assured we’d get shipping priority). To top things off, they left our packaging outside in the 90 degree heat without ringing the doorbell or knocking. Fortunately, Andy and I were keeping an eye out, and we spotted the box.
On first glance, there didn’t seem to be much of a problem; the food was still cool (although not the refrigerated cool we’d been promised), and we quickly unloaded the contents so they could be stored properly. This is where we ran into the biggest issue. Many of the items had been damaged in transit. The container holding our seafood had been punctured and had leaked into the bottom of the box. Fortunately, the dividers had kept the rest of the crate from being tainted. The produce was nicked and bruised from the can (pictured), but luckily, only one item actually was too damaged to use. We bought a replacement so we could still try out all three recipes.
I will say the food was pretty good, and it was nice to cook with my husband, since it’s usually an either/or situation. The recipes were easy to follow and gave very detailed instructions, plus pictures, which I think is always helpful.
Spiced Shrimp & Pearl Couscous
This was the best meal of the three, and it helps me do something my doctor has asked me to do recently which is add seafood back into my diet.
* We’ve recently discovered I have some odd food allergies; my body has trouble processing beans/legumes, and it’s left me fumbling a bit for vegetarian protein options. I’m not exactly thrilled by this setback, but it’s temporary, and I’ve added more vegan meals into my breakfast and lunch to help me feel a little better about the situation.
Brown Butter Gnocchi
I loved this so much! I am going recreate it with a few minor tweaks maybe even later this week.
This last one I wasn’t a huge fan of, but Andy went nuts for it. He ate the rest of mine and the little bit left over in the pan. All and all, not a bad first week.
One thing that I want to make sure to tell you guys about is the amazing customer service I received after the delivery fiasco. I was really pissed with the way that the entire situation had gone down and was very close to calling this experiment a huge failure, and when the Blue Apron people reached out to ask me about my delivery, I sort of let them have it. Not in a bitchy way, just letting them know what happened and that I was really disappointed. Not even 24 hours later, I had an email from an actual person who was almost as upset as I was; he wanted all the details of everything that had gone wrong and after getting the list, I was issued a full refund and an additional credit on my account. And before you get all skeptical, I never once mentioned that I was a blogger or that I was reviewing the service.