Maria’s Gourmet Kitchen – Our Full Review
We’ve all seen or heard the commercials for them, companies that claim to help busy families by delivering freshly prepared meal-kits to your home. They do all the meal planning, shopping, measuring, chopping, and preparing. All you have to do is follow the simple directions neatly printed on the package, and pop the food directly into the pan or the oven. Each one is guaranteed to be on the table in 30 minutes or less and is a healthy alternative to prepackaged foods or dining out. But are they worth it?
Maria’s Gourmet Kitchen is located right here in Houston and serves only Houston and the surrounding areas. Executive Chef and owner, Maria Bedrosian, received her professional training at the Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Paris and is in charge of menu preparation and ingredient selection. I thought this sounded like a great one to try.
When I first logged on to the site I found it easy and informative. I was able to quickly maneuver through a few clicks to have all of my questions answered, and then felt comfortable heading straight to the Order Now section. I chose my delivery area on the colorful map, and I was automatically launched into the meal selection page. What I found there were actual pictures of the food, with ingredient lists and preparation times, to help me in the selection process. I ended up choosing two different meals that I thought my family would enjoy, selected my preferred delivery dates, and hit submit. Done.
The day of the first delivery, I admit to being a little excited. I felt no pressure about what to cook for dinner, no last-minute trips to the grocery store, no rummaging through the freezer for forgotten side dishes. The package was delivered to my front door in a temperature controlling freezer bag and packed with ice sheets. Inside, the food was neatly placed in an oven-ready aluminum baking dish with the simple instructions printed clearly on the top. I spent approximately 5 minutes taking ingredients out of the various individual packages, all pre-measured and ready to throw together, and placed it in the pan. About 15 minutes later, my family was eating beef and broccoli stir-fry with jasmine rice, and we all loved it.
My second delivery was equally as exciting, for all of the reasons I mentioned above, but this time I had ordered Peruvian Chicken, a new gourmet dish that we had never tried before. Like the first time, the meal was delivered promptly, before 3:30 pm, in plenty of time to have for dinner that very night. I was able to get the prep work done (5 minutes tops) before heading out for all of our various afternoon/early evening activities. When we arrived back home at around 6 pm, the chicken was in the oven, cooked to perfection, and the green beans simply needed to be popped in the pan. 10 minutes later, we were eating delicious baked chicken, with pan sautéed green beans, and a special gourmet sauce that sent the whole meal over the top. I served it with bread, and we cleaned our plates.
All things considered, what did I think of the service? Here are the highs and lows.
- It was easy. From placing the order to preparing the meal, the process was simple enough that anyone could do it.
- No planning, no shopping, no prep work.
- I was able to choose from dozens of meal options, according to my family’s preferences.
- The food was delicious—a gourmet meal made with fresh quality ingredients, all sauces and spice mixes specially prepared by a professionally-trained chef.
- The nutritional benefits of a home-cooked meal, with (almost) the ease of ordering out.
- Even though Maria’s pricing is on par with other similar services, at around $12 per adult, this could add up if used every day.
- While the list of ingredients is plainly printed on the website, Maria’s Gourmet Kitchen does not allow for special requests, nor do they make accommodations for special diets or allergies. This is something we highly recommend they add, as it would open up their service to a growing number of the population with serious food allergies and intolerances.
Would we do it again? Absolutely! Like most of you, we are a busy family, but eating dinner out on a regular basis is not a healthy option, and it is also not budget friendly. This is a terrific alternative.
Have you tried them yet? If not, now is your chance!
Readers of Just Vibe Houston will be given $20 off any order of $100 by using coupon code: JVIBETRYMGK.
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