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Gourmet Station vs Personal Chef To Go
Who is the best Meal Delivery company? Are you looking for a way to simplify dinner after a long day at work? Using a meal delivery service has become an easy way of getting nourishing, flavorful food on the table without the hassle of grocery shopping.
Of course, the most popular reason for using a meal delivery company is the convenience. Customers love being able to order their favorite entrees, side dishes, or even appetizers and desserts, and to choose how much cooking they'd like to do. Some meal delivery services are reheat-and-eat, while others provide you with all of the ingredients you need to create a restaurant-quality meal in your own kitchen.
Gourmet Station has been offering meal delivery since 1999, with more than 100,000 customers in their two decades on the market. Many of their choices are focused on gift-giving, providing upscale dinner options that can be used for employee rewards and incentives and client gifting or for holidays and other events. Of course, all of their selections are available as a personal indulgence for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays.
The easiest way to shop the Gourmet Station website is by category: Dinner Gifts, Occasion Dinners, Meal Plans, Gift Certificates, Monthly Clubs, or Soup & Appetizers.
Dinner Gift options are impressive:
Other selections in the Dinner Gift category include Wagyu (Kobe) Steaks and Steak Dinner Gifts and Dinner of the Month. This last option can also be found in Gourmet Station's Monthly Clubs: if you want a regularly-scheduled meal delivery for yourself or for a lucky gift recipient, the possibilities range from Soup or Dessert of the Month to full 2-, 3-, and 4-course dinners.
On the other hand, if you're specifically looking for meal delivery services that help you with dinners during the week, you'll want to look at Gourmet Station's Meal Plans. These are packaged for one person, for five meals a week. You'll be able to select from Tuscan, Parisian, Cajun, Americana, and International menus. For $144.99, you'll choose five entrees from the categories of Pasta, Beef, Pork, Seafood, and Poultry. Each entree comes with a side vegetable, but you don't get to choose which one you get; depending on the menu you select for the entree, you may get Oven-Roasted Tuscan Veggies, Creamy Spinach & Artichokes, and so on.
All entrees come deep-chilled and should be refrigerated on the day they're delivered. You should eat your entrees within 3 days; otherwise, you can freeze your entree and reheat at a later time. Gourmet Station's meals need to be reheated in an oven, not a microwave. This allows the full flavors and textures of the gourmet meals to be retained, but might be less convenient for people who want to be able to heat up their food more quickly or who don't have a full kitchen.
Standard delivery means that your meals will arrive via UPS on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with the exception of major holidays. You can schedule special-occasion deliveries even months in advance, but you'll still be limited to those three days of the week due to UPS' scheduling.
Gourmet Station meal delivery is a good choice for people looking for restaurant-quality food, either for a special occasion or for those weeknights where no one wants to cook. But, for customers on a special diet or a limited budget, this service probably won't be the ideal fit.
Personal Chef to Go has been a part of the meal delivery marketplace for over 15 years. Their goal is to bring healthy meals to your home that only require three minutes in the microwave, with no need to spend any time shopping, cooking or planning menus.
This company seems to have limited their options over the past few years. Originally, they offered menus for individuals, couples, and families. At the time of our most recent review, this meal delivery service only offered the following options:
The per-serving costs of these plans are much higher than almost all of the meal delivery services we reviewed.
For most addresses east of the Mississippi, delivery is free. Meals ship on Thursday and arrive on Friday or Saturday; there's no opportunity to change your delivery schedule.
All meals are delivered fresh, but Personal Chef to Go says that they'll stay fresh in your refrigerator for 10-12 days.
We don't love that Personal Chef to Go makes prospective customers give them their email address and zip code to find out more about their meal plans and pricing. Once you've done that, you have to decide if you want the Chef's Choice, where they pick their most popular meals for you each week, or Your Choice, which lets you pick which meals match your taste preferences. Those preferences are set using the filter, allowing you to eliminate meals that have fish, gluten, pork, shellfish, beef, soy, dairy, or tree nuts. Each week's menu only has 12 options, so if you are looking for 10 meals a week but you don't eat shellfish or fish, you may not have very much to choose from.
We also were less than impressed with the experience of using the Personal Chef to Go site. The photos of the various meals weren't appetizing, and none of the meals had customer reviews to see what real people have thought of them after they got them home and on their plate. One plus is that each recipe has very clear nutritional information, from calories and sodium to a detailed ingredient list.
The one very positive thing we found about Personal Chef to Go's meal delivery service is that customers like it. Although there aren't hundreds of reviews available, the ones we did find were almost entirely satisfied - with the food quality, with the delivery, and with the convenience of having meals delivered to the home or office.
On the whole, however, Personal Chef to Go gives you fewer options at a higher price. You're likely to find one of our higher-ranked services a better fit for your budget and for your tastes.
As these services have grown in popularity, the types of meals and plans has expanded as well. Has your doctor recently put you on a special diet, and you're not sure how to incorporate it into your lifestyle? Whether you're adapting to a diet that's low in carbs, diabetic-friendly, or even gluten-free, you'll find a meal delivery program that can help.
Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian but unfamiliar with how to create a balanced meal? Once again, there's a meal delivery service for that - use it for a few weeks to get ideas of lunches and dinners that you can recreate, or for as long as you like as you adapt to your clean, green way of eating.
As you consider which meal delivery service is best for you, you'll quickly see that they vary greatly when it comes to price, preparation, and types of food offered. Keep these criteria in mind as you decide which company fits your needs:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best meal delivery services available today. We hope these reviews help you find the service that puts the food that you're craving on the table right away!
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