Best Reviews TopConsumerReviews.com Best Prepared Meals Best Reviews
Best Reviews
      May 22, 2019

Home  >  Prepared Meals  >  Gourmet Station vs Plated

Best

Prepared Meals

  1. Bistro MD
  2. Veestro
  3. Home Chef
  4. Sunbasket
  5. Hello Fresh
  6. Blue Apron
  7. Diet To Go
  8. Gourmet Station
  9. Harry & David
  10. Magic Kitchen
  11. Personal Chef To Go
  12. Martha & Marley Spoon
  13. Plated
  14. Home Bistro

Compare Products

  • Select any 2 companies in our reviews to compare them head-to-head!
  • Compare

Your Information Is Secure
Culinary Delights: 220 Masterpiece Dishes Newsletter

Latest Reviews

Cruise Vacations

Fruit Baskets

Hair Removal

Learn to Read Programs

Menopause Relief

Paid Surveys

Pet Meds

Pool Tables

Tax Software

Watches

 

Individual Reviews

Freshly

Bistro MD

Veestro

Home Chef

Sunbasket

Hello Fresh

Blue Apron

Diet To Go

Gourmet Station

Harry & David

Magic Kitchen

Personal Chef To Go

Martha & Marley Spoon

Plated

Home Bistro

 

Related Articles

A Complete Guide To Prepared Meals and Meal Delivery Services

Dieting With Prepared Meals

Making Time to Save Your Health

The Psychology of Food

Will the Internet Change Grocery Shopping As We Know it?

 

Our professional reviewers evaluate products and services independently, but Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on the links on our pages. Learn more.

Better Business Bureau Reliability Seal

Gourmet Station vs Plated

Best Prepared Meals

To help you find the Best Prepared Meals, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Gourmet Station and Plated.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Prepared Meals, please Click Here

Who has the best Prepared Meals? How many times have you come home after a long day and stared blankly at your refrigerator or pantry, trying to figure out what to eat? Or stopped at the drive-thru for fast food because the thought of coming up with something for dinner was just too much?

You're not alone. For people who'd like the convenience of fast food with the benefits of home cooking, Prepared Meals are the answer. For every imaginable palate and preference, there's a prepared meal service that can help. Several of today's most popular services send you high-quality, often organic ingredients - including fresh produce like shallots and herbs - saving you the hassle of planning your meals and going to the store.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2019

Prepared Meal Reviews

3.5 stars
Gourmet Station

GOURMET STATION Visit Site

Cost:

From $79.99 and up

For more than 15 years, Gourmet Station's Prepared Meals have been delivered to over 100,000 customers. Their primary focus is gift-giving, especially for employers looking to give incentives to workers or holiday gifts to clients. But, everything that Gourmet Station sells can just as conveniently be purchased for a personal special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday.

To see your options, start by choosing a category: Soup & Appetizers, Monthly Clubs, Gift Certificates, Meal Plans, Occasion Dinners, or Dinner Gifts. Of all the possibilities, the last one has the most impressive options:

  • Occasion Dinners for Two - priced at $109.99, this package comes with a card, white cloth dinner napkins, a floating candle and complimentary gift packaging. Besides your choice of four-course meals (Americana, Parisian, Tuscan), you'll select the bread, soup, entree, and dessert, plus a coffee or tea and candy.
  • Four-Course Gourmet Dinners for Two - for $99.99, you can choose among Parisian, Tuscan, or Americana options (just like the previous package, without the extra gift items such as the candle).
  • Three-Course Gourmet Dinners for Two - priced at $89.99, you'll decide on an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert.
  • Gourmet Dinners for Two - if you just want entrees, you'll pay $79.99. Choices include Chicken Cordon Bleu, Lemon Dill Salmon, Mushroom Ravioli and more.

Also, in the Dinner Gift category, you'll find Steak Dinner Gifts, Dinner of the Month, and Wagyu (Kobe) Steaks.

The Dinner of the Month option is also found as part of Gourmet Station's Monthly Clubs. If you'd like to spread your gift-giving over several deliveries - for yourself or for a lucky recipient of your generosity - your options include Soup or Dessert of the Month or even full dinners with 2, 3, or 4 courses.

But, most customers looking for Prepared Meals want something they can eat during a typical week. In that case, Gourmet Station's Meal Plans are the best option. Each package provides five meals a week for one person; cuisine choices include Americana, International, Parisian, Cajun, and Tuscan, with five entrees and side vegetables. You'll select Pasta, Beef, Pork, Seafood, and Poultry meals within each of those menu choices; the vegetable is determined automatically by the entree you choose. For example, the Tuscan menu may come with Oven-Roasted Veggies, or the International entree is accompanied by Creamy Spinach & Artichokes.

Every Prepared Meal delivered by Gourmet Station should be refrigerated that day and eaten within 3 days; otherwise, you should freeze it for later reheating. Meals are also expected to be reheated in a traditional oven, not the microwave. This isn't as convenient as some of the TV dinner-style Prepared Meals plans in our review, but it helps your gourmet food stay tasting - well, gourmet!

Your delivery options are limited to arrivals on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Although you can schedule your packages to arrive several months in advance, for a special occasion or other event, you'll still have to choose one of those three days because of UPS' delivery requirements.

Gourmet Station makes it incredibly easy to deliver a five-star restaurant-quality meal to your doorstep (or to someone else's), needing just a 30-minute reheating in the oven for some items. On the other hand, if you're trying to lose weight or you're looking for the most economical Prepared Meals plan on the market, this probably isn't the service you'll choose.

Visit Site

2 stars
Plated

PLATED Visit Site

Cost:

Per-serving cost of $9.95 to $11.95

Free shipping on all plans over $60

Plated takes a slightly different approach to Prepared Meals. Like many services, they send you fresh ingredients and recipes to prepare, but their primary aim is to help you gain confidence in the kitchen by broadening your culinary horizons - and maybe your taste buds, too.

Weekly menu options include dishes like Salmon with Salsa Verde and Steak Gyros. There are also dessert choices, such as Fig Shortcakes and Napoleons. Each recipe can be made in an hour or less.

The main decisions you'll need to make are how many servings you'd like each meal to provide (2, 3, or 4) and how many meals you'd like to prepare each week (again, choosing from 2, 3, or 4). A two-serving, twice a week plan is regularly priced at $47.80. The largest plan, with four servings per meal, four times a week, costs $159.20. When we visited Plated, they were offering a 25% discount promotion on the first week's delivery, for all of their various plan configurations.

This service doesn't come with specific plans for people who want gluten-free entrees or vegan desserts - rather, you choose from 20 recipe options, including main courses and treats, from every weekly menu. However, you are able to customize your subscription in a few ways, like omnivore or seafood lover, so that you're only shown the choices among the 20 that meet those criteria.

Plated offers the most flexible delivery schedule we've found, with deliveries possible every day except Sunday. Your shipment is expected to maintain its refrigeration through midnight on delivery day, so you won't have to rush home to get your ingredients into the fridge.

Unfortunately, Plated also has one of the weakest customer satisfaction policies in the industry. If something is missing from your package, or if you're unhappy for any reason, Plated says that they may, at their sole discretion, issue you a credit. That would be fine if there were no issues with their deliveries, but with a significant number of customers receiving moldy or otherwise spoiled ingredients, the $12 credit that Plated offered them was nowhere near enough. In addition, many customers said that the recipes weren't anything to rave about, and that the ingredients received were commonly available at their local supermarket - not the high-quality items they expected from a premium Prepared Meals service.

Finally, we saw several complaints that referenced Plated's gift cards. In order to use a gift card, the recipient has to provide their own credit card information to the company - which inadvertently left some of them as subscribing customers to a service they didn't want. That isn't a good way to make gift-givers or recipients very happy.

In comparison with the competition, Plated does have a unique approach to delivering Prepared Meals. However, their reputation with their customers doesn't leave a good taste in our mouth - literally or figuratively - especially with such a lackluster approach to returns and refunds. Choose a higher-ranked service to get fresh ingredients and recipes you'll actually enjoy.

Visit Site

Continued from above

If you have a loved one that needs to start eating a special diet for diabetes or other medical issues, you can choose a prepared meals company that offers ready-to-reheat meals packaged similarly to a TV dinner and that have been carefully created by nutritionists specifically for that condition.

On the other hand, maybe you've been tasked with bringing a mind-blowing main course to an important company function, but your skills in the kitchen are limited to boiling water and burning toast. No problem: just choose a Prepared Meals service that focuses on gourmet-level, special occasion entrees like chicken cordon bleu or even surf-and-turf.

When deciding which company is a good fit for your delivery of Prepared Meals, you'll soon notice that there's a wide variety to choose from. How do you select the one that's best for you? Here are some things to consider as you look at each service:

  • Menu. What does the provider offer? Can you choose from many different plans, like Vegetarian or Mediterranean? If you're trying to meet a special dietary need, like gluten-free or keto-friendly, will there be options for you? Does the type of Prepared Meals they send - reheat-and-eat vs. some cooking required - work for your situation?
  • Price. What will it cost to get your Prepared Meals? Can you choose to buy specific entrees a la carte, or do you have to buy a package?
  • Amount of Food. If you have a large family, is there a plan that will satisfy everyone? Are the serving sizes enough to fill you up?
  • Customer Service and Reputation. What have other people said about the experience of buying Prepared Meals from this business? Are packages delivered on time, with ingredients that are still fresh and properly refrigerated? If not, does the company's customer service department respond appropriately with a refund or credit?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Prepared Meals Delivery Companies available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right company to deliver the kind of meals you want, directly to your doorstep!

Food and drink tax measure before Hood River County voters on Tuesday

Voters in Hood River County will decide on Tuesday whether to add a 5 percent sales tax to prepared food and non-alcoholic beverage sales. Ballot Measure 14-66 proposes taxing food sold by restaurants ...

Published:  Tue, 21 May 2019 11:33:00 GMT



As Riverside Becomes First California County To Allow Vendors To Sell Home-Cooked Meals, Other Counties Wait And See

Starting in early June, home cooks in Riverside County will be the first in California to be able to sell meals prepared in their own kitchens.. A law legalizing "micro-enterprise kitchens" in ...

Published:  Tue, 21 May 2019 08:23:00 GMT



Meal kit co Purple Carrot acquired by Japanese online grocer for just $4m (with $17m to follow only if earn-out goals are met)

The rapid growth of services from GrubHub to UberEats enabling consumers to order pre-prepared food for delivery in 20 minutes without a subscription had also presented consumers with options that ...

Published:  Tue, 21 May 2019 21:35:00 GMT



The Little Foodie: Compromise creates memorable meal

I have a problem when I'm grocery shopping. Before I go, I tell myself to find some prepared meals so I can have a few easy nights of cooking. Read more You're reading a premium story. Read the full ...

Published:  Tue, 21 May 2019 19:05:00 GMT



Pampering your cat with homemade food? It may do more harm than good, UC Davis study finds

Making homemade cat food may sound like exactly the kind of special care feline friends deserve, but according to a first of its kind study from researchers at UC Davis, such home-prepared diets may ...

Published:  Wed, 22 May 2019 01:33:00 GMT



The global gluten free food products market is expected to exceed US$ 13 Billion mark by 2025

The United States gluten free prepared food market is predicted to exceed US$ 250 Million by 2025. " Independent natural or health food stores captured between 10% - 15% share of the United States ...

Published:  Tue, 21 May 2019 16:02:00 GMT



Global Gluten Free Food Market, Mergers & Acquisitions, Key Company Profiles - Forecast to 2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.com

The gluten-free bakery products and dairy/dairy alternatives products together accounted for around 55% share of the total United States gluten-free food market. The United States gluten-free prepared ...

Published:  Wed, 22 May 2019 02:49:00 GMT



Global Gluten Free Food Market 2019-2025: North America Dominates the Global Market with Approx 50% Share

The gluten-free bakery products and dairy/dairy alternatives products together accounted for around 55% share of the total United States gluten-free food market. The United States gluten-free prepared ...

Published:  Wed, 22 May 2019 02:23:00 GMT



Vancouver VA keeps veterans satisfied with freshly prepared meals

Napoleon reportedly said an army marches on its stomach. Veterans at the VA Portland Health Care System, Vancouver Campus aren't doing much marching these days, but they remain keenly interested in ...

Published:  Wed, 08 May 2019 06:00:00 GMT



We Are Not Prepared for the Next Generation of CGI Food

Video game graphics are so good these days it's hard to imagine they could improve. Can anything look better than raytraced lighting generating the reflection of a house fire in a puddle of water in ...

Published:  Thu, 09 May 2019 15:50:00 GMT



Share Us!    Share TopConsumerReviews.com on Twitter Share TopConsumerReviews.com on LinkedIn Share TopConsumerReviews.com on Google+ Share TopConsumerReviews.com on Pinterest

Home      About Us      Terms & Conditions      Privacy Policy      Contact Us      Disclosure