a review: blue apron
A few weeks ago Blake and I took a nice lil weekend trip to Washington D.C. It was just as wonderful as it was 6 years ago when I went on Close Up as a high school senior and 10 years ago when Blake went on Close Up as an 8th grader. We spent our days going to our fav Smithsonians: The National Museum of the American Indian, Natural History and Air & Space - because yes we are 6 years old at heart. We of course did the loop to hit all of the monuments and consequently walking 10 miles….or 10.83 miles according to Blake’s mom who we stayed with for the weekend. She added some wonderful commentary to our tour of the capital. The best was while standing at the Lincoln Memorial looking back at the Washington Monument she gave a great sigh and said “WOW. Now THIS is history!” - Preach Lisa!
Aside from learning about our Nation’s Capital and trying to shield our eyes from a few too many older white men wearing “Make America Great Again” apparel, we were able to hit up a truly amazing Spanish restaurant. Blake deserves all of the credit for this one, and as a self proclaimed Spanish cuisine snob, I’ll be the first to say it was DAMN good. The restaurant is called Jaleo and if you ever find yourself in D.C. it’s worth the wait. Get the sangria roja, jamón ibérico, pan de tomate, patatas bravas, chorizo and pastel vasco. I’m sure you can’t go wrong with their items, but that’s what we got and I can vouch for it’s loveliness.
An active weekend away and a missed email later we wound up with a Blue Apron box arriving that Monday. Blake had been putting it off until the set menu was entirely gluten-free, but we got lucky with only one gluten-ful recipe that was an easy sub. My first pro is that it was very nice to not have to go grocery shopping for EVERYTHING after being away. That being said, we’ll get into the Blue Apron review.
Moroccan Chicken with Prunes and Brown Rice
This was by far the best unadulterated of the 3 meals. It had the most flavor, the most “heat”, and it was the most out of the ordinary meal for us.
Oaxaca Cheese and Plantain Tortas with a Tangelo and Radish Salad
This was the vegetarian option for the meal pack and where the GF bread substitution came in. The sandwich was interesting, easy to prep and assemble, but the ingredients were lacking in flavor so we decided, as non vegetarians, to add in some fresh bacon to kick things a notch. One thing I will say about this one was that it was the only meal that we had enough leftovers to make a lunch for both of us the next day. Major pro.
Spicy Shrimp Coconut Curry with Green Cabbage
This is where my already low expectations were verified. I’ll set the scene, Blake and I had gone climbing together after work. Excited to come home to an easy already prepped meal that we could throw together just in time before getting TOO hangry. Rice cooking, veggies simmering I went to add the yellow curry powder from the knickknack bag and it was nowhere to be found. Our meal had not come with the ingredient for the essential for flavoring the entire dish. Close to a hangry rage-blackout (Summer on the O.C. status) Blake ran to the store to grab some yellow curry. The dish was made, we ate, and I’m not sure if taste of bitterness overwhelmed my palate for having an almost failed meal or if it just wasn’t that great. I’m going to go with the latter.
All in all
8/10 Moroccan Chicken with Prunes and Brown Rice
7/10 Oaxaca Cheese and Plantain Tortas with a Tangelo and Radish Salad
(+1 for our bacon addition - so I guess a 6/10)
3/10 Spicy Shrimp Coconut Curry with Shrimp and Green Cabbage
Now I know this was mostly negative and I’m not trying to rag too hard on Blue Apron. I think that all of these meal prep food services are a wonderful invention for the person who a) is HELLA busy and b) does not not how to cook/has not interest in cooking - and maybe c) the person that’s got some major $$ to spare.
My major argument is that while I like to cook, and don’t mind creating something new every night, I expect to at least have leftovers for lunch the next day. That being said, their whole business model is based off of eliminating food waste, which is awesome and something Emily and I are also trying to raise awareness about.
All in all - if you’re like me and enjoy cooking, live on a budget, and have enough time in your life to go grocery shopping I would say Blue Apron or any of it’s competitors is not for you. If however, you are the opposite person I would say YOU GO GIRL - get your BlueApron on.
**DISCLAIMER: Blue Apron refunded us for our meals after the yellow curry mishap AND added in a wine credit….which I have no shame in saying I’m excited to try.
BA Customer Service 10/10
Thanks Blue Apron!!