Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Foodery

I'm always interested in learning about new things, so recently when I got an email from a new local business I was pretty interested to learn more.

The Foodery is a home delivery meal service that brings you the best of everything. They use only top of the line products (organic, pesticide free, grass-fed, hormone free, etc) and each meal is designed by a chef and prepared with fresh ingredients. They have a really high set of standards that they hold their ingredients to and it's pretty impressive. They are even conscious of the oils they use to cook and what the appropriate temps to use them at are.

I met with John, one of the co-founders, this past Friday and had a chance to talk about his business a little bit. He and his business partner are former finance guys who decided to stop doing something they hated and get into a business that they were both passionate about (I can relate). Their came up with the idea for The Foodery based upon their previous interest in their own nutrition. There's really no other meal service like this in Boston; one that delivers fresh food with ingredients of this quality.

One thing that John said that really struck me was his interest in retaining customers. After 5 months of delivering food, they have a 70% customer retention rate. I personally pride myself that main body of my personal training clients has been the same for almost 3 years.

John contacted me because he wants to be in touch with personal trainers who share the same kind of ideals that he does; I want my clients eating real foods that come from great sources. Unfortunately, not everyone is a cook, has the time to cook or they are just too lazy to cook. (Clients, if you think I could be talking about you then I probably am.) I've told people several times that if I could come to their house and put food on the table for them, then I would. This is as close to doing that as I can get.

After talking to John for about an hour, he told me that he was going to send some meals to my house for me to try. The delivery window is 6-9 p.m. on Sunday night and John got to my house at 6 on the dot.

Your food comes nicely bundled in a brown bag that is actually pretty attractive (insofar as a paper bag goes, ya know?). It certainly looks better than a pizza box.

The meals all come pre-packed in really nicely sized containers. A lot of take-out restaurants use this same style of contained, but I've yet to see one this size. It is perfectly sized for the portion of food that is inside.

Each meal also comes with very explicit directions on the re-heating process. You can see in the photo above that it specifies 2 minutes and 45 seconds. One of the other meals specified 3 minutes and 5 seconds. You can bet your sweet ass that if someone is going to take the time to be that specific that I'll follow their instructions.

Tofu on top. Bison to the left, salmon on the right.
Now for the meals themselves. I'll go in no specific order.

Bison Veggie Loaf with Sweet Potato Puree (557 kcal, 40g protein, 64g carbs, 23g fat)
Honestly, this is the one that I was looking forward to the most. Bison meatloaf? Sign me up. However, I'm a tough critic of meatloaf and I didn't totally love this one (but I can't point out why). This is momma's fault, as she makes some BOMB meatloaf that I'm pretty partial to. That notwithstanding, this was really good meatloaf. The flavor was distinctly grass-fed bison (in a good way) with big chunks of veggies in it that gave it a nice crunch. This is the one that Kelsi liked the most. The sweet potatoes were RIDICULOUS! I don't know how they did it, but they were the whippiest (that's a new word, you're welcome) potatoes I've ever eaten. They were frigging amazing. This meal would be a great dinner for just about anyone, but for me it would be a little on the small side. However, I understand that I'm not exactly "normal" when it comes to volumes of food. All in all, this was a really good and filling meal.

Crusted Tofu, Veggies, Black Rice, Hoisin Garlic Sauce (546 kcal, 23g protein, 75g carbs, 17g fat) Tofu? Really, tofu? I haven't eaten it in quite some time. I've become as big an anti-soy proponent as anyone out there, with good reason. The Foodery, however, goes out of their way to dispel these concerns on the pamphlet you get with your meals.

With the threat of pendulous man boobs safely behind me, I went ahead and dug into this meal. Holy shitballs, Batman! This was really good. Like, really good. The veggies were crisp and delicious (I hate soggy veggies), the hoisin sauce was yummy and the tofu wasn't too tofu-y. A little light on protein for me (but, what vegetarian dish isn't?) but this was an extremely tasty meal that is made with super high-quality ingredients. One of the rare vegetarian dishes that I would eat again, which is saying a lot.

Blackened Salmon Cobb Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette (550 kcal, 50g protein, 20g carbs, 31g fat)  Turns out that this guy was sneaky my favorite dish, for a variety of reasons. Yeah, the salad was my favorite. Go figure? First off, it was just REALLY good. It had a great combo of veggies (romaine, spinach, watercress, peppers, beans, really colorful grape tomatoes) with enough protein and fat (wild salmon and eggs) to keep me full. I'm not generally a fan of vinaigrette dressings, but this one was killer. Secondly, I could totally see myself eating this for lunch. It's a high protein meal with a ton of veggies (something I generally lack) and pretty low carb which fits really well into my carb backloading style of eating. The portion was big enough that I could eat it for lunch without being hungry afterwards (I'd need more for dinner), which means that someone a little more normal than me could have it for dinner. The last reason I really liked it is because it is something I could 100% get my clients to eat for dinner or for lunch; people like to eat salads because they think they are super-healthy (they can be, but it's also easy to make one shitty). Kelsi even ate a lot of this one, and she doesn't even like fish!

The package also came with a little treat of tofu fudge. I'm not a huge fudge guy, but this was pretty good. Especially as a stand-in for a more traditional dessert on a week night for those of you who "just have to have dessert". Very good little morsel.

Note: We ate these meals on Wednesday night, after they were delivered by John on Sunday night. The "use by" was Thursday, which means that I (purposefully) ate them at the tail end of their shelf life. All of the produce was AWESOME. The veggies were crisp and fresh tasting and nothing was wilted, soggy or rotten. I was really impressed with the quality of the veggies, especially in the salad.

If you find yourself in a sub-optimal food situation; consider giving The Foodery a chance. If you are going to Whole Foods Paycheck every night and getting their prepared foods then you are short changing yourself. That is food that gives you the impression of being healthy, but is really sort of shitty. This is food that is really good for you from both a nutritional and a holistic standpoint. Order a few meals and tell them Mike sent you. You won't be disappointed.

Have a great day! Go lift something heavy and eat something healthy!

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