Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Blue Plate Dinners

A couple of weekends ago my friend Emily and I tried out the locally owned meal-assembly store called Blue Plate Dinners. You might remember that many months ago Chad and I tried out similar meal preparation places in and around Lawrence, one called Social Suppers here in town and one in Topeka called Menu Makers, now known as Chef Alli's. After our first trip to Social Suppers, we were really pleased with the meals, so we went back for a different menu a few months later. Our second month's meals were good, but they certainly weren't great, so we just hadn't had the urge to go back since. We liked the concept though, so when Emily wanted to try out Blue Plate, I was excited about going along.

In general, the experience at Blue Plate Dinners was very similar to that of Social Suppers. Both establishments are clean and organized and the staff at both stores is very friendly and helpful. Blue Plate got a couple of extra points from me for having O.J. and pastries on a Saturday morning, and for having a special shelf in the big fridge designated for each "cook" of the day, so that all of your meals stayed cold while you were preparing the rest of your food. The Blue Plate staff was maybe slightly better prepared than that of Social Suppers, and although it's a little hard to say for sure, the ingredients seemed just a little more fresh as well. The biggest difference, however, was just the recipes. Social Suppers is a franchise, with the same recipes in all of their stores throughout Kansas and Missouri. Since Blue Plate is locally owned, they created all of their own recipes, which were all very tasty and worth making again!

Our favorite BP meal in February was the calzones, which you can fill with your choice of about 20 different ingredients. I don't even usually like calzones since they're so "bready," but these were awesome! The great thing is that they're on the menu for March as well, so we're definitely going back this month. We also enjoyed the Pork Chops with Cherry Pan Sauce and the Pecan-Crusted Tilapia. The BBQ Pork Sandwiches were really good and one of the easiest things to cook since they just went into the slow cooker. We have yet to eat the Popeye Pasta, but I'm looking forward to that this week since it looked delicious while I was making it!

Obviously, we're big fans of Blue Plate and are looking forward to going back. It's definitely more expensive than cooking at home, but the convenience of having everything purchased, cleaned and chopped (and even prepared for you if you want to spend a couple extra dollars) is so worth it. Plus, it's way healthier and way less expensive than eating out! You can check out the March menu on their website if you're interested!

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