Thursday, July 3, 2008

The skinny on Dinner A'Fare

Well I'm going to take a bubble bath and get in the bed before too long since we have to be up so dang early tomorrow to head to the race... but first I thought I'd take a few to catch y'all up on our trip to Dinner A'Fare a couple of weeks ago. I told ya I'd come back with my review so here I am, finally.

First of all, here's how it works... You go online, choose a location, and pick out your meals from their current menu (which changes monthly). I think they had about 15 dishes to choose from and we picked 12. Because it's just the hub and me, we did 12 half-dishes (which serve 2-3 people). The total for the 12 halves was $160. Now if you're just interested in picking up the food, you can have them prepare everything for you and you just schedule a time to pick it up. I think it may cost a little extra to do it that way - not sure. But the real fun was going into the kitchen and putting all the dishes together! OK alone this would not be fun, but with friends or other couples, totally fun. We went with another couple and actually had the whole place to ourselves - it was a Sunday afternoon. We had a total blast. Even the hub totally raved about it. One dish the boys put together called for tequila, so there was a squirt bottle of tequila with the rest of the prepared ingredients. So of course the boys thought it was hilarious to squirt shots of low grade tequila in their mouths all night.

The kitchen also lets you bring in your own wine, so we were having a good ole time. All the stations are set up for a certain dish, and you just hop around to each station to prepare your specific menu. They have all the ingredients chopped up and ready to go with printed step-by-step directions overhead. Here's a look at one of the prep stations...



And a few goofballs in the kitchen...hehehe...


After preparing a dish, you go to the wrap station and wrap it up, label it, and it's ready to freeze. We brought a cooler with us, but if you were going straight home afterwards, I think you'd be OK with just some good grocery bags or totes. After wrapping up each dish, you stick it in their fridge till you're ready to go. The website really explains the process better than I can, but it was really just a ton of fun. Although the real question is - is the food any good? Well we've had 4 dishes now and I can proudly say, hell YEAH it's good. Everything so far has been excellent. And y'all also know that I'm an obsessive calorie counter, so I was excited to see that they display all the nutritional info on their online menu to aid in choosing your dishes. They also print the same info on the labels you use to wrap up each meal to take home and freeze. The first dish we ate was the chili lime crab cakes. I added the green salad, but here's a look...


Delish! Actually the hub got a little carried away with the "chili" part of the crab cakes, so they were rather HOT. But they were really really good. It's also cool to see some interesting combos of ingredients they come up with there... like we did a pork tenderloin dish that has a strawberry salsa topping with cilantro in it. Strawberries and cilantro... not sure I would've thought to put those two together, but it was yum-o!!!

Anyway, so Dinner A'Fare gets a big thumbs up from me. It was a great date night. I think it'd also make a fun girls' night out. You can also do private parties if you have a large enough group. And I also think it makes a GREAT gift for someone... it's the perfect gift for the busy gal or busy couple. I think it makes an awesome gift for newlyweds to use right after they get back from their honeymoon as they ease into their new life together. And especially for expectant parents! What a fun little outing for a momma- and daddy-to-be just before baby arrives... and then they've got a couple of weeks worth of meals taken care of! So yeah, I'm all about it. And I do love to cook when I get the notion. I cook a good bit - so don't think this is something only for people who don't like to cook. But with our busy and often unpredictable schedules, it's nice to know there's a yummy meal there ready to go if I'm not in the mood to cook.

So have any of y'all tried one of these type places? I know there are lots of different chains that do this sort of thing, but this is my first time - so Dinner A'Fare is really the only one I can vouch for. We'll definitely be back!

8 comments:

Lauren said...

I am so glad to hear the skinny on Dinner A'fare! I have been to Let's Dish and had a similar experience. I want to give this place a try. It is just so nice to have meals ready to go in the freezer. Plus, it is so much cheaper than going out to eat.

I hope you have a nice weekend!

Belle-ah said...

My girl friend were going to do Super Suppers a few months ago and then the Chateau Elan one moved (closed? moved?) and we never did. I just saw an ad for Dinner A'fare this morning so I am glad to hear a review and I will have to put it back on my "to do" list! Happy 4th!

Mrs.Preppy said...

That looks like a really neat place. I would love to see if Dallas has something like that.

Candice said...

Sounds great! I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for the review :)

Hollie said...

I love your blog....I read down some of your post and saw the hanky panky post...I'm officially addicted and can't bear the thought of wearing anything else!
Have a great night!
Hollie

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

So glad y'all had fun! I've been wanting to try one of these places for years now and will definitly need to plan a girls night at some point. Love that you can do the 1/2 portions too- great idea if you don't have a big ole family to feed.

Sasha said...

I've been doing Pass Your Plate every month with a friend for almost 2 years. Sadly, they are closing the store we go to.

Your crab cakes look amazing! I love chili powder!

Pink Lemonade and Peonies said...

This sounds like so much fun & your crabcake look delish! We have a Dinner A'Fare here & I can't wait to go there.