BY LESLEY KENNEDY & KENDALL KOSTELIC
Local services bring healthy, gourmet meals right to your own front door
More and more busy folks are taking advantage of food delivery services—whether it’s a bushel of seasonal fruits and veggies that lands on the doorstep, all the ingredients you need to prepare a chef-provided recipe or a high-end meal that’s already prepared and ready to heat and serve. And while there are a number of national companies—Blue Apron, for one—that offer great options, there are plenty of local businesses ready to take a little stress off your plate, and instead fill it up with healthy, delicious, restaurant-quality ingredients and dishes. Here’s a look at six Colorado-based services to add to your dining repertoire. Now, what will you do with all that extra time?
WHAT IT IS: Farm-grown fresh, organic produce and Good Food groceries delivered to your doorstep.
THE SERVICE: Started in 1997, based in Lafayette and now available in seven markets across the country, simply choose a produce box (veggies, fruit or a mix of the two), a delivery day and set your preferences for likes and dislikes. Orders may be customized each week, and additional groceries are available. Not sure what you need? Shop by recipe for a list of ingredients. Cancel any time.
WHAT YOU GET: A wide variety of produce. Don’t like something? Substitutions are allowed. The bitty box is most popular, serving one to two people; small feeds a family of three to four; medium works for a fruit-and veggie-loving family of four; and large feeds a vegetarian family (or is great for a party).
WHY WE LOVE IT: Not only is the service convenient (make those week-night grocery runs a thing of the past), we love the variety of ingredients we might not always shop for or cook with. It’s also a fun way to introduce kids to new, colorful, healthy foods they can help prepare.
PERFECT FOR: People who love to cook with fresh, healthy ingredients, but don’t have time to run to the grocery store all week long. Plus, it’s great for families and individuals looking to jump-start wellness routines.
SAMPLE ITEMS: A recent mixed bitty box included one of each of the following: bunch of beets, cucumber, green bell pepper and butternut squash; two of the following: kiwi, Bosc pears and on-the-vine tomatoes; plus, three bananas and four Satsuma mandarins. Need groceries, too? Select everything from spices and coffee to eggs and meat.
PRICE RANGE: $25.99-$59.99 for boxes; grocery prices vary.
DELIVERY: Throughout Colorado—check website for your area and delivery days. Not home? No problem: A cooler will be left at your door.
TIP: According to Door to Door Organic’s The Good Food Blog, try adding savory ingredients to your usual breakfast oatmeal on cold mornings. An over-easy egg with sautéed kale or cashews with cooked squash will give you energy and help you reach your recommended servings of veggies for the day.
WHAT IT IS: Chef-prepared packaged breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.
THE SERVICE: Launched in 2013 by Colleen Callaway Eager and Mike Keuler, GoBistro’s meals can be delivered to your home or office or picked up at various locations, including its store, 1111 Broadway. The menu also includes locally produced drinks and snacks—think Upstart Kombucha (Boulder), Poparuba cake bites (Denver) and Jackson’s Honest chips (Crested Butte).
WHAT YOU GET: Fresh, portion-controlled, grab-and-go options brimming with flavor—from burritos, oatmeal and protein boxes to entrees, salads and sandwiches.
WHY WE LOVE IT: How many times have you sat at your computer, staring down your sad desk lunch in misery? With GoBistro, there’s no excuse to suffer through days-old leftovers or hit the drive-through at lunch anymore.
PERFECT FOR: Busy folks who want to eat well during the day—or night—but don’t have time to sit down at a restaurant or spend hours prepping in the kitchen.
SAMPLE ITEMS: Sweet Potato Burrito; Sausage, Onion and Cheese Savory Bun; Agave Sage Pork Tenderloin; Roasted Beet Salad with Salmon and Quinoa; Rosemary Chicken Sandwich.
PRICE RANGE: $1.25-$12.
DELIVERY: Central Denver ($3-$7 delivery fee); see website for areas.
QUOTE: “Most people know what healthy eating entails, but we are all so busy, and I’m no exception,” says Eager, president and co-founder of GoBistro. “I started GoBistro because I was tired of having to choose between healthy, convenient and tastes good. We make real food that fits into your life.”
WHAT IT IS: A curated list of the best ingredients, as recommended by top chefs (including Alex Seidel of Fruition, Hugo Matheson of The Kitchen, Paul Reilly of Beast + Bottle, Eric Johnson of The Curtis Club and Daniel Asher of Root Down) for meals you create yourself. Think of it as a culinary buyers club.
THE SERVICE: To-Table asks chefs for their best luxury and hard-to-find produce and products, and then makes recommendations that are offered for purchase at close to wholesale prices. Products are delivered straight from the original producer to you. Craving caviar? Order through To-Table and receive an overnighted box from the California Caviar Company. Recipes and instructions are available on the company’s blog.
WHAT YOU GET: The freshest specialty ingredients available; To-Table curates the best of the best in food you likely won’t find at your local grocery store. From finger limes to duck breasts to Hudson Valley foie gras, any food enthusiast is likely to find a little adventure here.
WHY WE LOVE IT: To-Table helps us feel connected to the people whose restaurant creations we covet. But it caters to our inner foodie, too. The unique selections kept us guessing, and the preparation instructions gave us direction for successful avant-garde cooking.
PERFECT FOR: Your next elegant soiree. Your guests will crown you Chef of the Neighborhood when they learn you cooked the delicacies on their plates.
SAMPLE DISHES: Stone Crab Claws; Gourmet Cheese and Crackers; Kurobuta Berkshire Bone-In Pork Chops.
TIP: “When cooking meats, use the thumb and finger test to judge the temperature: Loosely place the thumb to the index finger and feel the firmness of your muscle between your thumb and fingers,” says Charles Duke, CEO of To-Table. “The firmness of that muscle is the firmness of a steak when rare. Placing the thumb on your pinkie gives you the firmness of the steak when well done. The fourth finger is medium and the middle finger is medium rare—most peoples’ favorite. Grill away!”
PRICE RANGE: $9.80-$165 per item.
DELIVERY AREAS: Nationwide.