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GourmetStation Review
Guide rating

April 25, 2006

About.com
By Joy Johnston

GourmetStation is an Atlanta-based business that delivers complete gourmet meals to your home, business, or any destination nationwide.

Disclaimer: This review is based upon a complimentary four-course dinner package for two provided by GourmetStation.

People these days are getting a lot more than just pizza or Chinese food delivered to the office or home. Many foodies and business people are looking for more upscale options to impress their loved ones, their clients, and their own palates. Yet, one doesn't always want to go out to a restaurant, and deal with traffic, parking, etc. Sometimes, one wants to enjoy gourmet cuisine without having to cook it from scratch, in the comfort of their home or business. That's where GourmetStation steps in.

While I've seen a trend of businesses that will ship diet-specific meals to you, I hadn't seen one that offered gourmet cuisine. GourmetStation, an Atlanta-based company, offers multi-course dinner packages in addition to an a la carte menu of appetizers, entrees, soups and breads, and desserts.

There are four culinary regions or themes to choose from: Parisian, Tuscan, Cajun, and Fusion. Customers utilize the online form to choose their preferences for bread, appetizer, soup, entree, and dessert. A floating candle, matches, and coffee or tea and dessert candy are also included in the dinner packages.

Customers then choose what day they wish to receive their dinner. Meals are shipped via UPS in a box equipped with cooling packs that are designed to keep your food safe for consumption without further refrigeration until 8:00 p.m. on the day of delivery. To prepare the pre-cooked meals, simply follow the instructions included in the package. Most meals take approximately 30 minutes to heat up and prepare.

Customers with food allergies or other dietary restrictions should contact Gourmet Station's customer service department, who proved to be helpful and informative when I made an inquiry about their menu options.

After receiving an e-mail confirmation the night before delivery, the package arrived the next day at around 10:00 a.m. The contents were not placed in a refrigerator until about 6:00 p.m. that evening, and all contents were still very cold.

The next evening I prepared the meal for consumption. I chose the Fusion theme, which featured a choice of bread, soup, entree, and dessert for two people. All dinners come with pre-printed preparation directions that should be followed closely.

I received the fusion bread sticks instead of the Asian flat bread as ordered, but my dining companion enjoyed the bread sticks nevertheless.

The soup is coconut curry with chicken and rice. Red and green bell peppers add color and a flavorful twist to the rich, satisfying soup.

For entrees, I selected the Hong Kong salmon and the beef short ribs. The salmon was a very generous portion and was accompanied by a sweet red chili pepper sauce. The beef short ribs were glazed with a Hoisin barbecue sauce. Both entrees came with a side of yams and apples in a ginger sauce. The entrees were fresh tasting and obviously made with culinary skill. They were of similar quality as one would find in a restaurant. The side dish did have a slight aftertaste from the margarine, but that was probably more apparent to my taste buds because I only use butter. Certainly the margarine is a healthier alternative, and something that most Americans use on a regular basis.

The dessert consisted of cookies to be baked. They were chock-full of Macadamia nuts, and chunks of white and milk chocolate. Dessert is accompanied by your choice of coffee or tea, which includes premium brands like St. Ives and Numi.

The four-course meal is $79.99, and with shipping and handling the price approaches $100. So is GourmetStation worth a try? Certainly I can see many opportunities to use this service, from birthdays and holidays to business meals to those trying to impress a date without having to slave in the kitchen too long. In addition to gift certificates, for those wishing to send a very special gift, a "Dinner of the Month Club" is offered, providing the recipient with a meal of their choice monthly for 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. The quality of the food is quite good, and the portions are adequate. I was impressed with customer service, which was prompt and courteous.

http://atlanta.about.com//od/foodanddrink/fr/gourmetstation.htm



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