Take home the ingredients for a homemade gourmet meal from the Fresh Routes pop-up store inside the Union Square subway station. But only if you think $32.85 or more is a good deal for a box of ingredients you have to cook yourself and wash the pots and pans and dishes afterward.
Fresh Routes says the do-it-yourself ingredient kits were created by local chefs who have worked at world-class NYC restaurants such as Jean-Georges and Momofuku. I’l have to take their word for that, just as I have to take their word that $30 plus for $10 or less of ingredients in a box I have to cook myself is a good deal.
This is what was in the Fresh Routes box for Thai coconut chicken that I was shown when I stopped by the other day:
- separate plastic baggies containing a few ounces of fresh snap beans, a few sprigs of cilantro, a small package of cellophane noodles
- a can of coconut milk
- a sandwich-sized plastic bag containing a small packet marked as Thai seasonings, along with an unmarked package the size and shape of my iPhone that appeared to be raw chicken breast. But since I noticed no label, I have no way of knowing whether it was chicken breast or another chicken body part, organic or not, fresh or thawed from previously frozen, or what it’s “sell by” date is – or was.
Fresh Routes claims each $30+ box contains “four generous portions”. Not from the looks of the box of ingredients I saw.
Sorry, Fresh Routes, but NYC on the Cheap simply cannot recommend spending $30+ for box of canned of coconut milk, an ounce or two of chicken, some beans, some cilantro and some spices, that I have to cook myself and wash the dishes afterward. I can order for less from any local Thai restaurant, and I won’t have to cook it or wash the dishes afterward.
The store is open in the Union Square East mezzanine, close to the 4-5-6 platform, Monday through Saturday, though the summer. Hours are 8AM to 9PM weekdays and 10AM to 5PM Saturdays. Fresh Routes also delivers, but not to me.
What’s your opinion of NYC meal-delivery and food-kit services such as Fresh Routes, Blue Apron, Plated and Zone Diet Elite?