I hate cooking when I’m hungry. Maybe this is a blasphemous thing for a food writer to admit, but at the end of a long day when, like everyone else, I’ve had no fewer than 10,000 things to do, the last thing I want to decide is what to have for dinner.
Menu planning is one of those skills that takes practice and patience; I have neither. After exhausting my patience for pasta, one-meat-and-one-side dishes, and sandwiches, I turned to delivery. Even in a city like New York, where it might seem like options abound, it’s easy to get stuck choosing between Asian, Mexican and pizza.
The advent of meal delivery services like Blue Apron has been an answer for some, but many of my friends regularly get home from work at 8:00 p.m. or later. It’s hard to muster the energy to spend another hour cooking and eating, even if the instructions are nicely laid out for you. Enter Trivet: a Brooklyn-based, ready-made meal delivery service that sources some of the best ingredients from nearby. Think meats from Fleisher’s, seafood from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. and produce from a variety of upstate farms.
The business started after Puja Vohra hired chef Lauren Gustus to prepare meals for her family. She was so impressed with Gustus’s style and skills that Vohra decided to create a delivery service with Gustus as the culinary lead. “It’s guilt-free convenience,” Gustus says. “As a single chef myself, I was ordering take-out five nights a week and I felt awful about it.”
As someone who regularly has leftovers lingering in my fridge, I was worried at first that a “weekly bundle” order from Trivet would feel similar, just more expensive. Instead, it’s like coming home to a delicious, if not somewhat magical (no cooking!), buffet inside of your refrigerator. The bundles, which are $89.99 per week, consist of an astronomical amount of food including two proteins, sides and salads, as well as one soup or dessert; each of these has descriptions and heating instructions labeled on the front. And all the food’s really good — like if the New American restaurant down the street started leaving dinner in your fridge.
Like the other meal delivery services, each week has a completely revised menu tied to the seasons. Some of the things I sampled included an apple galette, fresh pasta (tossed with butternut squash, spinach and chickpeas) and an autumn-style Tuscan kale salad with spiced pears. A friend declared it “one of the best salads I’ve ever had.”
If you’re on a strict budget, these services are not cheap. But if you’re regularly spending $100 or more per person each week on groceries and take out only to watch a lot of it go to waste, it’s worth giving something like Trivet a try.
Currently, the service is available in most Brooklyn neighborhoods and allows customers to order à la carte ($35 minimum) if the “weekly bundle” doesn’t meet their needs. The only rules is that you place your order 48 hours in advance. Heck, with meal a meal delivery that’s this easy, you could even throw a dinner party on a work night.