Dream Dinner really ought to pay me. I talk about their company all of the time and have convinced many friends and family members to give them a try. I always have a great Dream Dinners experience, but this morning, I was once again reminded of why I love them so much. A little bit about Dream Dinner for those who have no clue how it works. In advance, either at the store or online, you pick a location, a session time and your meals. They typically offer about eighteen different meal options, a big variety, really something for everyone unless you're vegans. If you're vegan, you should go elsewhere. Actually, the vegetarian offerings are slim too...so DD is really for us carnivores! The nutritional info is on the website and most of the meals are healthy. The meals are sold as a 3 or 6 serving size. It sounds odd, but I've always eaten the meals as part of a couple and the three size is great, usually eaten, but sometimes we have left overs. When you sign up, you need to order a minimum of 36 servings. This is perfect for the month, as we often eat out or have other things mixed with the DD meals.
When arriving for a session, bring a laundry basket or cooler to haul the meals back home. You are given an apron and a packet listing your order. The meals are assembled in stations that are arranged in a rectangle in the middle of the room. You clip your packet to the sanitary screen ( like they have in salad bars) at the stations where you wish to start. That is now your station and only one person can work at one station at a time. Stations may share ingredients, but you have your own space while you work.
Here is the best part...all of the ingredients are chopped and organized. A recipe card is at each station and you just follow it to assemble, but you never have to cut or chop anything. You don't need to wash the measuring spoons or cups, a DD employee does all of the clean up. If you spill on the counter, you don't need to clean it up. You can make a huge mess and just leave it to head to your next station. I can usually assemble all of my meals in about 45 minutes. The meals are packed in either disposable foil trays or ziplock bags, ready to pop in the freezer.
I know that it's not the same as cooking and I do like to cook...but here are some of my big reasons for loving DD.
1. It's fast. By eliminating the prep work, I waste a lot less time.
2. Cost effective- the average is five dollars a serving. I don't have to buy excess ingredients that I will waste. The bulk of the grocery shopping is done.
3. Variety/ Time Saving- Instead of worrying about what to fix, it's done. I don't have to spend time searching for new food ideas, there is plenty of variety.
4. Yummy- I've been going for years and have had over a hundred different meals. Only a handful were bad, most are delicious. I think the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches rival dining out any day.
5. Fun- I love going to DD. The staff is ridiculously nice and they make it a fun outing. They have raffles, cookies and menu samples. They are always quick to help. The other customers are usually really friendly and conversational. They offer date nights where you can bring wine. During the morning they have a huge coffee selection. I always look forward to my sessions.
I can't say enough great things about this place, especially the Pasadena, California location. After my divorce, I took a break from going to DD. I always figured that it was something that I did with my ex-husband, but I missed it. I've recently begun to go again and am reminded how much I love it!