Years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I frequently spent leisurely evening hours together in the kitchen, preparing dinner as we shared a bottle of wine, music blasting in the background. The dinner prep became part of our evening entertainment…it was how we unwound at the end of the day. It was probably how we best grew to know each other in those early days. Sometimes we didn’t sit down to dinner until 9 or 10pm, but that didn’t matter. Dinner was always delicious as was the time leading up to it.
These days dinner is never leisurely and usually not quite so enjoyable. The baby is crying for attention while the preschooler whines, angling for a cookie. I alternately between tending to them and rushing around the kitchen to get food on the table. My husband might not even be home in time for us all to eat together as the little guys are already hungry by 5. If we are all at the table together for five minutes, if the 3-year-old eats something healthy, if I get to eat something hot…those are my measures of a successful meal these days.
But, I recently discovered that I can save myself a little time and sanity with prepared meal services…fresh, delicious fare that just needs to be heated and served…and sometimes they even deliver it to your door. The concept seems to be a recent addition to the Denver food scene, each of these businesses opening in the last few years. These have become a secret, and affordable, weapon on those chaotic nights when I am tempted to just offer my family a bowl of cereal instead of an actual meal.
Here are five meal prep services, all Colorado-based and located in neighborhoods across Denver…you’ll want to bookmark these.
Fit Kitchen, City Park (1998 Downing Street, 303-860-6027), plus Englewood and Centennial locations. Fit Kitchen has breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert offerings, as well as bulk ordering. The menu features such intriguing options as bison hash and turkey zoodles (zucchini noodles).
Fooducopia, Wash Park, (1939 East Kentucky Avenue, 303-722-7838). Serving locally sourced and organic food, this restaurant also features grab and go meals, as well as a corner store that stocks locally made foods.
Go Bistro, Baker (1111 Broadway, 720-536-5689). Go Bistro offers breakfast, lunch and dinner for pick-up or delivery as well as catering services. Interesting selections include chicken satay and roasted beet salad. (UPDATED: Go Bistro now focuses on corporate catering only.)
Ready Fit Go, Highlands (3555 W. 38th Avenue, 303-945-4914) plus locations in Broomfield, DTC, and Highlands Ranch. Ready Fit Go offers walk-in pick-up, preordering in bulk, and delivery through a third-party app. Popular options include salmon and Mai Thai chicken curry.
Supper Bell, by delivery only. With fare created by some of Denver’s top chefs (Frank Bonnano and Cristino Griego), Supper Bell offers a weekly-revolving menu featuring individual entrees, family-style meals, kids’ meals, and desserts. Order by 3pm and select the time you wish dinner to be delivered to your door.