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Right now there are a lot of meal subscription services out there. Some send you ingredients and you have to cook a meal, others send a pre-packaged meal that's as easy as heating and serving. My boyfriend and I decided to try Sun Basket. After all the fantastic reviews, we were really looking forward to our first basket.
Let’s start with the packaging. In short: it could be better. A lot better. I don’t really understand this company’s refusal to use plastic bags to separate one meal's ingredients from another when all the ingredients come in smaller plastic bags and containers, plus they ship it with frozen disposable plastic water bottles. Frozen water bottles are an utterly terrible thing to use as ice packs. It's kind of a nice touch that they send water to have with your meal but think about the number of plastic water bottles they're sending out every week and how much they could save on plastic waste by eliminating that element. The water bottles also sweat all over everything, which makes the paper bags all the ingredients are in soggy. It's just a really unnecessary use of plastic for a company that prides itself on being “green” and organic. I’m much more concerned with the plastic in our oceans than I am with whether or not my food is organic. Maybe put individual ingredients in smaller, paper bags and put those in larger plastic bags instead of the other way around. That way, if they insist on shipping water bottles, they won't sweat all over the paper bags and make everything in the box soggy.
One recipe we got this week came with apple cider vinegar (also in a plastic container) and spilled on the inside of the bag. So the entire box smelled like vinegar when we opened it. That was gross.
Then I noticed that they sent us a recipe we didn’t ask for. Super. No one contacted us to tell us that they were out of what we wanted or to give us a choice of replacement. They instead sent us chicken and Spanish rice, which is not something we would ever order from a meal delivery service, because what’s the point? We do this to try new and unique recipes. Chicken and Spanish rice is pretty mundane and also something we've both had a million variations of over the years. We didn’t eat that one tonight but it had better be good.
The fact that no one contacts customers to offer a choice of replacement meal when they run out of the ingredients for something is especially off-putting. What if someone has a food allergy or sensitivity? By blindingly sending a replacement meal with no input from customers, you're taking the risk that it will be inedible, in which case the customer has given you money for a meal you didn't technically provide. At set up, they do ask about allergies and food preferences, but by blindingly sending a meal a customer didn't ask for, how can we be sure those guidelines are being adhered to?
Finally, the first recipe. SoCal Fish Tacos. They were excellent. It doesn’t hurt that my boyfriend is an amazing cook and I’m not too shabby either, but these were some great tacos, and I’m not that into fish. I loved them. I wouldn’t say it makes up for the previous blunders or the careless use of disposable plastic, but I did really love this recipe. The greek yogurt sauce with lime and cayenne pepper was such a different, interesting flavor. We used Tajin when frying the fish which was also a great addition.
We have two more recipes this week but we've decided to cancel this service. We’ll see how these are but as of right now we don't have plans to come back. Unfortunately, Chef’d went out of business. It was our first choice and it took about a week of trying to contact them to no avail before we figured out what happened. As we try other services, you’ll get honest, fair reviews of everything, so you can be sure you’re getting the most for your money. We all have to eat and inflation is high. A little no longer goes a long way and it’s important not to waste money that has to be spent anyway.
We canceled our Sun Basket today and not only do you have to call to cancel, it took both of us calling, emailing, and messaging them on Facebook to accomplish that. They were very polite and helpful with us but I feel like it shouldn’t take that much effort to cancel a service that’s supposed to be about convenience.