I want to eat delicious food and be skinny. Oh wait, you too?
The problem is most quick foods are not healthy for you and chock full of calories. That’s where the rise of the popular home delivery meal kits came in, but that presented a slight problem to some…you had to cook those which took time (and dishes). So now we turn our sights to local meal-ready options where you just have to pop it in the microwave or eating it freshly prepared- depending which you choose.
Most of you have probably heard and maybe even tried these places, but I thought it would be fun to try all of them and review based on a few criteria:
- Taste- Is it delicious?
- Convenience- How easy is to get pick up? How many locations? Is there online ordering? Is delivery offered?
- Affordability- How does each place compare cost wise? How does it compare to an average grocery bill for a family that eats at home?
And lastly, I wanted to know what made them different from their competitors. I actually spoke to store owners, managers, and employees directly to come up with these answers. So I’ll essentially be summarizing their 60-second sales pitch 🙂
To make things fair, I asked each place to provide me with their 3 most popular meals.
Let’s get eating!
MMG is a franchise that recently came to Omaha offering healthy meal options that are prepared on-site with a dining area to eat your food. Everything is made-to-order so you could modify any entree OR you could order ahead to reheat it later. They offer high-protein, low calorie, low fat, gluten free, vegetarian, shakes, smoothies, and even a kid’s menu.
What I Liked
The owners/managers were very inviting and knowledgeable. I liked that you could see them cook the food directly in front of you and because they offer so many types of dietary options, it is accommodating to every person (kids included).
What I Tried
They hooked me up with the Teriyaki Stir-Fry, Godfather, and Champion Pasta. The dishes were pretty good with the Stir-Fry being our favorite. The Godfather was a balsamic chicken with mushrooms and roasted red peppers, all over a bed of broccoli. The pasta was a combo of grilled chicken and turkey meatballs with skim mozzarella and wheat pasta. I was impressed with the presentation, but the taste was pretty average.
In my opinion, it felt their angle was a low-fat, low-calorie diet that was the general consensus for weight loss and healthy eating several years ago. So not a “trendy” food place by any means, but perhaps a more timeless approach to sensible eating and moderation.
The food as a whole tasted good, but not amazing. When you think of healthy meals and how they might taste, this falls right in line with that expectation. The prices were really affordable (kid options were only $1.99!) and the service was friendly. With only one location out in Legacy (approx. 168th and W. Center) currently, it’s not accessible to many people but strategically located nearby a popular gym and apartments.
For a small fee, they offered delivery and you could do online ordering to avoid any waiting. Overall I’d give them a 6/10 for taste.
Average Cost of a Meal: $8.49-$10.49
I turned my head and like 6 of these popped up in Omaha overnight. Eat Fit Go may be the best known healthy meal option because they had the capital to expand quickly and the marketing has been nothing short of amazing. Their meals are chef-made that are made fresh daily (locally, I believe), never frozen, no preservatives, low sodium, high protein, and allergy friendly.
What I liked
Eat Fit Go presents themselves very well. The interiors are modern and beautiful, the employees are also very knowledgeable. The menus are straightforward and everything flows well together.
(Side story: One afternoon I was at a coffee shop next door that was having terrible wifi so I shimmied over to Eat Fit Go to use their internet and in the 2 hours that I spent there, countless people made their way in to grab food. The sheer number of traffic was mind blowing)
What I tried
They gave me the Salmon Alfredo, Smart Chicken Parm, and Smart Chicken Enchiladas. The first entree was really good and felt “light” for getting your alfredo fix. The Smart Chicken Parm was a bit blander and the chicken tasted chewy (but I triple checked and it wasn’t undercooked), The enchiladas were also good with just the right amount of flavor, but again, chewy chicken. Maybe that’s just how smart chickens operate.
Overall, the food was really good and I love how they took “comfort foods” and put light variations on them. I believe that the menu does change from time to time when they add new products which is probably the perfect amount of change for most people. One thing I did note was after a few of the meals I felt a bit bloated. Mind you I have no food intolerances and I eat a varied diet that includes all food groups so it was a bit unsettling to feel this way after eating a healthy meal.
From an accessibility standpoint, Eat Fit Go takes the cake. They have several locations locally and regionally and it shows no sign of slowing down. I don’t remember and couldn’t find anything on their site, but I don’t believe they deliver (except for catering). I think because they have so many locations, they probably don’t need to. I’d rate the food an 8/10 for taste.
Average Cost of a Meal: $8-$11
Evolve Paleo recently became a franchise (with currently only 8 stores so far) with a focus on paleolithic eating involving meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts. They offer “clean eating” with a focus on minimally processed food, high-quality organic meat and produce, and a whole lot of coconut oil and almond flour substitutions. Ok that last part might not be true, totally my perception.
What I liked
The interior was very inviting and I love how healthy I felt just walking in the doors. I spoke with their manager and he explained that in addition to their tasty food, they have an weekly ever-changing menu so you’re always trying new things. Good for people who like change, bad for people who are creatures of habit. I like change.
What I tried
We were given a Smoked Chicken Jalapeno Mac and Cheese, Gyro Meatballs with Tabbouleh, Breakfast Meatballs & Scrambled Eggs, and they also hooked us up with some dessert- Chocolate Lava Cake. Holy Batman was the food incredible! When I first ate the mac and cheese, I felt like it tasted similar to something prepared at a hipster, farm-to-table establishment. Tommy tried a bite and he commented: “If it tastes this good, I could see me going Paleo.” It set the bar so high that I was unsure how the Gyro Meatballs would stand against it.
They were also amazing. The tabbouleh was made with cauliflower rice and the Tzatziki sauce was such an amazing accompaniment, I didn’t miss carbs at all.
The dessert was also fantastic- absolutely no disappointment here.
Evolve stands head and shoulders above the rest. The few items we tried were wickedly tasty and filling. The best part is I felt “full” without the bloating that accompanies high-carb and high-fat foods (that I so enjoy). If you’re a true foodie looking for high-quality healthy meals with zero compromise on taste, you should try Evolve. I’d give them 9.5/10 stars for taste.
Average Cost of a Meal: $10-$11, Breakfast $5-6, Dessert $5-6
If you didn’t already guess it, Evolve Paleo was my favorite. The food was all delicious and I felt content and energized after eating it. Eat Fit Go would be my second favorite and Muscle Maker Grill took bronze.
Have you eaten at any of these places? What did you think?
I’ll be reviewing about their affordability and cost comparisons in a forthcoming blog all on its own because it’s would have made this one too long.
**Full Disclosure: Each of these places provided the meals for me gratis, however, these are my honest reviews. So in short, no one can buy a 5-star review.