Friday, January 25, 2008

Hungry Vegan review

I have had only one experience with the Hungry Vegan. If any of you have ordered from there and would like to share your experiences here, I hope that you do so. We have heard from lmf about her experience, which made me conscious of how different it can be for different people.

Timeliness: My order arrived on time. Everything was cold and safe to eat. So I was able to eat all of it, and with one exception I did.

Leaky packages: Both soups leaked. lmf said some of her bags leaked as well. In my case, they only started to dribble when I took them out of the box so it was not a big deal. However, I would be concerned if I were the owner of this company.

Product appearance: Some types of dishes travel and present well even when packaged in bags like these. Some do not. I had some trouble with appearance:

This one was like a brick of mush. It tasted all right but its appearance really put me off and I ended up tossing most of it (this is the one dish I didn't finish).

This was a piece of pie. I'm big on sweets so I ate it all but I don't think I would have offered that to anyone else.

Nice appearance to this tofu dish. It also tasted good, was perhaps my favorite.

There was a lot of variety: a bean dish, rice dishes, tofu slice dish, pasta, different types of soups, more.

Cooking quality: Most of the cooking seemed to be done correctly. The seasonings were appropriate, the ingredients cooked properly (nice pie crust) - except one. The bean dish was undercooked. I cook a lot of dried beans and I know when I taste that bit of roughness that the beans are not quite done. They were soft but not all the way there.

Taste: Here's where I simply debated with myself. The dishes all tasted okay. I can't say any were standouts. I kept asking myself, what makes this dish special? And I didn't have an answer. Of course this is my personal opinion. To me, these dishes were similar to what I tend to have in my freezer, left over from major cooking efforts on my part. Decent enough to eat but rarely really really good. Actually, I do think some of my soups and bean dishes surpass what I ate from the Hungry Vegan.

Like many of you, I don't want to dis any effort to offer vegan foods conveniently. My experience was not terrible, even if it was not outstanding. I can see room for improvement and I fully expect this fledgling operation to improve where it needs to (especially in bag sealing and appearance, in my opinion) and I am very interested in the experiences of others.

In the meantime I will be ordering from the two other sources mentioned by others here: veggiebrothers, which offers a lot of choices, frozen, and buykind, which arranges to ship meals from vegan restaurants. Thank you to peacebro and jory for these finds. I will, of course, share these experiences too.


Stephanie said...

Thanks for your review of this service. My partner and I just learned about its existence in the last week or so (and searching for people's opinions of it several days ago is how I found your blog), and we're considering trying it out sometime, though not for regular use--just rarely when we have one of those frantic weeks where it would be more efficient in terms of both time and money to have our meals prepared for us. Luckily for me, appearance and presentation don't concern me a great deal. I am interested to see how your veggiebrothers experience goes, though. I was perusing their service a few days ago too.

Judith said...

Thanks for your comments, Stephanie. I am looking forward to ordering from other services when I get back from a short trip. I think these types of services can really help with the tough weeks, and when you compare the cost to eating out I think it works out - especially when you factor in the time spent on preparing (or obtaining in a restaurant) a meal.