Get your lunch from farm-to-office: A Farmavore Review

Three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try Farmavore, a new lunch service that delivers freshly made meals straight to your office. Not having lunch sucks, especially in the winter. I always had to think twice about leaving the office to brave -20º wind chills just to grab a sad soup from Au Bon Pain that probably came pre-made in a plastic bag. So when James from Farmavore reached out to me to try their meals, I was super excited because this service sounded like a game changer.

What makes Farmavore unique is that all their meals are made in-house by their chefs using ingredients from its own farm and other surrounding farms. According to their website, all meals are nutritionally balanced and dietitian-approved. There is no set menu to select from because the goal is to have the chefs surprise you with different culinary creations each day. You do have the option to customize your meal preferences (e.g. vegetarian, gluten-free, allergies, etc.), so it’s almost like having a personal chef with a twist. The meals are chilled to keep for up to three days in the fridge, and they just need to be microwaved before consumption. That gives you the option to eat them whenever you want, even for dinner if you’d like!

James and I coordinated a time for my meals to be dropped off at my office, and honestly, I had no idea what to expect. Around noon on the following Monday, Lauren from Farmavore walked through the door and surprised me with two meals! I’m usually an 11 o’clock luncher, so by that point, I was really ready to dig in.

After looking at the two meals, I decided to go with the Morrocan Chicken Tajine with asparagus and saved the lamb burger for the next day. I took off the lid and placed the microwaveable container in the microwave for the instructed amount of time. I really appreciated all the information on the lid, which had the nutrition information, ingredients, and the instructions. Everything is spelled out and clear, which made me feel good about what I was putting in my body.

I took my lunch out of the microwave, and it smelled great. The container wasn’t soggy like other paper take-out containers, and the container was the appropriate size for me to enjoy my food. The flavors were really good. I enjoyed the roasted asparagus very much, but unfortunately, the chicken and the rice were both dry. I’m not sure if it was initially overcooked, if I microwaved it too long, or if the food had been sitting out for some time, but I was slightly disappointed.

The next day, I went in to work pretty stoked because I knew I had a gourmet lunch waiting for me in the fridge. It was pleasant not having to think about what I was doing for lunch the night before and the day of. One thing Farmavore definitely solves for is food-option-indecisiveness, a feeling I’m sure we have all experienced.

The Lamb Burger meal came in two different containers. One had the lamb burger on top of focaccia bread and the other was an arugula salad with a lemon oregano vinaigrette. Per the instructions, I separated the salad from the burger and reheated the lamb burger as instructed. As I waited for the burger to warm up, I began on my salad. The vinaigrette dressing was congealed, so I gave it a swirl, but it still looked goopy and sad. The salad didn’t look too happy either. “I should have ate this yesterday,” I thought to myself.

As I pulled the lamb burger out of the microwave, it looked delicious. I was definitely salivating. Wasn’t too sure how to eat the burger since it was on top of the focaccia, so I tried eating the lamb and bread with a fork first, gave up, so I bit into it using my hands. Unfortunately, the focaccia was hard. Maybe it turned stale overnight in the fridge or I microwaved it too long? Regardless, I ditched most of the bread and focused on the lamb burger, which was pretty good. Good flavor and still juicy like it was freshly made – I finished every bite of it.

The nice thing about Farmavore is that you can provide feedback on your meals, so the chefs get to know what you like and how to prepare your next meals. I’m not sure how I would ask to resolve the staleness because I may have stored or reheated it improperly or the food was made too early before consumption, but it would be nice if Farmavore could make improvements in this area because biting into hard bread just isn’t fun. Aside from that issue, though, they were good lunches. For $10-12 a meal (depending how often you want them), it’s a nutritious and delicious way to get lunch right in the office. And you can feel good about eating them, too, because you’re supporting small local sustainable farms and putting a lot of organic ingredients in your body.

Farmavore is still in limited launch, so if you’re interested, you can sign up on their website. This is a great idea for offices that do lunch meetings, individuals who are too lazy, too scared of the cold (like me), or too indecisive to pick up lunch, and busy professionals that need to fuel up with healthy, wholesome ingredients. Give them a shout on Twitter too if you have any questions -- they're super friendly!