On Saturday, having received gift certificates for Christmas, Sweetie and I went to Let's Dish.
(I believe now I was conflating Let's Dish with Seattle Sutton's, two of which, in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, I see have moved or closed. I was not impressed with the business model even as I thought about doing it - the primary barrier to entry is the requirement of access to a commercial-grade kitchen, licensed and inspected. And such.)
We created 8 half-size recipes (ideally becoming sixteen meals for the two of us - bearing in mind I suck at portion control...). The meals created are bagged as full or half orders, and Chez Paleo and his inimitable assistant Sous-Chef Sweetie brought them home to freeze. They are meant to be then thawed and cooked, stovetop or baked, with destructions and estimated times.
The place sparkled, the recipe stations were clean and neat, with silverware/measuring ware changed frequently by the staff. That's really to be expected for such a thing but still good to see. Headwraps and aprons are required, and I am seriously hot in a dew-rag - my milkshake brings the never mind...
Although my initial, and incorrect, thoughts regarding specialized menus were so, so damn wrong, it was easy to pick menu items. The work stations are clearly labeled and in a vague form of order - putting together a package, even with us gleefully snarking at each other, took no more than 10-15 minutes apiece.
In the vein of gleefully snarking at each other, my wife and I, although quite happy, live a terminally screwy life and don't get to see each other/do as much together as we'd like. We did this together, sort of a datey thing, and had a lot of damn fun.
Recipe destructions and estimated times for final cook are pretty reasonable - you typically need an oven, or stovetop, maybe a propane torch, house fire, basically some form of heat, and 30 minutes to an hour.
There is a downside - you pay for it. We had gift certificates, and enjoyed it so much that we are likely to continue with it, to some extent, after the certificates are done, but there is expense - be aware.
I give it two sliced thumbs up!