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Bites Nearby: Easy Dinners You Can Dish About

Whether you’re a busy parent or an empty-nester, Let’s Dish makes the “What’s for dinner?” decision a snap.

In 2003, Let’s Dish co-founders Darcy Olson and Ruth Lundquist, opened up their first store in Eden Prairie, MN. One year later, the Woodbury location opened.

“Since then, we have grown to six stores in the metro area,” said Olson.

According to Olson, the Let’s Dish idea was created due to her own hectic schedule and need to feed her family well-balanced meals at dinnertime. 

What is Let’s Dish?

It’s a store that enables customers to come in and assemble their own freezer ready meals or call in ahead and have someone at Let’s Dish make them for you.

“Our meals cost less per serving than it does to buy take-out or fast food, and they taste homemade, too, because they are,” said Olson.  “Most customers who come in like to assemble a month’s worth of meals.”

No worries if you don’t have an extra freezer at home. Many of the meals are prepared in large ziplock freezer bags so you can freeze them flat for convenient storage.

Every ingredient you need for each menu item is right there at Let’s Dish. It’s amazing how super easy and fast the meals are to prepare. The best part is there’s no messy cleanup. Simple step-by-step instructions for each meal are located at specific food assembling centers and you get a quick briefing before you start “dishing.”

Each menu item yields about four to six servings.

“If you’re an empty nester or someone with little kids, you can divide out the meals into smaller portions, customize ingredients for those with food allergies or leave out items for picky eaters in the house,” Olson said. 

Recently, Let’s Dish even added weight watchers points to their meals. This information can be found under the nutrition tab on their website. If you’re in need of gluten-free meals, several are available on the menu and marked with a GF symbol.

“Over the years, we have worked with chefs, home economists and dieticians learning about what works and what doesn’t to ensure our menu items are great tasting, high quality and well-balanced,” said Olson. 

As far as food safety and store cleanliness, every Let’s Dish location is food safe certified.  “Each of our locations continue to score 100 percent in our inspections and we take food safety and cleanliness very seriously here at Let’s Dish,” said Olson. 

Every customer must wash their hands before meal prep, wear aprons, and place either a hat or kerchief on their head to keep their hair covered.  

As far as their menu selection, it changes monthly to keep most palates happy. For instance, September offers the quick and healthy chicken lo mein with tender pieces of marinated chicken breast, colorful carrots, snow peas, green onions, mushrooms and noodles that are stir fried in a flavorful Asian sauce. From freezer to table it’s ready in 20 minutes.

The bacon wrapped pork chops, drizzled in a delicious blackberry-balsamic glaze, can be grilled or oven baked in 30 minutes or less. Pour a glass of red zinfandel wine with this meal.

Kid-friendly September items include the baked meatballs with cheesy penne pasta and the create-your-own calzones. The baked meatball pasta is a combination of Italian style meatballs and penne pasta topped with marinara, shredded mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta cheese. Straight from freezer to oven it’s good to go in one hour.

Select your filling for the create-your-own calzones with items like pepperoni, chicken, veggies or cheeses. Each one can be customized to ensure everyone is happy. These are ready in 18 minutes from freezer.

Now all you have to do is decide which meals you want to prepare and how many you want to prepare for the month. If you’re a family of four and want to prepare 12 meals at Let’s Dish, that gives you three meals a week plus leftovers, 

Break it all down, that’s $3.16/per serving or a total of $228 for the month. 

Depending on how fast you work, it takes about two hours to assemble these ready to cook dinners. Meals are good for up to two months in the freezer.

Once you have your meals made and planned out, the odds are high that you will spend way less on groceries, fast food and take out, and more time at the family dinner table. You will be eating healthier and more well-balanced meals because now you know what’s for dinner!

Let’s Dish is located at 10150 Hudson Road, Woodbury. Gift cards are available. Their meals are a great way for friends to help out new mothers, those who are sick and are convenient for high school team dinners. 

For more information call 651-730-6600 or visit their website at  www.letsdish.com and find them on Facebook.

Laura ME September 19, 2011 at 03:26 PM
I have used Let's Dish in Woodbury many times! It is super clean and the cuts of meat are very good. I have gone with a few friends and my sister and we make a outing of it. Fast. Easy. And, a sense of accomplishment! Recommend!
Meagan Bellin September 19, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Another Recommend! I am not a cook, but this makes me feel like one. The meals are pretty much foolproof, and most split easily into two for small families. A couple favorites - the enchiladas and the pork tenderloin. They seem to be offered frequently, changing up the fillings, spices, marinades, etc. The location is pleasant too - bright room, friendly service, very clean.

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