Home meal delivery is the ultimate convenience, but it’s hardly a novel idea. For most, a ding-dong-doorbell-dinner can be limited to standard pizza or Chinese options. Larger cities enjoy restaurant pickup and delivery services with limited locations and steep surcharges. But luckily for us in Atlanta, we have some options that take us to the next level in dinner deliveries. Have you tried either of the innovative, subscription-based meal services Garnish & Gather and PeachDish? Both offer full, family-style, unprepared meals shipped to your doorstep, which can be quickly cooked at home in just a few simple steps. Everyone sits down to a delicious, healthy dinner and the chef barely breaks a sweat.

Locally-based meal subscription services, Garnish& Gather and PeachDish, delivery recipes and ingredients right to your door.

Locally based meal subscription services, Garnish & Gather and PeachDish, deliver recipes and ingredients right to your door.

Garnish and Gather

Partnering with gourmet chefs and area farmers, Garnish & Gather packages wholesome, locally sourced food with an easy-to-follow recipe. The website explains every detail of the meals available, including the prep time and the chef’s description. The menus come straight from the playbooks of the best Atlanta restaurants — enjoy taking the imaginary role of tournant or garde-manger to such local culinary stars as Linton Hopkins, Souper Jenny or Nick Melvin.

When you place an order, you choose from the weekly menu and then select either the delivery option, shipping it all to your home for a small surcharge, or a pickup option, grabbing your bag from a local G&G partner (we picked ours up from our local Cook’s Warehouse). Prices are $30 per meal feeding two people or $60 per meal for servings feeding four. You can order up to five meals per week. There’s no menu planning or prep work, no scouring various markets for the right ingredient or seasoning, no translating complicated instructions or trying to balance timing. Every last detail is broken down for you.

garnishandgather.com

The Garnish & Gather bag of goodies came complete with a simple recipe and a little "conversation starter" question. Cute touch.

The Garnish & Gather bag of goodies came complete with a simple recipe and a little “conversation starter” question — cute touch.

Every ingredient needed for Garnish & Gather meal preparation comes individually packes & labeled.

Every ingredient needed for the meal is individually packed and labeled.

Garnish & Gather recipe instructions are simple!

All the prep work’s done and now we’re ready to cook!

Ta-Da! Chili-crusted snapper with mixed veggies... whipped it all up in minutes and it's phenomenal.

Ta-Da! Chili-crusted snapper with mixed veggies … whipped it all up in minutes and it was phenomenal.

PeachDish

PeachDish strives to make cooking great meals an accessible activity for the entire family. You will receive ingredients and a recipe for two meals for that week — you just need to decide if it’s for two people ($50 per week) or four people ($90 per week). There’s even an option to link your order to your Amazon.com account. The PeachDish team does all the legwork, so the menu is set for you and posted for the following week each Friday. You can order regularly, without even checking the menu, making the received shipment a fun surprise. The mournful query of “what’s for dinner?” can truthfully be answered, “I don’t know, let’s open this box and find out!” The delivery arrives with every portion carefully sealed and packed to keep it fresh. Straightforward recipes walk you through step-by-step preparation.

peachdish.com

PeachDish delivers everything to your doorstep in a sort of mini-cooler box.

PeachDish delivers everything to your doorstep in a sort of mini-cooler box.

The PeachDish service sends out the fixings for 2 meals each week.

The PeachDish service sends out the fixings for two meals each week.

Every ingredient on the PeachDish recipe card has been pre-measured and labeled for simple preparation.

Every ingredient on the PeachDish recipe card has been premeasured and labeled for quick preparation.

Fresh trout with pecans and mushrooms, served with gouda grits -- truly delicious!

Fresh trout with pecans and mushrooms, served with Gouda grits — truly delicious!

Both Garnish & Gather and PeachDish present an opportunity to try something new, learn a recipe and enjoy stress-free meal planning. For both services, the prices range according to the number of servings per meal and the number of meals ordered. Neither of them requires a firm commitment, so don’t fear that you’re signing up for a culinary version of one of those monthly clubs to which we have all shackled ourselves at some point. It’s not THAT kind of subscription — you can try as much or as little as you want.

We thoroughly enjoyed both services and elected both recipes worthy of addition to our meal rotation. I’m really resisting the urge to call this “idiot-proof gourmet cooking,” so I’ll just say that husband and kids were willingly and successfully able to assist in preparation. If you’ve ever looked at the clock and wished that the dinner fairy would just appear instead of forcing you to hit the store, give these services a try.