Galley Delivers Oven-Ready Meals
If it is 4:30 p.m., you won’t be home for another two hours and don’t have any idea what to make for dinner, Galley will deliver ready-made meals you just pop in the microwave or oven.
Galley started in January as a new kind of restaurant designed specifically for delivery in most of D.C. proper. Customers order online or via iPhone app by 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, choosing from three daily offers. The meals arrive between 6-8:30 p.m. the same night. Customers in the U Street Corridor, Logan Circle, Shaw, NoMa, Penn Quarter, Chinatown, Metro Center, Mount Vernon Square and Downtown can order on-demand between 5-8:30 p.m. Galley just started delivering lunch between 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in Downtown Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon.
Menus are emailed to subscribers daily and posted on the Galley website. According to the website, hundreds of meals are prepared in small batches by fine-dining trained chefs. The selections change daily, but repeat each week for about a month then is replaced why an entirely new menu. There is always a vegetarian or fish option. Each meal serves one person and is between 600-800 calories. Meals typically consist of a main entrée and one or more sides.
Customers choose a 30-minute delivery window between 6-8:30 p.m.., and Galley’s servers deliver a freshly made dinner that is ready to heat, plate and serve – or if it is just you, you can eat them right out of the containers they arrive in. The meals arrive in biodegradable containers that are safe to use in the oven or microwave. Most meals are ready in 10 minutes in the oven cooked at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 minutes in the microwave. They cost $12 or $14, depending on the selection. The price includes tax, delivery and gratuity.
We tried several meals over a few nights last week. Each comes wrapped in a cardboard band with heating instructions. One was delicious, two were average and one we wouldn’t order again.
The shrimp tacos were delicious, and we’d definitely order them again. There were eight medium shrimps and two flour tortillas along with pineapple and jicama slaw and a spicy avocado dressing. The sides included pan-seared corn, which was also tasty, and black beans, which were too salty. After heating everything except the avocado dressing, we assembled the tortillas, shrimp, slaw and topped them with the avocado dressing, which was to die for.
The green harissa steak included seared hanger steak, a spicy Tunisian hot chili pepper sauce (it wasn’t spicy) and feta along with cayenne-spiced sweet potato purée and a summer chickpea and barley salad with green beans. The steak was a bit tough and maybe cooked too long following the included directions. The chickpea and barley salad was the star of this meal. The sweet potatoes were tasty too, but the edges again were a bit over cooked.
The chicken over zucchini noodles included a seasoned chipotle chicken breast with shredded zucchini and a barley, corn and Fresno chili salad. The chicken breast was good, but the chipotle seasoning couldn’t be tasted. The zucchini was limp and lifeless, but the barley salad was tasty.
The final dish we sampled was the caramelized onion and salt-cured pancetta ravioli in a creamy herb sauce with a roasted beet and kale salad. This is one we’d pass on in the future. The five raviolis were hard on the edges after being microwaved, and there was no sign of the pancetta. The roasted beet and kale salad was a complete fail. We didn’t like the flavor combination or texture.
Overall, the Galley service is a good idea and could come in handy on a busy weeknight, but the portions are small – more child-sized than a meal for an adult. If most people eat a Galley meal, they will need a snack before bed, although the shrimp taco meal was more filling than the others. Also, it would be nice if diners could mix and match the entrees with the day’s sides. Right now, each entrée comes with set sides, so chances are you may like the entrée, but not one or both of the sides. And, since you must order before 5 p.m. unless you live in the limited on-demand area, you can’t really decide to order from Galley at the last minute. So you can’t get home, look in the refrigerator and cupboards and decide you have nothing to eat in your house. Galley says it plans to expand the on-demand delivery area in the coming months.
If you’d like to try Galley for yourself, DC on Heels readers can signup online and receive one free meal.