A startup called Fresh Routes will be stationed in the mezzanine level of Union Square (14th street) station beginning June 12th, selling "dinner kits" with all the ingredients to make a meal at home. Each kit will include "fresh vegetables, a bold spice blend and step-by-step instructions for preparing a seasonal entree." According to their website, the recipes are from local chefs, including alums of big kitchens like Jean-Georges and Momofuku Ssam, with materials sourced from local spots like Hot Bread Kitchen and Satur Farms on Long Island.
Some of the current kits available include a BBQ Chicken Skillet Salad with greens, avocado and other veggies; a SoHo Rice Bowl with black beans, peppers and DYI guacamole; and a Tuscan Cannellini Ragout with spaghetti, olives, tomatoes and white beans. Fruits and veggies don't come pre-chopped and you'll have to already own your own salt, pepper and cooking oil, but otherwise everything's included and is ready for the kitchen.
Until now, the kits could (and still can) be ordered online and delivered anywhere in Manhattan; the USQ pop-up will operate:
Monday to Friday, 8am - 9pm and Saturday from 10am - 5pm for the rest of the summer.
Kits average around $34 each and include four portions, so I'll assume that you'd buy these if you're cooking for more than just yourself (well, that or you love leftovers). Side salads, appetizers and desserts are also available to purchase and the company says there will be at least one vegetarian/vegan option available in each day's selection.
You might hear this option and think, "Why the hell would I pay $34 for one meal for a few people when I can just go to the grocery store myself and get anything I want for any recipe I want?" Well, I suppose that's a fair argument. But also, do you live in NYC and have that opinion? 'Cause in that case, I feel like you probably don't understand how hellish and time consuming it is to enter ANY grocery store between 4pm and 7pm on any weekday night. So keeping that in mind, this is a great option for this city. And when I try it, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.