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October/November 2007

Make It To Go
The Meal-Assembly Kitchen Concept
by Molly MacLeod-Roth

 Dream Dinners offers tasty meal options in a welcoming environment.

The time, energy and cost of putting a fresh and satisfying meal on the table can be an everyday challenge; coupled with the stress that accompanies a move, it can be overwhelming. New jobs, new schools and new neighborhoods call for a new way to think about dinner—meal-assembly kitchens provide just that.

The concept behind the meal-assembly kitchen is brilliant in its simplicity: You choose a number of meal options from a changing monthly menu, and the meal assembly kitchen provides all the ingredients in prepared form. The recipe is posted, the pans and storage containers are provided, and the measuring cups and spoons are perfectly placed. All you have to do is follow the simple assembly directions at efficient stations, and then transport your dinners home and freeze for later. Flexible portion sizes allow you to feed your family or whip together a dinner party for your new friends and neighbors. It’s not takeout, and it’s not fast food—and the best thing is that it only costs $3 to $4 per serving. Here are a few Atlanta-area assembly kitchens to call your own.

Dream Dinners is recognized as the “grandmother” of the meal-assembly kitchen concept. “Our goal is to provide healthy meal options and to make the experience something you’re going to enjoy doing, and I think that shows every time you come in,” says Julee Safstrom, co-owner of Dream Dinners Cumming (539 Lake Center Pkwy., 770-887-4141). Walking into Dream Dinners is like going to a party at your best friend’s house—great music, good food and wonderful new people to meet. Cook delicious meals such as steak with Gorgonzola and Italian turkey burgers for your family, and leave the mess for the hosts to clean up; it really is a dream come true.
LOCATIONS: Cumming, Roswell

 Create irresistible meals at Entrée Vous.
Entering Entrée Vous is like walking into your family kitchen—the staff’s enthusiastic greeting and the warm atmosphere make you feel at home. Michelle Antolovich, who manages a Marietta location (2520 East Piedmont Rd., 770-565-4670), says the exceptional taste and quality of the food are what attracted her to Entrée Vous along with the atmosphere. “We provide a comfortable, cozy atmosphere where families can come and prepare meals together and take them home to their dinner table,” she says. “Our concept really encourages family togetherness.” Get your family together to enjoy the award-winning Mesa Verde flank steak, and don’t miss out on the other meal options that make Entrée Vous irresistible.
LOCATIONS: Marietta (2), Alpharetta

You’ll wish all your girlfriends had kitchens like this! But come to MGFK, as it’s affectionately called, and your new “girlfriends” will welcome you into their bright and spirited retro-styled kitchen to share good food and a good time. “We try to be as flexible as we can with our customers and really provide great service,” says co-owner Amy Lathi. Create unique and tasty meals, from molasses-glazed pork medallions to Movin’ On Up Chicken. Perks at MGFK include wine pairing suggestions and Diet Points on each item.
LOCATIONS: Buckhead, Northlake

On a Thursday night, the Super Suppers in Decatur (114 New St., 404-372-6972) is packed—likely because of its warm atmosphere and friendly, helpful staff. With great events such as the frequent vegetarian nights, owner Flo Gentry has made mealassembly an enjoyable experience. Each of Super Suppers’ dishes, such as the Heavenly Chicken, corn and black bean salad or the stuffed veggie pizza, is tested for “freezability,” taste and ease of assembly—Gentry’s goal is to make meal assembly a truly convenient option. “Customer service is key. We try very hard to be attentive and make people happy,” she says.
LOCATIONS: Decatur, Suwanee, Alpharetta, Marietta, Roswell, Fayetteville, Duluth, Dacula, Smyrna and Snellville

  Entrees Made Easy’s Barbecue Brisket
This kitchen makes “homemade” accessible even when you don’t have time at home. All the marinades and sauces are prepared from scratch to make convenience taste like decadence, and the namebrand meats are cut fresh daily. Try the Savory Beef Stew or the Tuscan smoked chicken. Complement the delicious meals with mouth-watering sides, from potatoes to veggies, and you have created a complete dinner in a fun, welcoming environment. Barbara Goodwin, who runs the Buford store (2725 Hamilton Mill Rd., 770-932-1207), believes a combination of great food, healthy options and outstanding service is what makes Entrees Made Easy an ideal choice for getting dinner on the table.
LOCATIONS: Buford For more information, including current menus and locations, visit each meal-assembly kitchen’s Web site.




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