As much as I enjoy cooking, there are days (okay, even weeks) in which I have no interest in meal planning or grocery shopping; this is especially true around this time of year in which even going through the drive-through at Starbucks can become a chore. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but seriously, I am on autopilot all throughout the latter part of winter. After my 1.5 hour commute home in the snow, freezing rain, and/or below zero temperatures, the last thing I want to do is worry about what to cook for dinner. Enter Madison & Rayne.
Almost two years ago, Josh Jones, the former chef de cuisine of Spring Restaurant and Green Zebra Restaurant, and Melanie Mityas, a frequent diner at Spring, partnered up to create Madison & Rayne, a local ready-to-cook meal delivery service. Similar to other meal delivery services such as Plated or Blue Apron, Madison & Rayne is company that delivers raw, pre-portioned meal ingredients and detailed recipe cards for those who want access to a range of high-quality restaurant-worthy food prepared in the comfort of their own homes. The duo's mission is to help people rediscover or discover for the first time how fun and rewarding it can be to cook a really great meal (or in my case, to help those who don't want to order takeout, but who are also feeling too lazy to plan out their meals). Unlike similar companies, Madison & Rayne only uses locally sourced ingredients and offers a high level of customization.
The good folks at Madison & Rayne recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in giving their service a try. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity (again, the snow and laziness factor). After previewing the week's offerings, I decided I wanted to stretch my $60 credit as far as possible and try a variety of options: I chose two meals from their chicken and fish menu, one from their beef, pork & game menu, and one from their extras menu (at least 10 options are always available). During the process, I noticed that not only can you completely customize your order (most dishes have vegetarian or gluten-free substitutions, as well as accommodations for food allergies), but also, you can order as little as one serving of as dish; this most definitely sets Madison & Rayne apart from the others, as many other services require you order a minimum of two servings of each dish.
Madison & Rayne includes everything needed for each meal, minus olive oil and salt/pepper. Each container is labeled by color and number to correspond with the detailed recipe cards; to make it completely foolproof, containers are also labeled by letter to indicate the order in which you will work with the ingredients (this is particularly nice in the case of a recipe that involves multiple sauces or in case you're not familiar with certain vegetables or spices).
Pappardelle with chicken, blue cheese, and dates (1 serving)
Tilapia with kale and black-eyed pea salad (1 serving)
Pork tenderloin with corn & mushroom salad (1 serving)
Wheat berry salad with oven dried tomatoes, arugula & feta (1 serving)
After arriving home from a long day at work, I appreciated having all of the dinner prep work done for me; I also didn't find any of the dishes difficult to make (and they felt much higher-end than what I sometimes throw together). Although I only ordered one serving of each dish, I noticed that there was definitely enough of the pasta and pork dishes to split with Mario when paired with the wheat berry salad. While I've heard grumblings about the cost of meal delivery services, I don't think anything I ordered was particularly cost prohibitive, especially considering we could easily drop $60 on one meal at a restaurant. I think Madison & Rayne is a great service for those who may be intimidated by cooking, as well as those who want high-quality home-cooked meals, but who may not want to spend time on meal planning or prep.
Want to try Madison & Rayne for yourself? Use the code FOODIEGIRL30 for a $30 discount. Delivery is free within the city of Chicago and some near suburbs.
Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.