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Everytable offers a different take on fast food

Grab-and-go storefronts boast nutritious meals made in – Los Angeles

A salmon superfood salad, with arugula, broccoli, quinoa, carrots, lentils, and pepitas
A salmon superfood salad, with arugula, broccoli, quinoa, carrots, lentils, and pepitas

We may live in uncertain times, but I’d still call it a fair assumption, in 2022, that any meal priced under ten dollars will either be served on a tortilla or bun. So how is it that I’m in Chula Vista, picking up a salmon superfood salad for $9.45? And how does it make sense, with gas prices being what they are, that it’s somehow affordable because the meal is made in Los Angeles?

Welcome to the business model behind Everytable. Sort of a mash-up between a ghost kitchen and the grab-and-go section of a supermarket, Everytable specializes in individually packaged, pre-prepared meals. Some are salads, some are wraps, some require a couple minutes in the microwave. What they have in common is that they’re made in the same Los Angeles kitchen, then delivered each morning to customers throughout Southern California. One way or another.

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A small shop with coolers offering affordable, preprepared meals

The company has been doing its thing in L.A. since 2016, but I started getting emails from Everytable publicists last summer, letting me know that its weekly subscription service had expanded to San Diego. The brand pushes the idea of providing nutritious and locally sourced meals at affordable prices — which looks good on paper. But plenty such subscription models have pushed ads into my social media feed over the years, and I’ve mostly ignored them. Pre-ordering a week’s worth of pre-made meals to my doorstep feels too much like planning ahead to be lazy.

However, what’s changed recently is that Everytable has expanded the other side of its business model to San Diego: grab-and-go storefronts. In addition to this new South Bay shop (510 Broadway #6, Chula Vista), the business has launched a location in North County (620 Hacienda Drive, Vista). Rather than plan ahead, these shops provide a place where you can just show up, grab whatever looks good, and be on your way.

One way this model improves on supermarket grab-and-go items is that all the meals are delivered fresh daily. Effectively, the food is made in Los Angeles into the wee hours, then trucked to the storefronts by time they open at 11 am.

A packaged meal of creole chicken, sausage, sweet potatoes, and kale

These also appear to be better quality meals. I can’t vouch for any claim of local sourcing, but my superfood salad featured a roughly three-ounce serving of roasted salmon, plus roasted sweet potatoes, pickled cabbage, broccoli, carrots, arugula, lentils, and pepitas, served over a bed of quinoa, with an orange ginger dressing.

Given that the price point of these meals most closely compare to fast food, there’s an obvious nutritional advantage to hitting Everytable instead of the drive thru. Rather than fried potatoes, most of these meals pair their proteins with colorful, grown above-ground vegetables. And my salad is actually among the pricier items; the typical price for meals at both locations is $8.55.

Hawaiian braised pork with rice, red peppers, plantains, and pineapple salsa

I’d call the dishes well rounded, though not quite indulgent. Most seem to weigh in at around three-quarters of a pound — big eaters will want to add side dishes or a second entrée. Some dishes are rather conventional, such as a chicken pesto rotini, teriyaki chicken, and carnitas tacos. Others are more playful and unique, whether “egg roll in a bowl” (chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and wonton strips over rice), or “creole chicken grain bowl” (with roasted sweet potatoes, andouille sausage, kidney beans, kale, sweet potatoes, and gravy).

The meals sit in coolers in the shop, but they reheat easily, and are even packed in microwaveable containers. While those are recyclable, they do represent the downside to Everytable’s model. These meals from L.A. are nutritious, affordable, and flavorful, but they’re not exactly eco-friendly. In 2022, we can’t quite have it all.

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A salmon superfood salad, with arugula, broccoli, quinoa, carrots, lentils, and pepitas
A salmon superfood salad, with arugula, broccoli, quinoa, carrots, lentils, and pepitas

We may live in uncertain times, but I’d still call it a fair assumption, in 2022, that any meal priced under ten dollars will either be served on a tortilla or bun. So how is it that I’m in Chula Vista, picking up a salmon superfood salad for $9.45? And how does it make sense, with gas prices being what they are, that it’s somehow affordable because the meal is made in Los Angeles?

Welcome to the business model behind Everytable. Sort of a mash-up between a ghost kitchen and the grab-and-go section of a supermarket, Everytable specializes in individually packaged, pre-prepared meals. Some are salads, some are wraps, some require a couple minutes in the microwave. What they have in common is that they’re made in the same Los Angeles kitchen, then delivered each morning to customers throughout Southern California. One way or another.

Sponsored
Sponsored

A small shop with coolers offering affordable, preprepared meals

The company has been doing its thing in L.A. since 2016, but I started getting emails from Everytable publicists last summer, letting me know that its weekly subscription service had expanded to San Diego. The brand pushes the idea of providing nutritious and locally sourced meals at affordable prices — which looks good on paper. But plenty such subscription models have pushed ads into my social media feed over the years, and I’ve mostly ignored them. Pre-ordering a week’s worth of pre-made meals to my doorstep feels too much like planning ahead to be lazy.

However, what’s changed recently is that Everytable has expanded the other side of its business model to San Diego: grab-and-go storefronts. In addition to this new South Bay shop (510 Broadway #6, Chula Vista), the business has launched a location in North County (620 Hacienda Drive, Vista). Rather than plan ahead, these shops provide a place where you can just show up, grab whatever looks good, and be on your way.

One way this model improves on supermarket grab-and-go items is that all the meals are delivered fresh daily. Effectively, the food is made in Los Angeles into the wee hours, then trucked to the storefronts by time they open at 11 am.

A packaged meal of creole chicken, sausage, sweet potatoes, and kale

These also appear to be better quality meals. I can’t vouch for any claim of local sourcing, but my superfood salad featured a roughly three-ounce serving of roasted salmon, plus roasted sweet potatoes, pickled cabbage, broccoli, carrots, arugula, lentils, and pepitas, served over a bed of quinoa, with an orange ginger dressing.

Given that the price point of these meals most closely compare to fast food, there’s an obvious nutritional advantage to hitting Everytable instead of the drive thru. Rather than fried potatoes, most of these meals pair their proteins with colorful, grown above-ground vegetables. And my salad is actually among the pricier items; the typical price for meals at both locations is $8.55.

Hawaiian braised pork with rice, red peppers, plantains, and pineapple salsa

I’d call the dishes well rounded, though not quite indulgent. Most seem to weigh in at around three-quarters of a pound — big eaters will want to add side dishes or a second entrée. Some dishes are rather conventional, such as a chicken pesto rotini, teriyaki chicken, and carnitas tacos. Others are more playful and unique, whether “egg roll in a bowl” (chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and wonton strips over rice), or “creole chicken grain bowl” (with roasted sweet potatoes, andouille sausage, kidney beans, kale, sweet potatoes, and gravy).

The meals sit in coolers in the shop, but they reheat easily, and are even packed in microwaveable containers. While those are recyclable, they do represent the downside to Everytable’s model. These meals from L.A. are nutritious, affordable, and flavorful, but they’re not exactly eco-friendly. In 2022, we can’t quite have it all.

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