Wednesday, July 16

Business Spotlight - Brad's Bistro

Brad Kunkel is a personal chef who created Brad's Bistro, a weekly meal delivery service based in San Jose. Brad's meals focus on health and wellness, with portion sizes catered towards weight loss and ingredients that are diabetic friendly. He can make slight changes for gluten free meals as well. Brad's Bistro is based in San Jose and he makes deliveries to the South Bay area.

There are a number of people in my life who need to follow restricted diets for health reasons. Some others I know also follow restricted diets for brief or extended periods of time to lose weight. When Brad offered me a complimentary delivery of his metabolic meals, I specifically had these loved ones in mind. 
For $150, you get everything pictured above. Brad has recently started offering a snack service in addition to the meals. When you place your order by no later than 12PM on Weds, Brad will email you an invoice. The delivery is dropped off by Brad on Saturdays and they contain 5 days worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinners. He personally manages all the aspects of his business himself. The containers are reusable, microwavable, and are all labeled with the food item name. I kept the containers and continue to use them to store ingredients I prep for dinner the day before, or to bring lunch to work where I need to separate different elements. They are very handy!

Here's a quick breakdown of what was in that week's delivery. I split off one day's worth to my friend who has diabetes. I wanted a diabetic's opinion of the meal since it is made to suit their dietary needs. I won't be making notes on every item since the menu changes every week. I'll highlight my favorites. The food is pictured in their meal categories.

BREAKFAST

Almond berry oatmeal
My friend said this tasted much better than it looks. The oatmeal texture was spot on. 

Almond flour pecan pancakes
I thought these were some of the best pancakes I've ever had. I never had pancakes with almond flour before and I should be having more of them in the future! They reheat very well, still fluffy.

Huevos Rancheros

Kale mushroom fritatta

LUNCH

Curried tofu waldorf salad

Salmon, chickpeas, and broccoli salad

Pad Thai salad with grilled turkey
Turkey was perfectly cooked, still juicy and moist.

My general note about all the salads is that the home made dressings are all very tasty. They are all unique and you won't find those flavors in bottles on the store. Aside from that, each salad was pretty good. You should follow the order on the menu that comes with the delivery because it does suggest which items to eat first in terms of freshness. This is most important for the salads.

DINNER

Quinoa pasta
Yum! I had this for lunch instead of dinner. 




Jamaican Jerk Chicken
The dinner actually comes with sides which aren't pictured here so your portion is much larger than this.



Pork tenderloin with date walnut sauce
I ate most of my meals at my desk and the only meal I was able to plate and photograph was this one. This is more like the portion size of what you would get for a dinner. Each element is boxed separately.

Chicken mole with dates and almonds
I thought this was the most filling of all the dinner options. The dates, walnuts, and chicken can really fill you up.

Carrot and roasted chili slaw
A surprising hit! The chili is not spicy at all. The dressing has some acidity, and there's no milkiness like the usual slaw dressing. I liked this side dish very much.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS
There's no doubt in my mind that Brad knows how to cook and plan meals. Some of the flavor profiles in his dish were spot on. Especially impressive given that he needs to replace certain carbs with healthier options like quinoa and almond flour and I saw very minimal use of sugars. You will notice a lot of use of almonds, dates, and beans to fill out the meals. Having close friends and family members with diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as having gone through a weight loss process for myself and with my husband, I think Brad's ingredient choices and the way he designed the menu is very nutritional and tasty.

His service is great. He cooks everything on Fridays out of a catering kitchen he rents and makes all his deliveries on Saturday. The food will keep well for you up until Friday dinner, given that you follow the suggested order in his menu. The invoice comes to you promptly, and emails are answered quickly. He is very receptive to feedback and can make slight adjustments to your meal if needed. 

The portion sizes are a bit small. They actually look to be appropriately sized for what's recommended if you look at Choosemyplate.gov. However, everyone is a different size with different lifestyles. If you are active like me (I work out for at least 30-60 minutes almost every day), you will need to supplement the diet with more snacks or other small meals. Brad also started offering a snack package with 2 snacks per day. The portion sizes and ingredients choices will at least get you on the right track to a healthier diet. 

I think what Brad's offering is unique and useful to the community. Nothing seems quite as bothersome as cutting out many foods you used to love for health reasons and not having the time or experience to cook proper replacements. His food definitely has that home cooked feel to it while being nutritious at the same time. 

2 comments:

  1. Can you comment on the pricing? I've been experimenting with some other food delivery services recently (Blue Apron and Munchery) - almost everything I've tried has been pretty good but some of the services are pretty pricey (mainly Blue Apron, Munchery is pretty fair considering how convenient it is).

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    Replies
    1. Hi Emily, I think $150 for this portion size is expensive. Delivery is free though which is better than other home delivery services I've seen. However, Brad's Bistro is specially in a market for people with special dietary needs or who need to eat healthy. His type of food is less likely to be available from the other services. I'd say he is in a niche market and there are people who will need his type of food. Those are probably not the same ones who would use Munchery. In my opinion, it's not an apples to apples comparison if Brad's Bistro is compared to services that deliver restaurant food.

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