I Tried Sun Basket – Here’s What I Thought

In my ideal world, I would eat out at my favorite Philadelphia restaurants every night. But sadly, budget and my waistband don’t allow for that luxury, which means most weeks I spend hours cooking at home.

Preparing meals each week can be a huge chore. You need to run to the grocery store, find ingredients, lug them to the cashier, load up your car and then unload them again. It’s no surprise retailers have rushed to find ways to make this process a lot easier. Today’s busy people can choose from quite some meal delivery services. Meal delivery services have become big business. Multiple meal delivery services have arisen in the past few years. One of the newest is a company called Sun Basket.

Healthy Cooking

Many meal delivery services specialize in a particular kind of market. Some offer meals designed for those who love to cook and want to try some out of the ordinary ingredients while others are for vegans. Sun Basket, as the name implies, is all about healthy cooking and healthy eating. This service offers organic ingredients with no GMOs. All Sun Basket boxes are completely USDA-certified organic. You can further customize your order if you want to eat Paleo or you need gluten-free choices that won’t clog your digestive system. Head chef, Justine Kelly, selects each dish.

Ordering Sun Basket

I live in one of the thirty-four states Sun Basket delivers to so it was easy for my order. Ordering was very straightforward. You must opt for the subscription service; however, the site said I could cancel Sun Basket at any time. This cancellation policy made it easy for me to get a single box and try it out. While a typical box is $68 for three meals for two, plus $5.99 shipping, I found a Sun Basket promo code on BoxedMealz. With this discount, I got half off my first box and free shipping!

To select my shipment, I looked through the menu carefully. There are several choices. One of the things I liked is just how many choices there are for this one. I opted for the Chef’s Choice. This one is centered around dishes designed by the company’s chef. I don’t have health problems, and there’s just the two of us. You can pick out a family menu, but you have to decide between the classic menu and the family menu before you order each week. I’m also watching my weight, so it was nice to have the chance to opt for meals that are line with my weight goals.

The Cooking Experience

After careful consideration, I went with three menu items: Thai steak Panang curry with jasmine rice, Soba noodle salad with avocado and edamame and Gingered Turkey meatballs in Japanese mushroom broth. The box arrived at my house promptly. Each ingredient was easy to find. I do some cooking, so I’m familiar with basic techniques. They give you some detailed instructions. The first thing I did was check that all the ingredients were present. After that, it was on to meal prep. They do everything for you like peeling the garlic. The net result? Simple, easy and great meals. We had a fabulous meal with enough for the next two days.

While I can’t financially commit to ordering Sun Basket every week, I think this meal delivery service will be one we order on occasion. The delivery was prompt, the recipes easy-to-follow (and healthy), and the food delicious.

Where to Eat in Philadelphia, PA

The City of Brotherly Love presents a wide assortment of dining options. The variety of foods prepared and served in Philly is quickly earning the area a well-deserved reputation as a top restaurant city!  Broaden your horizons by visiting these popular places during your trip to Philadelphia, PA. The following local tips reduce risks during your adventure:

  • BYOB is common for adult libations.
  • Drink mixes may be available at a cost.
  • Call ahead to ask about corking fees and parking areas.

Fab Dining on the Cheap Side

Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse (7500 State Rd) serves BBQ and all the conventional trimmings. Locals choose appetizing sides like baked beans and macaroni and cheese with Sweet Lucy’s filling Southern BBQ. The restaurant, located between Rhawn St and Bleigh Ave, features tasty items like hickory-smoked brisket and pulled chicken.

Sabrina's is a popular brunch spot in historic Italian Market section.
Sabrina’s is a popular brunch spot in historic Italian Market section.

Couples and Groups

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse (1337 Chestnut St) opens shortly before noon. Part of an upscale chain located across the country, a popular draw is the huge salad bar. Select your portions from the all-you-can-eat meat offering which is carved at the table. Soaring 20-foot ceilings and French-cut chandeliers create a delightful ambiance in this Center City restaurant, located in the historic Caldwell’s Jewelry Building.

Kid-Friendly Eateries

Treat the kids to a pleasant meal when you consider where to eat in Philadelphia, PA.

Sabrina’s Café (910 Christian St) is a popular breakfast and brunch spot for locals and visitors alike. Soak up the sun while the cook prepares an order of stuffed French toast. It is part of the historic Italian Market section between 9th St and 10th St. Sabrina’s outdoor seating offers people-watching and a splendid view of scenery to keep the family entertained.

Sophisticated Seafood

The name FISH (1234 Locust St) says it all. This is the place to find inspired dishes like Mahi Mahi and peanut potato confit or scallops with cauliflower puree. In addition to cocktails, wine and craft beer are available. No need to BYOB when dining at this eatery! Finish off your dining experience with house-made ice cream or Flourless Chocolate Torte. This Midtown Village restaurant has a swanky décor that is suitable for single diners and groups.

The Sang Kee Peking Duck House is one of the highlights of dining in Philadelphia's Chinatown.
The Sang Kee Peking Duck House is one of the highlights of dining in Philadelphia’s Chinatown.

International

Sang Kee Peking Duck House (238 N 9th St) features classic Hong Kong appetizers and main courses. There’s a variety of Asian cuisine at this Chinatown restaurant from which to choose, including wonton soup and rice platters. Décor includes Chinese lettering and three floors of guest seating. Vegetarian meals are always available. Locals appreciate the customer-friendly weekday lunch special. It includes rice, hot & sour or wonton soup, and a vegetable roll with a house specialty like flounder filet, chicken, or shrimp.

Eating at Home

Of course, sometimes the best food is that prepared in your own kitchen! While admittedly, I’m never thrilled at the idea planning meals and lugging groceries home from the store, I did recently discover meal delivery kits. These kits make it easier to make delicious food at home that’s honestly better than the food from some of the restaurants I frequent. So far I’ve tried Sun Basket, Hello Fresh, and Green Chef, and now I’m addicted!

 

 

My Favorite BYOB Restaurants in Philadelphia

BYOB isn’t just for mom and pop corner eateries anymore. “Bring your own bottle” has become an increasingly popular method for Philadelphia restaurateurs to bypass the prohibitive cost of purchasing a wine & liquor license. From tiny, ethnic hidden gems to buzz-worthy four-star bistros, here are some of Philadelphia’s best BYOBs.

Jaxon BYOB

On the corner of Third and Fairmont streets in Northern Liberties, Jaxon offers farm-to-table American fare on both small and large plates. The atmosphere is quaint and easy, with indoor and outdoor seating available. Check out the grilled octopus, served on a luxurious bed of taramosalata. Pure indulgence! The stone sea bass with haricot vert and spring pesto is simply sublime, as well. They do accept reservations and credit cards.

701 North Third Street
North Liberties
(215) 922-2621

Khmer Kitchen

Khmer Kitchen is a family-owned gem near Penn’s Landing that serves up reasonably-priced and completely authentic Cambodian dishes. They recently expanded, but still come early. This cash-only café doesn’t take reservations and seating is limited.

Start with the Bok La-Hong, a papaya salad with fresh tomatoes and basil—oh so spicy. Then try their signature dish, Prah-hok Kahteeh, caramelized ground pork simmered with coconut cream and prah hok fish paste served with raw veggies for dipping. After a visit to Khmer Kitchen, Cambodian food will surely be a new favorite.

700 S 6th Street, Philadelphia
(215) 755-2222

Modo Mio

The name means “my way” in Italian. Their way certainly works—bold, vibrant flavors of Italy served in an intimate, down-to-earth atmosphere. The menu changes frequently. A la carte ordering is available, but the best bet is the menu Turista, a four-course meal for only $40, very possibly the best tasting menu value in the city. On Sugo Sunday, diners enjoy a traditional Italian-American supper served up family style. Antipasti followed by luscious pasta and authentic meatballs and sausages.

Modo Mio is cash-only and has an ATM on site. And if you forget to BYO, there’s a wine shop right across the street!

161 W Girard Avenue, Philadelphia
(215) 203-8707

Bibou

Bibou is an intimate, thirty-seat French BYOB located in Bella Vista. Chef Pierre Calmels wields his magic in the back, while his wife Charlotte charms the front. They offer a prix fixe menu only—seven heavenly courses for 100 dollars. Before visiting, check online for reasonably priced wine suggestions that match the weekly menu. Reservations are a must at this cash-only foodie destination.

1009 S 8th Street, Philadelphia
(215) 965-8290

Sazon Restaurant and Café

In Northern Liberties, Sazon offers authentic home-style Venezuelan cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. Chef Judith Suzarra-Campbell’s family recipes have been passed down for generations and are celebrations of simple and fresh ingredients. The food is excellent, but the real show stoppers are the gourmet drinking chocolates. The “Orgasmo” will leave you crying for more—dark chocolate infused with peanut butter, banana, Venezuelan rum, and espresso topped with homemade banana cream. Whoa. Sazon is cash only.

941 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia
(215) 763-2500