A coworker of mine, Simon Sizer, recently received a lunch delivery that arrived in packaging I didn’t recognize. The sandwich and salad was from Imogene’s, a new catering company that’s offering lunch delivery every Friday. I soon placed my own order.
In general, I find Imogene’s lunch deliveries to be delightful and delicious little packages. In fact, I have become just a wee bit obssessed with Imogene’s. I talk about them far too much. I anxiously wait for the menu to be posted on Facebook. I analyze the menu. I agonize waiting for my lunch. So far, I’ve had Imogene’s over three consecutive weeks. Here’s a peek into each:
April 12 — On the menu
Oven-roasted turkey on an Essencia eight grain roll with apricot compote and bacon • Mixed spring green salad with apples, Tieton Creamery goat cheese, candied walnuts and cranberry vinaigrette • “Two bite” citrus cake
Vegetarian entree option: Napa cabbage & red bell pepper salad with lime-soy-peanut sauce and tofu croutons • Jasmine rice • Mango and orange salad with orange flower water
Although I was a vegetarian for many years, I kissed my meatless ways goodbye long ago, thus I made a beeline for the sammie. Salty bacon mixed with tart apricot is a winning combo, made better by waiting for the sandwich to come to room temperature. Plenty of turkey was layered with lettuce and cheese on a roll so full of seeds, the bread could have been a meal in itself. The sandwich could have benefited with a tiny sprinkle of salt, but to tell the truth any sandwich would pale in comparison to the salad. The salad was one of the best I’ve eaten in recent memory. Its dressing was the perfect sweet ... not cloying but organic and tangy. The velvety goat cheese and sweet crunchy walnuts created layers of flavor in an ostensibley simple mixture. The citrus cake could be summed up in two words: more, please.
April 19 — On the menu
Curried chicken salad wrap with celery, water cress and Granny Smith apples in a light curried mayonnaise • Chickpea and cauliflower salad with belgian endive, radicchio, cured olives, pickled red onion and wine-poached raisins in a toasted curry vinaigrette • Rava tea cake made from orange blossom water, almond paste and farina, with whipped cream and strawberries
Vegetarian entree option: Same wrap with tempeh instead of chicken
The wrap was huge (you won’t go hungry with any of these orders), creamy and lightly spicy — I actually daydreamed about it later — but nothing could beat the salad. Until I had the dessert. Each course sought to beat the other with increasing crescendos of tastiness. What appears as a curious combination in the salad (re-read those ingredients) produced a memorable result. And my husband, who ate with me that day and is not a “sweets” person, said the dessert was “over the top” good. It was.
April 26 — On the menu
Roast beef sandwich with fresh-creamed horseradish on sourdough, provolone cheese, tomato and green leaf lettuce • Blanched and chilled asparagus salad in herbed oil topped with lemon zest • Strawberry and rhubarb turnover. Entree salad option (I noticed these began on week three): Steak salad with black pepper, chevre and avocado in a cumin vinaigrette • Fresh bread • Strawberry and rhubarb turnover
Vegetarian option: Chilled sesame noodle salad with asparagus, red bell pepper and baked tofu.
I’m beginning to see their brilliance emerge by week three. My husband said the sandwich was very good, and the horseradish was especially tasty. I’m not a horseradish fan, so I chose the steak salad. It’s the dressing, folks. The dressing. I would never think to add cumin to a vinaigrette. But it’s inspired. I had a heaping plate of greens with sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy chevre, salty little bites of steak and this delicious, smoky and slightly sweet dressing on top in the most gorgeous green color. When lunch was delivered, Wendy, one of Imogene’s proprietors (along with her husband, Robert), said there was a dessert “malfunction.” None of us could figure out what it was, though, since the rhubarb and strawberry turnover was tart and sweet rolled into a nice little pastry package. ... In fact, I just finished it and I’m already waiting to see what they post on Monday.