Impromptu Gourmet Reviews

In December of 2010 Impromptu Gourmet suspended their website operations. We are happy to say they have returned, having been acquired by MacKenzie LTD, another well-known  gourmet food catalog company.

Historically, this company has a generally smaller menu, but focuses on high-quality gourmet meals that you are likely to have when you go out to a fine restaurant.
 
Impromptu Gourmet is well-known for selling gourmet food gifts all year long, and especially around the holidays.
Their Dinner for Two packages make popular food gifts and varies in price from $30 to $40 per person.
A package will include an appetizer, an entree, a side dish, and a dessert. Entrees include gourmet treasures such as:
 
  • Beef Wellington
  • Veal Osso Bucco
  • Lamb Shanks
  • Maryland Crab Cakes

They tend to cost more than the average prepared meal on other websites, but these are not items you are likely to find on other menus either.  Dinner comes with two meal components instead of the traditional three. They do offer a couple of choices of vegetables, but they count as a side dish. Perhaps the new owners will take this unique detail into consideration as they revive the brand.

Food Preparation
 
You have to read the fine print when it comes to reheating your meals. Impromptu Gourmet offers a menu of microwaveable, oven-ready, and stove-top gourmet meals. About half of the menu is microwave ready. The only way for you to know if a meal component is microwaveable is to read the cooking instruction for any meal, meal component, or meal plan you be in interested in purchasing.
 
Crab cakes, for example, have to be sauteed, as they should be. If you are looking for the convenience of microwave ready meals, especially if you are buying their food as a gift, you have to pay attention to cooking instructions. The soups on the menu may require boiling the frozen product on your stove-top.
A True Gourmet Menu
 
Many companies throw around the term “gourmet meal,” without consideration, and perhaps respect, to those who know what “gourmet” truly means. Even NutriSystem calls their $3 meals gourmet. By definition, a gourmet meal is something made from exceptional or exotic ingredients, and prepared with a high level of skill. These are types of meals you will find at Impromptu Gourmet.  Here are some examples:
  • Shrimp and Grits
  • Crab and Lobster Cakes
  • Crab Wellington
  • Lobster Risotto and a Lobster Pot Pie
  • Coquille St. Jacques
Certainly, any true gourmet foodie can find and create a delicious dinner menu for themselves or to send to a friend or family member. Of course, with higher-quality ingredients, the skill of food preparation, and the often over-looked task of packaging, to make sure your gourmet food arrives as it was created, is going to cost more than $3 per meal.  As it should.
Final Thoughts
 
What we don’t see on the website or in their catalog is a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Maybe the new owners will take this into consideration too. First time shoppers might steer away from the higher-than-average prices without a satisfaction guarantee.
 
They may be one the of few companies that offers a gift card with the opportunity to pick any amount over $25. A neat feature, but keep in mind the cost of these meals, plus the expense of shipping or your $25 gift card will become just a $25 
As far as Impromptu Gourmet Couponsand coupon codes are concerned, they offer catalog subscribers and customers signed up to their email service a free shipping coupon on orders over $75. Once you have placed your food order, and you are ready to checkout online, simply enter either of these discount coupon codes.
 
Catalog discount coupons are generally more difficult to change, so try this one first: IMP75.
The last email coupon we have is FS75. Please alert us if either of these Impromptu Gourmet coupon codes did not work for you, but first be sure you have meet the requirements of a $75 minimum order.
Impromptu Gourmet Reviews
They Will Not Honor Their Quality of Products
We purchased food products that arrived later than scheduled, it was frozen and we did keep it frozen, when we used it the food was unedible. They refused to even accept a return of their product indicating that we did not call immediately upon receipt of the product.
But The Food Was Excellent
I was very happy to see my mail and their catalog, with the news they had reopened their doors. Our first meal was the Chicken Marsala, Au Gratin Potatoes, and the Mushroom Medley. I have attached pictures of each picture what the meal looks like as a complete meal, with recommended portion sizes.
 
All in all, the end result is nothing short of perfection and deliciousness. The website is a little tricky to find what bakes and what microwaves. The reheating process does not make this a dinner of convenience. One should be aware of that before ordering.
 
The chicken marsala (which came in a box labeled Cuisine Solutions) take 3-4 minutes each to microwave. The potatoes and the mushrooms take 16 minutes each to microwave. By the time you finish the last tray, the first parts of the meal are cold and need to be warmed up again.
 
Our dinner for four took me almost an hour to reheat. The portion sizes were generous, although the potatoes will serve four better than they will serve six to eight as suggested. I especially liked the “pull apart” feature on the bag of chicken breast. It is much easier than cutting hot bags with a knife or scissors.
 
But the food was excellent. The chicken is a real breast and not one of those frozen manufactured breasts some other places sell. The sauce in everything is exceptionally rich and filling with butter, creams, and a host of of other flavors that truly make this meal a gourmet experience. This dinner for four costs $82.85, just over $20 per person, plus shipping.
Baby Back Ribs – Not Worth the Price
These were very disappointing and in my opinion, not worth the price. For ribs they were okay, but one would have a hard time saying they were any better than what you can buy in the supermarket for under $10. These were $28, and the notion of serving 3 people is a little unrealistic.
Macaroni and Cheese – Truly Gourmet
My family is a huge fan of Mac and Cheese, so ordering was a no-brainer for me. When I opened the package I was surprised to find freezer burn inside the packaging. My first thought was “We’re not off to a good start,” but the Mac and Cheese cooked up perfectly and the added frost wasn’t a factor in the quality of the dish.
 
The crispy crust was something that I didn’t expect from a microwave dish, but it was outstanding. They use four cheeses to make it: Gouda, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Cheddar. It was creamy with perfect texture, and literally engulfed by everyone in the family.  The hint of bacon comes from tiny cubed bits, but the flavor makes it without being overpowering.
 
No American Cheese? That would have been nice, but at $5 per serving, it was not only well worth it, it was certainly gourmet, and the best we’ve ever tried from a meal delivery service. I couldn’t give it a gold medal because of the freezer burn.
Disappointed
Very disappointed in this company. I have been a loyal customer for years, along with my entire group of friends – this was our go to gift for new mothers – but when it was my turn and I received a $125 gift certificate, I got BURNED. Even though my gift certificate clearly states an expiration date that has not yet passed, they refuse to honor it. I don’t think I will be a customer any longer, sad to say.
Beef Provencal, Sauteed Spinach, Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I had about 40 minutes to get a dinner on the table before I had to drive my kids to their sporting and school events. This prepared meal was far from convenient to reheat. In fact, it took an hour in the oven. The kids ended up getting pizza.
 
The beef was okay, but to say there was 4-6 servings is totally unrealistic. That translates to 2-3 cubes per person. The potatoes were good, as was the spinach. The whole meal was very rich. I would have liked to have been able to check the expiration dates for other reasons, but there wasn’t any.  At a cost of over $70, and $17 per serving, pizza was the better choice for the evening.
No One Answered the Phone
It has now been a week since I ordered food, and I tried to contact the company today, but to my dismay, no one answered the phone….not even a recording or prompt menu. After three minutes of ringing, it went to (I assume) a voice mail box, with no greeting or explanation, just a couple of short beeps. If this is your idea of customer service, you can keep it!

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