Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Justice League At Home

So, back in February, hubby-Eric and I decided to splurge on a very special meal box: Wonderland at Home Justice League Mother Box. It was quite a splurge for us, a lot more than we usually spend on a single thing - but both of us are big Justice League fans, and this felt like a one-of-a-kind experience.

To make the most of it, we planned to have it for Memorial Day weekend. We requested delivery on the Friday before Memorial Day to give us a three day weekend to fully enjoy the experience - and give us plenty of time to put the meals together. Yeah, we watched the movie LONG before we got the box, but we still figured it would be a delightful experience. Right?

Fast forward to May 28th, the day we were supposed to get the package. We waited all day... nothing. Finally I emailed the company, and got an automated response with another email to contact if I considered it an emergency. So I wrote to the other email. No response that night, but the next morning I got a response - for some reason our overnight delivery had been changed to 2nd day and, due to the long weekend, wasn't going to arrive until Tuesday. After many emails back and forth, I was told to toss out the cold food when we got the package because after a weekend in a hot shipping box they weren't worth the risk of eating. And I was told I would get a replacement cold box and a gift card as quickly as possible.

So our Memorial Day plans were pretty much dashed. It happens, I get it. I'm not happy about it, but I get it.

Tuesday, the box arrived. The box itself is really neat, a very cool Mother Box with a magnetic lid. All the food was packed inside, with the cold food in an insulated container inside another box, just to be sure. When we opened the cold box, one of the sauce containers had exploded all over. While the food was vacuum-packed, it was also disturbingly warm. The temperatures in our area were pretty high, and the cold packs just couldn't compete. In addition, the bread and chocolates were less than ideal after a weekend in a hot box.
The company rep replaced the bread, marshmellows, chocolates and the cold box and sent a gift card that basically covered the shipping and tax on the original order. However, she made a mistake when she sent the replacement, and tried to time it for the next weekend. But we live out in the boonies and the major shipping companies do not deliver overnight to our address on Saturday or Sunday, and she tried to send it to us to arrive on Saturday. By the time she understood the issue, it was too late and we had to wait until yesterday (Tuesday, June 8th) to actually get our replacement. That's more than a week after the Friday we expected it to arrive.

To be honest, I'm still a little put out. It was supposed to be a special treat. We still don't know why it didn't arrive on the Friday we were supposed to get it. And while a gift card is nice, the whole thing still feels like a let-down because we aren't going to be able to enjoy the meal as it was planned, and have to make the bits piecemeal as we have time.

Okay, enough with the grumping. Here's the good bits... the box has a number of dishes and some collectable items. The three "meal" items are a Big Belly Burger, a fish dish called "The Trench" and a Souffle with a collectable Superman Ramekin. Other items include Wonder Woman themed marshmellows, Batman themed chocolates, Martian Manhunter themed appetizers and three drinks: beer, cold-brewed coffee and an energy drink.

With limited time and energy, Eric and I decided to try the Big Belly Burger last night, and save the other two items that need cooking for later. So we pulled up the cooking instructions on the website, watched a little video and then Eric jumped in to make the burgers, which came with the patties, buns, two types of sauces (marked as being Condiment King brand!) and rosti patties (basically fancy hash browns). We layered the burgers as suggested in the directions: lower bun, burger sauce, rosti, beef patties, cheese sauce, any other toppings we add, top bun. Then we served them up with some chocolate milk (since neither of us drink beer or coffee and we didn't feel like dealing with energy drink) and chowed down.
So, I'm still annoyed at the delays, right? BUT... Oh that was good. It was really good. I mean, just delightfully good. The sauces were close to perfect, and the beef and rosti worked really well together. It was MESSY, but it was that lovely messy that makes your mouth water. And, wonderfully, there's enough sauce left over for a couple more burgers in the near future. And I plan on keeping the condiment containers, which amuse me because of the branding. We also are saving the burger boxes, which look like fast food containers from Big Belly Burgers, a fictional fast food chain in the DC Universe.

For dessert we had the Ancient Themysciran Fire marshmellows. We didn't follow the instructions closely, which tell you to light a scent stick (included) and listen to a clip from the movie available on the virtual aspect of the box (more on that in a second) and then eat the marshmellows in zen contemplation. We just ate 'em. They were tasty.
We have a lot of the box to still work through, including the fish and souffle, the chocos and the chocolates. In addition, I haven't played with the virtual aspects of the box yet. You see, there's a special virtual reality experience. You go to a special website then point your phone at the Mother Box and... things happen...
But I think I'll do a little more about that later, once I've had time to maybe take a couple of screen shots that actually show some tiny bit of the action, so you have a glimpse at the genius and effort that went into this special meal. We will be giving the beer to some beer drinkers we know and asking for their opinions (and the cans back, since they will be collector items for us) and the coffee to a coffee connoisseur for the same treatment. Which leaves us with the Chocos (Martian Manhunter appetizers), the Trench, Batman chocolates, Souffle and energy drink to make and consume over the next few days. We hope. Updates as they happen.