Have you had one of those days where you want nothing more than to put on your pajamas and curl up on the couch?
Even worse, can you not muster up the energy to prepare a meal, and then clean up your own mess?
You don't have to resort to those Chinese takeout containers or a big greasy pizza. You have options, wonderfully delicious gourmet options!
K'Bella Gourmet Carry Out is often an overlooked choice. I disregarded it for a long time. When it opened more than four years ago, I just deemed it as another so-called gourmet carry out. We already had one just right across the street, and I wasn't crazy about it, so I quickly filed K'Bella under the same category.
However, I kept passing it over and over again, between walking into the gym, into the yoga studio, going to the grocery store.
With my husband working at the gym next door, he was the one who discovered it first. It was almost like a secret obsession for him. These little black containers kept appearing at the house, and I kept asking him where they were from.
He was cheating on my cooking, ironically with another cook named Kristen! He ranted and raved about Swedish meatballs, aged cheddar macaroni and cheese, blue cheese mashed potatoes, blue cheese meatballs and of course, these incredible brownies K'Bella makes. That's when I had to go check out this little hidden gem for myself!
The place may be petite, but it has big personality.
When you walk in, you may be greeted by Chef Kristen Vogel-Sicilia herself or any member of her family, from husband, mother, mother-in-law and even her daughter, from whom the restaurant gets its name.
You will walk in and find countless choices of entrees, sides, soups, wraps and desserts. Never can you walk in two days in a row and find the same thing, because Chef Kristen keeps things constantly changing and seasonal. Sometimes you can see new selections twice in the same day. Only the freshest ingredients are used for K'Bella's dishes.
Typically, orders consist of one entrÃ©e and two sides, which will cost $8-$10. I especially like it because I can make healthy choices, vegetarian choices or simply blow it out of the water, like I did the day I chose an almost half-foot stack of Sicilian eggplant parmesan.
This was the best eggplant parm I ever had!
K'Bella allows you to indulge or to keep it healthy, or even a little of both, for a very reasonable price.
K'Bella has quickly become our go-to lunch and dinner of choice, never even looking back to those days of swinging through the drive-thru. All you have to do is run in, pick out your entrÃ©e and sides, and take it home to reheat when you are ready to eat.
Amazingly, all of K'Bella's dishes reheat perfectly. I'm not sure what Chef Kristen's secret trick is to keeping the meat moist and tender after being microwaved at home, but whatever it is, it works!
In my few months of sampling K'Bella, I have developed some favorites:
â€¢ Chicken stuffed with mushrooms and goat cheese
â€¢ Bacon, blue cheese and potato soup
â€¢ Tilapia stuffed with crab
â€¢ Salmon topped with tomato basil aioli
â€¢ Spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and goat cheese
â€¢ Blue cheese and red onion black-eyed peas
And every time I go in, I add a new favorite to the list. When we tell Chef Kristen how much we liked something, it magically appears in the cases a few days later!
Whether you are looking for a quick dinner at home, are trying to impress a date with "your cooking" or are seeking lunch to take to work tomorrow, K'Bella is definitely your place to go for tasty, generous gourmet meals at takeout prices. She even does catering!
I was lucky enough to be in the restaurant one day when two newlyweds came in praising K'Bella for their wedding food.
K'Bella is on Whitemarsh Island, nestled between Jalapenos, Anytime Fitness and Publix. Check out their website for ever-changing daily specials.
You have to go try this place. Don't make the mistake I did - don't pass this place by any more!
To learn more about our Eat Squad, check out their bios at www.eatitandlikeit.com.
K'Bella Gourmet Carry Out
Location: 119 Charlotte Road, Whitemarsh Island
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday