Grown-up kids of television generation have a certain nostalgic place in their hearts for the TV dinner, those ubiquitous frozen meals that allowed families to enjoy a quick and easy dinner in front of the television. They've since fallen out of vogue, but Hay Merchant is bringing the TV dinner back with a serious chef-driven upgrade.
On Monday, April 11, Chef Chris Shepherd launched TV Dinner Mondays. Over the past several months, Shepherd has been collecting DVDs of The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Married With Children, and other nostalgic TV favorites to be screened while diners enjoy weekly TV dinner specials.
And these aren’t the mediocre Kid Cuisines from your childhood. Instead, Shepherd will prepare mains like Salisbury steak made with 44 Farms beef, roasted turkey and chicken fried chicken. On the side you’ll find upgraded old-school faves like broccoli rice casserole, sorghum glazed carrots, and mashed potatoes with gravy. And, of course, that ubiquitous sprinkle-topped brownie for dessert.
The new offering is the first step in Shepherd’s ongoing revamp of the Hay Merchant menu. "I want to serve the food that I want to eat," he says. "As a kid, I loved the nights where my family would watch TV together and, if I was lucky, I might get a TV dinner. It's nostalgic, and we're going to make it delicious."
You can indulge your TV dinner nostalgia on Mondays starting at 5 p.m. Nobody’s going to judge you if you know all the words to the Love Boat theme and insist on singing it loudly before dinner is served.