I'm always leery when a product - especially a frozen product - labels itself as "gourmet." It seems a bit of an overcompensation or, in most cases, a lie. I've noticed for some time The Perfect Bite Company's appetizers at Bristol Farms, $16 packages of mini crab cakes and such that look like they could be good but also look like they could be a complete ripoff. For $16, I've never felt like taking the chance. I could buy fresh crab and make my own crab cakes for not much more than that price.
The gourmet miniature burgers - with caramelized onions and Gorgonzola - also look interesting, but the packages at Ralph's are $14.99. I could get three packages of White Castle burgers for that price and caramelize my own onions. However, not long ago I was at Raph's and several packages of the Perfect Bite burgers were a "manager's special" - on sale for $1.99.
I did not know if the store was trying to get rid of their stock, or if maybe they had gotten partially defrosted (the box was a little deformed.) At that price, though, I was willing to try them. I'll feed one to Elizabeth and see if she gets sick; if not I'll cook the whole box for dinner.
They certainly did not look like much when I took them out of the box. Ice crystals were everywhere and they were hard enough that they might have put a dent in the kitchen tile if I'd accidentally dropped one of them. I was even less impressed when I read that the preferred method of heating them is in the microwave. I am not a big fan of the microwave. Sometimes weeks go by without me using it.
So I zapped them in the microwave and plated them with some fries. But I couldn't really let Elizabeth be the guinea pig; I had to try one first. I did... and it was actually really damn good. I took the plates out to the living room and asked Elizabeth what she thought. She tried one and, with a surprised look on her face said "These are good."
The caramelized onions and Gorgonzola were a beautiful combination and the beef, while perhaps not USDA Prime, was much better than I expected. These were an absolute steal at $1.99, unless of course we both get incredibly sick with some intestinal virus in the next few weeks that is traced back to these. In that case they were merely a decent deal.
Now, the obvious question: would I buy these at the regular price of $14.99? Absolutely not. I could make them myself for less than half that price. Each one of these burgers was about one bite. I can't think of anything that comes out of the microwave that is worth $1.50 a bite. But if you ever see these on sale for $1.99 (damn I wish I'd bought more than one box), they are definitely worth it.