Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gourmet Miniature Burgers

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.


Liz said...

These were really good. I was surprised. But definitely not worth the full price.

Fritos and Foie Gras said...

beef and any blue cheese is such an amazing combo! glad this was not a disappointment and that you got SUCH an awesome deal:)

The Thirsty Pig said...

Glad they taste good. . .but the packaging reminds me, a little, of an upscale version of the frozen White Castle burgers they sell in east coast supermarkets.

Nosh Gnostic said...

I wonder if it's too late to corner the market...?

JustinM said...

Thirsty Pig: You can get those WC burgers here in SoCal. In fact, the second post on this blog, almost two years ago, was about them.

Anonymous said...

Purchased these for guests for just a snack don't waste your money they had one tiny tiny piece of bacon didn't even know it was there.Tasted like idk had wierd taste. Its to bad it was a good idea. Gourmet mini burgers at BJS