I was poking around in the frozen food section of Dollar Tree and found these: Lobster Slider Patties. How awesome to find something as expensively gourmet as lobster at such a reasonable price! Even though the box felt kind of light, still: LOBSTAH FOR A DOLLAH! I knew it must be true, because "Lobster Meat" was the first ingredient listed on the side panel Yea, though I paid a pauper's coin for this delight, verily I would dine like King Neptune this night.
Of course, there was other fine print on the label, like on the front where it shows a photo of two plump and delicious lobster slider patties on fresh rolls with some kind of mayo peeking out from the bottom. Superimposed over the bottom of the righthand sandwich, in a typeface so tiny it is barely readable by the naked eye, is the advisory: "Serving Suggestion." This is a marketing term which loosely translates as "What you're seeing here isn't exactly what you're getting in the box."
When the box was opened, we found two "patties," sans bun (that was part of the "Suggestion," and the box was after all clearly labeled "Slider Patties" without any mention of buns.) They were about the size and shape of a chocolate-chip cookie, and looked like they had been hand-formed.
The cooking instructions strongly suggested baking the patties in the oven, mentioning that it was superior to the micowave. Instead, I opted to pan-fry them in butter. Besides the fact that pan-frying adds a delicious crispy crust to the bottom and top, I was also not about to run the oven for two tiny little dollar-store patties. So into the pan they went, sizzle-sizzle-sizzle, and out they came to a plate a few minutes later, exactly as anticipated: crispy and browned on the top and bottom, soft and hot inside.
We broke bits off and examined them. They are definitely made primarily of lobster meat and crumbs, exactly as the ingredient label states. (The red pieces you see in the photos are bits of red bell pepper that appear to be added as a garnish.) But don't look for chunks of lobster, because you won't find it. Look carefully at the lobster patty chunk on the end of your fork, and you'll see the meat: tiny little fibers that are the last remaining bits of salvageable meat from the lobster after all of the choice bits have been taken for other purposes. Note, however, that there was no way for us to really tell what kind of "lobster" it was. It could have been Maine lobster, or langostino "lobster", or lobster tails for all we could tell.
At any rate, it didn't matter. The patties passed the most important test: they actually tasted good. They had a decent shellfishy flavor and a smooth, if a bit wet, texture that was reminiscent of the stuffed clam filling one might find in a restaurant. A few dashes of hot sauce pepped up the patties and brightened the shellfish flavors.
I don't really think I'd serve these as "sliders," on a little hamburger roll. That would be way too much like eating a bread sandwich (I'll have a whole wheat on rye, hold the pumpernickel please.) But if I had some little sausage patties on biscuits, these lobster patties would be awesome snuggled in there against the pigmeat.
So I might not have dined like King Neptune, but I liked the lobster patties well enough. A buck well spent.