12 September, 2009

Banquet Cheesy Smothered Meat Patty Meal: One Of The Worst Frozen Meals Ever

When I first started this blog, my intention was to seek out and review bizarre, interesting, and unusual foods. As time has gone on, I've widened my focus quite a bit (what with making my own bacon, sharing recipes, and whatnot) but still, bizarre and unusual still have their appeal. A short time ago, I posted my "Holy Grail List" of weird things I'd like to try just so I can share the experience with readers.

And ever since Gregory Ng at Freezer Burns reviewed the Banquet Cheesy Smothered Meat Patty Meal (giving it a whopping half a star on a five-star scale!) that frozen comestible has been near the top of my Grail List.

It took me months to find. No stores in my area carry the complete line of Banquet frozen meals, and although there are several meals which everyone sells, the more unusual ones tend to be rotated in and out of stock. I guess that's so frequent Banquet customers (a pretty appalling concept all by itself) won't get bored with the same ol' stuff and take their business elsewhere. My persistence was finally rewarded last weekend when I found it at the ShopRite in Manchester CT.

I hardly even know where to begin with this one. For example, the term "meat patty" is pretty vague. It's not pure beef or pork and it sure doesn't taste like it either (though I'm sure there is real meat in there somewhere - I got several hard bits of ground cartilage as I was eating it.) The "meat" is wet and sticky and laden with TVP. There's some kind of weird oniony-mushroomy sort of flavor going on here, too. Reminds me of a really cheap-ass Salisbury steak. Nasty.

Nastier still is the "cheesy" sauce in which the patty is "smothered." Remember those ads in the back of comic books where you could buy novelty jokes like fake cat shit and whoopee cushions? They used to sell fake vomit made out of plastic that looked just like the sauce in the picture on the box. However horrifying (or amusing) you might find that, the reality in the serving tray is far more intense. Clotty, somewhat sour, and vaguely reminiscent of melty plastic, the sauce has a flavor that I would call "almost cheese" - it's salty, and yellow, and has kind of a shodowy milk-like background, but never really achieves true cheesehood. is sprinkled with bacon bits and spotted here and there with greasy puddles of oil.

Drowned as they are in this cheeselike morass, the bacon bits contribute little in the way of bacony goodness. Most of the flavor is lost in the orange plastic saltiness, though a certain amount of smokiness comes through.

Are there any redeeming features to this meal? The best I can say about it is the potatoes weren't disgusting (they were, when all is said and done, fairly standard prepared mashed potatoes) but I guess the entertainment value of this trainwreck of a meal was probably worth the dollar I paid for it. Besides, I can always look at it this way: I bought a portion of acceptable mashed potatoes from ConAgra for $1.00, and they threw in some kind of sticky unappealing side dish for free.


Greg: The Frozen Food Master said...

Thanks for the link and glad to have given you some courage or shall I see intrigue to try it for yourself. Yes, still one of the worst I have ever tried.

Pastor Kyle said...

I can't believe you actually ate that. I'm not sure I would have eaten that back when I ate everything and had a kevlar lined stomach. Go have a nice meal somewhere, you deserve it!

Andrew Green said...

I gotta get my hands on one of those babies.

cheezmaker said...

Dave- I have had the opportunity to purchase this item during a 10 for $10.00 Banquet end cap sale at my local Copps grocery. Grunter (my son) has several that he likes so I just bought a bunch and this one was in it. He tosses them in his lunch bucket and they act as a freezer device until he can take his break. Yes, he does bring other food along!
His comment was "nasty" and "avoid at all costs".


TomW said...

FWIW, that particular product has made the Huntsville, AL market.

I wandered through the break room today when Judith was cooking her lunch time meal. Guess what was in the microwave?

After brief discussion, this was the second time she has had this scumptious delight, and it apparently will not be the last.

Different strokes for different folks.


ntsc said...

I can't think of the last time I had something from the frozen food section other than ice-cream, and my wife makes better of that as well.

Stuff that we have frozen for later consumption doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

you obviously are a food newb...how can you not share with your blog followers the smoothness of the cheese or the delectable bacon bit in the sauce, adding the cheese to the potatoes makes those delicious as well. So until your taste buds mature a little bit I would leave banquet meals alone, thanks.

Bruce said...

Oh boy, I picked this up at the store the other day when perusing the frozen food section, looking for something different than my usual selection. I had planned to have it for dinner tonight, and was looking forward to it, but after reading these comments, I'm thinking a PB&J sandwich might suffice. To make matters worse, I bought the FAMILY SIZE portion, and I live alone! I'll have to post my results after (or if) I eat it tonight. That's if I survive the ordeal.

TomW said...

"...I bought the FAMILY SIZE portion, and I live alone! "

bon appetit, Bruce - We hardly knew ye...


Phil G. said...

I wouldn't feed that slop to pigs! My CATS even eat better than that.