I’ve been into a Tony Roma’s once, and it was on the occasion of a group of Chinese I was working with wanting an “authentic American meal”; the restaurant was in Hong Kong. No idea what I had to eat that nite, for sure it wasn’t ribs, cause that particular dish is never on my target list of potential dinners out; just not my favorite.
As you have undoubtedly noticed, grocery stores are loading up on branded products from America’s fast casual food chains, and whether you want products named “Taco Bell,” “Fridays”, “Marie Callendars”, “Claim Jumper”, or any other representative samples of the casual dining experience at home, your local grocery is sure to have a wide selection of these types of products.
They are usually puked out of some co-packer factory and licensed by the copyright owner, and such is the case with Tony Roma’s Pulled Pork BBQ, manufactured by Rupari Food Services, with an HQ in Florida, and a factory in suburban Chicago. Various internet articles called them “purveyors of fine foods to wholesalers, retailers, and restaurant chains,” and one reference called them the largest manufacturer of ribs in the country.
The pulled pork is sold in an 18 oz tub, pre-cooked, ready for the microwave or stove top. Nutritional information says the tub serves 4.
I always opt for the stove-top heating option, just a personal quirk of mine, and in minutes the meat/sauce was ready for a bun and plating.
I like my pulled pork on a bun one of two ways, with either a mound of cole slaw on top, or dill pickle chips. No slaw in site, I opted for the latter on this day.
I can’t imagine there would be any economy of scale in having a troop of workers scraping pork roasts with forks to reach what is normally regarded as pulled pork consistency, and the ultra-fine shredded meat in this preparation would lead me to believe that mechanical automation had a hand in separating this meat.
The sauce is thick, smoky, and leans towards the ‘sweet’ recipe of BBQ sauce. This is probably due to the restaurant’s heritage and Southeastern roots, their first restaurant was in Miami.
The product has a good taste, texture, and is a relatively good value compared to similar grocery offerings.
To make good pulled pork at home is a multi-step, 24 hour operation, and Tony Roma’s product satisfies my urges without the fuss or muss.
Tony Romas Pulled Pork BBQ