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Tabelog Reviewer burgerdogboy

Posts Tagged ‘7-Eleven’

7-Eleven “Fresh to Go” Cheeseburger Review

7-Eleven Fresh to Go CheeseburgerI’ve reviewed a lot of heat and eat burgers this year, and although I’ve had them from 7-Eleven before,  my past bites were generally a “brand name”, like the Big A, from the Chef Pierre company in Cleveland, a big supplier to mini-marts, schools, food service, the military.

This is the first one I’ve had with the 7-Eleven brand on it; the company has been offering more of their own branded product over the past couple years, and why not?  Cheaper to make, higher profit margin.   It’s official moniker?  “Seasoned chopped beef steak with cheese on a bun.”

I have griped in the past that 7-Eleven needed to update their packaging for those of us who chose to “Fresh to Go” at home.  The heating instructions formally included the standard “press button 3 for…”, to correspond with in-store microwaves.  “7-Eleven,” I cried, ‘tell us how long to cook it at home,”  and apparently they heard me, as packaging now includes these instructions.

Packaging gives no clue as to who makes these for 7-Eleven.  Apparently since they are “finished product”, they don’t have to have a USDA plant number emblazoned on them.

(But I’ll find out and let you know).

Instructions called for 50 seconds on high in the nuke chamber, I went with a full minute to compensate for an aging microwave.   The sandwich was heated through at that (it is on the shelves thawed, but probably shipped frozen).

The taste and texture were fine, as was the price ($2.49 for 6.7 ounces, or about .37 per ounce.  The bun tastes fresh enough, and the whole patty experience was reminiscent to the Ball Park brand burgers I tested a couple weeks ago.  Kind of a “built in grilled seasoning.”

As it comes on a bun, of course this is a no-no for the gluten free followers.   And I would venture a guess it doesn’t approach “all natural” either, as the ingredients list for the patty, bun, and cheese runs to over 40 separate ingredients.

Would I buy it again?  Sure, and you know why.  I am a burger whore.

Side dish?  7-Eleven Select Brand Kettle Style (Original) chips.  Made in the USA.  No idea where.

7-Eleven Fresh to Go Cheeseburger

7-Eleven Fresh to Go Cheeseburger

Home Cookin’ – 7-Eleven Pizza Retest

 
 
 
 

 Thought I would retest the home version of the 7-Eleven pizza. My last epistle on this is here.  My local guys (map) still haven’t installed the miracle multi-thousand dollar Turbo oven, which cranks these pies out in about two minutes, but they are selling the same pies to cook at home, at a price point more competitive than the other product they stock.   But then, such is the case with all of 7-Eleven’s in-house branded lines.

This is a monster pizza, in terms of weight.  It’s  of the “self-rising crust’ variety, so it is a thicker crust than I generally care for.   But what’s a mother to do when s/he wants hot pizza at 10A, and no one is delivering yet?

7-Eleven is a little more generous with their toppings than many other frozen brands, as you can see with the strategic pepperoni layout to the left. Instructions call for @ 20 minutes at 400, and I use a stone, so that intensifies the cooking process.

The cooked pepperoni shows no char or cupping, so it’s one of the better varities of  America’s favorite topping, with a low fat content.  The box boasts “made with real cheese” and they can’t say that, if it ain’t.

Looking at the corporate website, and/or grilling my local guy, I don’t know if they are making more than the three varieties I see stocked – Pepperoni, Cheese, and “Special.”   I’d personally like to see an “all meat” version, as well as a thin crust option.

But this one?  For $5, and a few minutes from home, then home, it’s worth the dough.

AM/PM Mini Mart – Ready to Eat Double Cheeseburger

AM/PM Logo

They’ve been doing this a long time, those AM/PM folks.  I remember getting two burgers or two dogs at Los Angeles area AM/PM in the mid 80s for next to no $.   AM/PM were an afterthought to ARCO gas stations in the West in the mid 70s, to bring in more customers, but surely they can only be regarded as the leading pioneer in the scheme of take-out food/gas mash-up.

They have come a long way since those days of the 2 for $1 dogs.   The quality has improved, as has the selection, but the prices have not increased proportionately.  Thank you, AM/PM.   I have previously discussed 7-Eleven’s heat and eat burger, which they don’t make themselves.  They do not offer a comparable food selection to AM/PM, but 7-Eleven is in a real expansion mode in this realm, adding wings and fresh pizza in many stores.

But AM/PM’s depth of product is very deep:  hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken, , burritos, pizza, breakfast sandwiches.   But what really makes AM/PM  the binge burger boy’s choice is the (usually) exceptionally clean and varied selection condiment bar.   You take your hot sandwich, decorate it anyway you want (AM/PM, if you notice a definite pickle shortage at a store, you know I’ve put 3 pounds of your pickle chips on my burger), and then pay and eat.

AM/PM Cheeseburgers

AM/PM

The world of gas station food is constantly evolving.  I’ve written about it more than I should, with posts about Hunt Brothers Pizza, Chester Fried Chicken and the like.

The more variety the better, in my opinion.   And I am especially delighted to saunter into any gas station or truck-stop that does NOT have a Subway attached.  Just a personal thing of mine.  I guess it’s just that I think there are far too many of them.

How about you guys who operate in malls?  When will we see a Sbarro in a gas station? Soon, I hope.

In the meantime, check out AM/PM’s selection.   BurgerDogBoy says that the Big A heat and eat burgers at 7-Eleven are a little better, but AM/PM kicks butt in the value proposition.

AM/PM Mini Mart Cheeseburger

Taste Test – 7-Eleven Cheeseburger

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The label calls it “chopped beef steak with cheese on a bun”. This is one of 7-Eleven’s in-house offerings under their label “The Deli Market.” There is no indication on the package 7-11 burger PNGwho manufactures this item for 7-Eleven, nor could I find any reference to it online. May well be that it comes from Lufthansa, like their sandwiches, of which I have opined on previously.

Instructions on the package merely say “Keep refrigerated” and “Heat on Button 3.” Roh Roh. I’m doing this at home. Hey, 7-Eleven, what about home instructions on the package for those of us not eating in our car? Just a thought.

The package says the net weight is 6.4 oz, and my scale says the patty weighs in at 4.1 oz with the slice of cheese. I can’t say this is “pre-cooked weight” as the burger is already cooked. So that’s a plus. All of the ingredients on the label were pretty straightforward, I saw nothing to give me pause; the bun had far more additives than the meat or cheese.

Since this a refrigerated, and not frozen product, I chose not to nuke the bun, but let it warm on the counter. I guessed at the time for the burger patty, chose 45 seconds, and at that precise second in the cycle, the cheese slice started to bubble, so I took that as a sign my guess was spot on.

I dressed the burger with mustard, onion, and pickle, took a bite, first taste was a creamy American “cheese foo7-11 burger chips PNGd” sensation, very Velveeta-ish, which I didn’t find unpleasant, the burger patty itself was firm, and had a tinge of smoke flavor embedded in it, which I also didn’t take offense to.

All in all, I found the burger to be as good as any fast-food quarter pounder, but your experience might entirely depend on the variety and freshness of the condiments ar the 7-Eleven you stop at. Some of the stores do a great job, some not so great.  It’s equal or better to another C-Store burger, previously tested,  the Big Az.

I was able to construct my own “value meal” of sorts, with the burger, 7-Eleven brand chips, and a 24 oz Shasta coming in at a respectable $4.24. I have often wondered why more C-stores don’t carry budget soft drinks, apparently now they do, or at least until Coke or Pepsi says “hey, wait a sec….”.

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Where 7-Eleven Sandwiches Come From

For as great a food town as Portland is, when it comes to middle of the night dining…Portland comes up very short. There’s a couple of Denny’s, and one or two taverns with bar menus…..we don’t even have a truck stop unless you’re willing to drive a half hour or so.

So middle of the night dining falls on drive thru fast food and 7-Elevens. If you’re a patron of the latter or a reader of this site, you know that 7-Eleven has been moving into proprietary snack foods lately, and their fresh wrapped sandwiches also fall into that category. Are those clerks busy making sandwiches between sales of lottery tickets and coffee? Nosiree, Bob, that task falls (at least in the Northwest), to LSG. Who’s LSG?

What do airline catering companies do when they are no longer serving meals on airplanes? Creatively expand their customer base, one guesses.Such is the case, apparently, with LSG Sky Chefs, a subsidiary of the German airline Lufthansa. I discovered this by reading the label of a fresh sandwich from 7-Eleven recently, which listed the manufacturer as LSG’s Seattle Facility.

LSG describes themselves as “LSG Sky Chefs is an internationally recognized provider of culinary expertise for airline catering. We serve 418 million meals annually for over 300 airline partners in 49 countries throughout the world.”

I would guess the diminishing orders from airlines caused LSG to look elsewhere for business. Since they have many, many locations across the US, they perhaps furnish 7-Eleven nationwide, or perhaps use other vendors, with LSG just serving the 300+ 7-Elevens in Seattle and Portland.

Just think, now you can buy an airline sandwich at 7-Eleven for about half the price they charge you on the airplane! Something to keep in mind, next time you travel.
My choice tonight was the Turkey Club. Pressed, chopped and formed turkey, leafy lettuce, and mayo with bacon bits sparsely sprinkled in it, between two slabs of thick-sliced white bread. Not so great, but not so bad.

If you have been following my writing since the early 70s, you’ll know on one of my previous forums, I wrote a lot about gas station sandwiches, and my conclusion at the time was that the Deli Express brand, from Minnesota, especially their “Muffaletta”, wins this category hands down.

But I do admire LSG’s creative solution to their diminishing market, and 7-Eleven’s creative solution to finding a vendor for their store brand.
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The Genius of 7-Eleven

My better 2/3rds often says my car has a special device that doesn’t let it drive past a 7-Eleven. That may be so. I love 7-Eleven. It used to be pretty scummy, but under the current Japanese ownership, it grows more impressive by the day.

Lately, I have been enthused about their creation of so many branded products. What genius! They get quality control, increased profits, more exposure to their brand, and price points that are often below the nationally-branded products that they carry. In some locales, they even stock proprietary beer.

I was thinking about them this morning because Burger reporter Kayoumin’s (if the idea of French love songs in Mandarin intrigues you, check out Kayoumin’s music!) blast from Taipei also included a shot of 7-Eleven Hot Dogs (below). Taiwan is about 1/4 the size of Iowa, in square miles. yet they have 4,000 7-Eleven stores! FOUR THOUSAND! That’s a lot of Big Gulps!

I’m not sure how many 7-Elevens there are in Iowa, but New Orleans has zip. May be the real reason I had to leave.

I did a post the other day on some 7-Eleven’s adding 24 hour hot food, like pizza, and wings. “Ready-to-eat” is one of the fastest growing grocery categories, so this makes sense, especially when you have competing fast foods in the same neighborhood adding all sorts of adjunct offerings, like Subway having breakfast, and the “Hut” (nee Pizza Hut) adding wings and pasta.

At a 9.99 flat price for pizza, 7-Eleven’s wouldn’t have to be all that grand in order to make a dent in local pizzerias, and one only need look at gas station pizza “franchises” like Hunt Brothers (6,000 outlets currently) to see what the market potential is. How many 7-Elevens worldwide you ask? Over 30,000; 5,000 in the US alone, of which about 80% are franchised operations.

Japanese business excels at taking US “inventions” and marketing them well (like the video tape recorder). It’s always fascinating to watch what they do with their acquisitions. It’s going to be fun to see 7-Eleven continue to evolve.

Map of 7-Eleven in Taiwan


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