Posts Tagged ‘Big A Cheeseburger’
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. (or Oh Thank Heaven for 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, and then pay and eat. (The condiment bar is reminiscent of the gone but not forgotten Midwestern chain “Burger Chef,” once 1000 locations strong until being swallowed whole by Hardees).
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. There is n even deeper selection in the deep south, where they have “fry delis,” where you can grab a hunk o fried chicken, catfish, shrimp, biscuits and the like. Now that’s good gas station eatin’.
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 market
am/pm mini market
Stopping by my two neighborhood stores, I have a choice between the nice Korean family at the independent market on one side of the street, or the new owner of the 7-Eleven, a nice Iranian family. I generally favor the Koreans, for no particular reason, I guess, other than consistency, because the prices are about the same at both stores. With the Koreans, there is always a smiling family member behind the counter, and with the Iranians, they have a lot of part-time employees, so friendliness can be hit and miss. Whatever, I’m just sayin’.
I talked about this pre-cooked burger early on, in this post. This is an 8.5 ounce vending/food service product from Pierre Foods in Ohio, which furnishes product to school, vending, stores, the military, and so on.
Why I decided to pick up another one of these today, was new packaging and a new name caught my eye. Previously packaged in white freezer paper with the name “Big Az”, the sandwich is now in clear cello with a name change that has dropped the “Z”, it’s now the “Big A Angus Charbroil with Cheese”. It’s interesting they went with clear, when the trend among consumers seems to be vibrant photos/graphics on a solid color package. But this is probably less expensive, for sure.
So be it.
The instructions on my package suffered from smeared ink, so I’m gonna just punt on the microwave deal. Last time, I pronounced this better than most fast food burgers, we’ll see if they changed the formulation along with the packaging.
The unwrapped frozen burger exhibits no frills; sesame bun, burger patty, cheese slice on top, cheese slice underneath. (Tho one cheese slice is half the size of the other, not sure if that is intentional).
This is a refrigerated product, so it’s mostly thawed. As such, like I do the home version of White Castles, I separated the meat and bun for heating.
I decided to go with 45 seconds or whenever the cheese was fully melted, for the patty. And that reaction happened exactly at 45 seconds, so good guess, BurgerDogBoy. I threw the bun in for 15 seconds, removed, assembled, dressed (onion, pickle, mustard), and voila!
Was it as good as I remembered? Yes. Have they changed anything besides the packaging? Doesn’t seem so. Do I still think this is better than most run-of-the-mill fast food burgers? Yes for flavor, but no for value (it’s $3.69 at my neighborhood 7-Eleven.)
I like the flavor, has some smoke added to be more “grilled-like”, the grind is ok, probably a bit finer than I usually prefer, but OK, nonetheless.
Maybe it’s less of a big deal, than I am making it out. Unlike BK and McD, this burger isn’t overwhelmed by the flavor and quantity of ketchup, which I loathe on my burgers. It might just be that simple.