The Kroger Company, one of America’s grocery giant (over 15 store brands, including Kroger, Fred Meyer, QFC, Food4Less, Ralph’s, Fry’s, et al) – has grown a very large stable of store brands, most of which are fairly good and competitively priced.
Do you remember when the first ‘generics’ were launched? Plain white boxes of food with bold black printing? “CEREAL!” the box seemed to scream at you? Or was it “POOR PERSON?!?”. Those days of generics have come and gone, and now “store-branded” is an economical way (generally) to do your grocery shopping.
The closest I come to frozen burgers usually is an occasional pick-up of frozen White Castles. They run a little under a buck a pop, coming in boxes of six, wrapped in two-at-a-time cello. It takes a bit to master microwaving these, and I found out the same was true with the Fred Meyer burgers.
Major difference of course, is that the frozen White Castles come with their signature diced rehydrated onions. The Fred Meyer cheeseburger is condiment free.
It appears that the process of manufacturing these entails the separate frozen patties, but the buns and cheese are ‘split’ from larger pieces (i.e. cheese slice cut in half, larger bun separated into pieces). It’s not as pronounced as a big fast food chain I went to recently; they started advertising “mini-burgers”, and when served, all they were was one large burger cut in thirds.
The instructions for the snacks say “microwave for 45 seconds, wrapping the sandwich in a paper towel.” That hasn’t worked for me for White Castles, nor these either. I would always have the same result – bread heated to the point of being hard, with a still chilled patty. So I have taken to separating the components (kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?) and microwaving them for different times, the buns for 40 seconds, the meat patties for about 1:10.
Dressed with mustard and dill chips (my choice) these are OK, kids may love them, they are not all that economical (tho cheaper than White Castles), but convenient, I suppose. The patty has the same texture as most frozen burgers. I’m not sure what happens to ground beef when it is cooked and flash fried, but there is a molecular change that creates a certain uneasiness in my texture senses.
But that’s just me.
For the real deal, there is nothing like White Castles (or Krystals) at 2am, in a store full of drunks.