7/24/06 | Tina’s Red Hot Beef Burrito
[ Currently Eating: Much, Much Needed Coffee ]
Lately, I’ve been suckered in by one too many “frozen aisle” specials at my local supermarket. You know the ones I’m talking about. They have a floor-type freezer in the middle of the area near the milk, meat and/or seafood that’s filled with frozen food impulsive buys that are on sale. These are usually things like frozen dinners, frozen pizzas and of course Frozen Burritos.
I almost caved in and tried out some “mini-pizzas” for a buck each, but instead was waylaid by boxes and boxes of Tina’s brand frozen burritos. Actually, I would have passed but they were going for only twenty cents a piece which was difficult to resist. I picked up 3 “Red Hot Beef”, 1 “Bean and Cheese” and 1 “Spicy Bean and Cheese” for an even dollar for 5 burritos. Come on, tell me that’s not cheap eats.
But as always, you get what you pay for. I remember coming home from high school and microwaving one of these beauties. Part of the fun was trying to get the timing on the microwave correct so they didn’t explode, spilling out their bean contents like nuclear waste. Equally difficult was avoiding the “lukewarm center” phenomenon. I tried poking holes to no avail. But that was before I learned the “30-second and flip” method.
Basically, you just microwave it on high for 30 seconds and then let it rest for about 15 seconds. Then turn it over and repeat. (These instructions were actually on a package of CostCo shredded beef frozen burritos that I meant to write about but haven’t gotten around to.) After about 4-6 iterations (2 to 3 minutes) you get a pretty well done burrito that’s cooked on the inside and hasn’t leaked at all. This had the disadvantage of making you do a lot more work for a 20 cent frozen burrito. But come on – we could all use the exercise.
Anyhow, the 2 “bean and cheese” varieties were nothing home to write about, so I turned to the Red Hot Beef Burrito for inspiration for a review. Well. You wanted a 20 cent frozen burrito, you get a 20 cent frozen burrito. You’ll note the burrito actually looks a little “flat”. I actually had to get down nearly horizontal to the plate to make the picture look like there was more filling than there actually is.
By the way, whatever you think about the taste of these things I wouldn’t recommend eating a dollar’s worth in one sitting. Not unless you want a date with Mrs. Urinal. Let’s be cheap in our eating, not stupid. Though, I’ve been known to test the limit by eating two in a row…
I ate almost the entire Red Hot Beef Burrito before asking myself one pressing question made famous by Clara Peller: “Where’s The Beef???” Truly, where is the beef in this burrito? It seemed mostly beans and sauce. There wasn’t even that nice pureed meat mixture that you get at Jack in the Box or Del Taco. It must be really ground up fine to not be able to tell. Unfortunately, some bits and pieces of what is probably tendon, ligament or some other anatomical cow part seemed to always sneak through. Well, if you eat it fast enough without chewing too much, you don’t notice the bits as much.
As far as spiciness was concerned, I was actually pretty impressed. You won’t call the fire department, but it made the “Spicy Chicken Sandwiches” that every other fast food place sells seem laughable. The taste – well, did I mention again that it costs only 20 cents? They’ll add some variety to your pantry of Cup O Noodles and Ramen. You don’t want to eat this burrito every day, but it could be worth it to have a box of these in the freezer for those late night snack munchies.
Price: $0.20 each
Found At: Albertson’s
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10