11/11/08 | Banquet Swedish Meatballs
[ Currently Eating: Peppermint Tea And Lots Of It ]
Hello there, from the trenches of budget frozen dinner meal warfare. I’ve sort of attempted to stay away from the Banquet frozen dinners for the past couple years.
One reason is that whenever I write a review on one of their meals, inevitably I get bombarded with 10 emails from disgruntled frozen dinner consumers who think that WE are the company. Me: “Sorry, I’ve no idea why you ended up with gristle in your Fried Chicken Meal.”
Actually, I love getting contacted by these whiners – it’s just fun to read. However, what the heck do you expect for a frozen dinner under a buck? It’s darn cheap. If it wasn’t for the fact that these Banquet meals aren’t exactly the best things to eat (an understatement, I believe), I would be stocking up my freezer with them.
But a few months back they were on sale for 88 cents. So I couldn’t pass getting one for old time’s sake. Because, you know we’ve been reviewing all these budget frozen meals here on Cheap Eats before it was “cool” to talk about. That is, before the Eeekconomy completely tanked. Now, it seems like everyone wants in on the action…
I’ve sorta lost count, but I think I’ve done SEVEN Banquet frozen dinner reviews in the past. So feel free to read Part I: Banquet Chicken Nugget Meal, Part II: Banquet Salisbury Steak Meal, Part III: Banquet Fried Chicken Meal Part IV: Banquet Pepperoni Pizza Meal Part V: Banquet Fish Stick Meal, Part VI: Banquet Enchilada Combo Meal and Part VII: Banquet Chicken Fried Steak Meal.
Whew. And I’m wondering why I finally started to gain weight…
I actually also reviewed the Michelina Swedish Meatball meal back then as well. But for some reason, I didn’t setup a battle between that one and this Banquet Swedish Meatball dinner.
The dinner is a 10 1/4 ounce dinner of just the meatballs, noodles and sauce. This is sort of unusual for Banquet – they often have compartments with “dessert” and “vegetables” (usually corn). Personally, I could do without dessert anyhow – but I felt a little guilty putting that much meat paste and starch into my tortured tummy with no veggies. So I munched some celery later on.
I have had so much trouble with microwaving these suckers in the past. They always want you to heat on high and then STIR, re-cover and then nuke again. I still maintain that it is nigh frickin impossible to stir frozen chunks of sauce and noodles. This time, I decided to add one minute to the first round – so, 4 minutes on high. To compensate, I chopped 30 seconds off the end cooking time.
Well, whaddyaknow – it turned out pretty good. I was able to stir it this time. Maybe my microwave is just wimpy.
The meatballs were actually decent, as far as processed meat paste goes. I sorta don’t want to know what’s in them, but they tasted an awful lot like mini Salisbury Steaks. If I recall correctly, I gave that Banquet meal a 4/10. For some reason, these meatballs tasted a whole lot better. There were 5 of them in the dinner. They were a little ragged looking, but not half bad.
Mmm… “ragged looking meatballs” – I don’t think Banquet’s PR department is going to love me for that description.
The egg noodles were just average, but at least they weren’t gluey or stuck together. The sauce was actually quite pleasant, a sort of cross between salisbury steak gravy and beef stroganoff. A bit on the creamy side. I bet it has a gazbillion calories and oodles of fat in it – but it tasted good to me.
I actually called up Peter Forsberg and asked him if he would eat the meatballs. Because, you know, the meatballs are totally Swedish and hockey is a very Swedish sport. NOT, and not. Ok, so I didn’t really call up my hero Mr. Forsberg. But, I did feel like watching some hockey after I was done eating the meal.
I bet you thought I was going to launch into a Swedish Bikini Team joke right about now. No such luck.
Maybe I’m slipping in my old age, but I felt this meal was actually “decent”. The lack of omnipresent Corn might lead the “balanced meal food triangle” experts to cry foul. And the meat is “mysterious” indeed. But if you had some fresh rabbit food on the side, I think this would be OK for occasional consumption. Maybe while watching some hockey.
Found At: Albertson’s
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10