Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bremer Selects Steak Fajita Skillet Meal (Aldi)

UPDATE (03/2021): This product was somehow given a perfect score upon its initial review. While I stand by my overall opinions of these fajitas, the score has been adjusted in accordance with current standards.
Also available in chicken.
There is nothing like a good fajita.  The simple blend of meats, peppers and onions, paired with some sour cream…oh man, there‘s nothing quite like it.  It’s definitely my favorite Mexican offering, but now, the more I think about it, it may just crack the top 10 overall.  So you can imagine the saliva that was dripping from my mouth as I stumbled upon the Bremer Select Steak Fajita meal at Aldi.

You can also imagine the reservations I had.  After all, I had just discovered a restaurant not five minutes from my work offered shrimp fajitas during lunch for under $6.  I realized there was no way that a frozen dish was going to come close to compare, but I had to give it a shot.  After all, while the restaurant is close to my work, it’s twenty minutes away from my home, so not something worth going out of the way for.  So I bought it, in the hopes that it could fill the empty void of a cheap fajita dinner for a low price, without having to travel all the way across town.

First things first, as the title implies, this is a “meal”, so everything you need comes right in the package.  Included is the steak, the onion and pepper mix, as well as six tortillas…basically everything but sour cream and any other Mexican condiment you might crave.  While I didn’t prepare it, that‘s what I married my wife for, it didn’t take long at all to prepare.  From the opening of the package to the completion of the cooking, it couldn’t have been longer than ten minutes.  So that definitely starts it off on the right foot.  But how would it fare in the most important department of all?

There are two things I noticed right off the bat:  The smell is perfectly reminiscent of those great restaurant fajitas, and the peppers are chopped very finely.  The aroma consists strongly of peppers, but it also smells very sweet.  It definitely smells delicious and, for me at least, got the mouth watering immediately.  As for the peppers, that was merely an observation.  Obviously, to have large vegetable pieces would more than double the cooking time, and no doubt raise the price.

Now onto the taste trials.  It should be noted that I added some sour cream to the finished product, given my theory that no fajita is complete without it!  I slowly raise the stuffed tortilla towards my face, close my eyes, and dive right in.  Immediately, my taste buds are blasted by a very sweet taste, and even though the scent suggested it would be, I was caught relatively off guard.  It’s not so sweet that it’s off-putting; quite the contrary.  It’s just about perfect.  I’ve never had a fajita that’s tasted quite like this.  I would even go so far as to say that it‘s one of the best ones I‘ve ever tasted.  No kidding.

And it somehow seems to get better with very bite.  The sour cream acts as the perfect compliment to the mix of peppers and onions.  I also like the rather small bits of meat…one of my least favorite things about the fajita is the fact the meat chunks are usually so large, that they take forever to chew.  These are the perfect size, and for the price, there’s a relatively good amount of meat in there.  And while the meat itself is rather bland on its own, it feels right at home mixed with tortilla, sour cream, and the sweet veggies.  The tortilla, which I was afraid would be overly dry, is actually pretty moist.  Of course, they’re relatively small, but that should be expected from a kit that offers everything.

The kit ended up making six decent-sized fajitas.  Obviously, there’s not going to be enough to cram each tortilla full of meat and veggies, but you can actually put a good amount in each one.  And I suppose it’s a good thing you can’t put a whole lot in there, as the tortillas are very prone to breaking.  After my first bite, the bottom of the tortilla ripped, and almost sent its contents falling all over my plate.  That might be something to be mindful of.  But that is just a minor quip for something that, at least in the world of frozen food, is almost flawless.  It’s quick to prepare, inexpensive, offers a good amount (it could easily feed two adults, and could probably stretch out across more people if kids are involved), and most importantly of all, has a ridiculously good flavor that I couldn’t possibly have expected to come out of the bag.

Overall: 8/10. Just about the perfect fajita, yet it comes inside a bag!  This kit gets perfect marks for its quick preparation, good quantity, and its flawlessly sweet flavor that still makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  The meat is a little bland on its own, and the tortilla is prone to easy breakage, but these are just minor quips.  The only other downside is that these are a special buy at most Aldi stores, so once they’re gone, they’re gone.  Go out there and get ‘em while you still can!  At $4.99 (for most markets), these are well worth every penny…and then some.

This product was originally given a perfect score. While I still maintain that these are very good frozen fajitas (and at a great price), they are nowhere near a perfect product, so the score has been adjusted accordingly. Note that this does not insinuate a drop in the product's quality; simply correcting an egregious error that has caused me great embarrassment. Maybe now I can sleep at night again.