Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Eat! Asian Style Beef with Broccoli Frozen Meal (Dollar Tree)

Don't even bother.
“Eat!” is the name of Dollar Tree’s new frozen food line, and from what I can tell from the very limited collection of information available online, it’s manufactured exclusively for them. Now “Why?” is another question that begs to be asked, given the fact Dollar Tree already has plenty of name brand frozen meals available—perhaps the plan is to eventually phase those out and stick to “their” brands...but this is nothing more than conjecture at this stage.

Anyway, your dollar gets you either 7.5 oz. or 8 oz. of food (depending on the entrĂ©e), which is either slightly below, or right at the “norm” for frozen supermarket fare (as a comparison, the national brand carried by DT has 8 oz. of food; Main Street Kitchen, manufactured by Kraft-Heinz and available here, as well as other national retailers, offer up 9).

Initial observations: The sauce looks pretty delicious and inviting, a dark brown “thickquid” (thick liquid) that strongly reminds me of the sauce in Aldi’s delicious noodle bowls; my mouth immediately began watering when my mind went to that, and I was hoping this would be able to deliver a similarly tasty experience. The noodles also heightened by expectations a bit, by being appropriately soft, but without the sliminess of some brands…in other words, this has a rather inviting texture given its frozen nature.

Ooh, look at those appealing chunks of meat-flavored sponge.
Digging in, I found that the sauce actually does have a nice little injection of “sweet” that seems like it’s trying to counterbalance the soy sauce-style saltiness that’s prevalent, but it ends up being overwhelmed by both the sodium, as well as the finishing blast of heat that slowly overtakes the tastebuds the longer the sauce-soaked noodles linger in the mouth. The heat isn’t strong enough that most people will be making a mad dash to the fridge for some milk, or blotting away the sweat from their face with tissues, but it’s stronger than some mainstream fare. Personally, I would have liked a little more sweetness in there, just to strike a better balance between the two opposing flavor spectrums, but despite falling short of my hope/expectation combo, it’s still a palatable sauce, and one that I would voluntarily eat again if it were a part of something else.

The beef, meanwhile, is where everything falls apart; it’s exactly the reason why no meat of any kind should ever be sold inside dollar stores. It looks almost identical to the meat found in wet dog food, and has a flavor to match, with a weird taste that comes off like a lifelong vegan’s attempt to replicate the taste and flavor of meat using Google as their only research tool. Even the texture feels off, with an almost sponge-like consistency that will leave even the most discerning eater questioning what it is they're actually eating.

Take that out, and you have a more palatable meal, although “Noodles with Sauce” just doesn't have much of an attention-grabbing ring to it. It's quick and convenient, but this is something that I will never eat again, short of an apocalyptic scenario where this is somehow the only thing available after survivalists have raided all the good food.

Overall: 4.5/10. Take out the beef—which looks and tastes like wet dog food, with an eerie sponge-like texture--and you’d have a more palatable meal here, although that would also only leave you with wet noodles and sauce. So really, it's just best to stay away from this one, which is probably the worst entry in Eat!'s very limited resume. Will these be replacing the name brand frozen meals available inside Dollar Tree stores? If this is a good indication of what we can expect, we can only hope not.

6 comments:

  1. I disagree completely. I was just googling Eat Asian Style, because I bought a package and loved it, so I saved the box top to remind me of how much better it is than most frozen meals. I must admit, I don't think I have ever found any type of frozen meal in which the beef doesn't have that strange texture. I think that is just par for the course with any meat that isn't fresh.

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    1. To each their own, I guess! I'm glad you liked it...I certainly wish I liked it more. That sauce is pretty good though...

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  2. The box doesn't state that it is spicy!! Qa

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    1. No it does not! Like I said, I don't think it's so spicy that most people will have issues with it, but given the teriyaki-style sauce - and lack of any mention of it on the packaging - it's not something I was expecting at all.

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  3. Got it to try out for a quick snack & NOPE!!! Not only did it look nasty but it stank up my whole house which happens to be 40,000 sq. ft. the store is less than 15 mins away when I popped in the first one. Then several months ltr I got more from a different store,thinking it was just a mistake or something. NOPE!!! Popped it open to "vent" & there was mold in it! I know they say "you get what you pay for" but I can eat a whole lot of things on a budget THIS is just disgustingly shameful!

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    1. Wow where do you live, a warehouse?! Jokes aside I didn't quite find it as gross as you, but I think we're both in agreement that we'll never get it again!

      Also, that's disgusting that there was mold in one of yours. I'd definitely have raised some hell about that. That's just inexcusable.

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