Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Great Value Bacon Breakfast Bowl (Walmart)

It gets kind of old after a while, but it's good while it lasts.

This story starts the way virtually all my stories do: Was in a store—this time, namely Walmart—needed something to take to work but didn’t want something boring like sandwiches. So I went to the frozen section, which has sadly become my go-to place lately. I had nothing specific in mind when my eyes caught this breakfast bowl from Great Value. I’d never had the name brand before, but I did have similar offerings from Aldi, so I had a good idea of what I was getting into.

This looks pretty much exactly like I was expecting it to, having had Aldi’s version of the same bowl, even down to the overly large plastic container, which makes the contents inside seem meager by comparison. Cooking it up in the microwave is quick and simple, requiring just three-and-a-half minutes, with the ensuing meal coming out piping hot within that time.

The taste, at least initially, matches what you would expect from looking in the bowl, which is to say that everything tastes like it’s been coated in a large layer of grease. Seriously, you can feel your arteries clog in real-time after finishing the bowl, with a thin layer of the stuff sinking down to the bottom, where it creates a slick-looking glossy surface that’s almost enough to make you slip and fall just from looking at it. In other words, if you've ever eaten at Waffle House, this is the frozen food equivalent of that experience. (But at least you get a whopping 31g of protein, which is great for people who like to load up on that.)

Once the grease layer dissipates on the tongue, the dish tastes like it’s a mix of scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, and bacon, because that’s what it is, and all of those tastes are pretty straightforward. I would have liked the cheese to be spread out a little better (it clumped together in one corner of the bowl, with many bites missing out on the stuff) but that just meant I had a huge glob of it left at the end, which was worth the wait.

Unfortunately, with no accompanying gravies or additional “sauces”, this bowl does suffer from the standard issues of similar frozen breakfasts: It’s pretty dry, thanks to the potatoes and bacon, and as hard as the grease seems to try to prevent that, it can’t quite overcome it. As a result, it gets pretty boring to eat after a little while; it would greatly benefit from something that could give it a little shot of flavor, or other unexpected kick. 

That’s not to say this is a bad product—quite the contrary, I do like it and would get it again—but it’s one that could be easily improved upon with just a couple minor tweaks, that could take it from the good bowl that it is now, into truly great territory. (Something like the sausage and gravy bowl, where the gravy prevents the potatoes from drying everything out, while also adding a much-needed difference in texture.) 

Overall: 6/10. Thanks to the inclusion of potatoes and bacon, things can get a little dry and “boring” after a little while. There's also a rather concerning layer of grease that sits at the bottom, a constant reminder that you will probably die soon after finishing it. Despite these issues, though, it's essentially a breakfast sandwich in bowl form, with a proven combination of flavors that work well together, when they're not drying out your mouth. And the shit-ton of protein (a whopping 31g!) doesn't hurt. It's not the best breakfast bowl out there, but it's quick, inexpensive, and tasty, and one that I would get again in the future.

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