Thursday, October 17, 2019

Marketside Refrigerated Double Sausage Egg and Cheese Muffin (Walmart)

It's like a cheese crime scene in there...
My wife and I were out at Walmart shopping for groceries, something we never do, when I realized I needed stuff for my work lunches. Rather than doing the smart thing, and grabbing some bread and sandwich fixin’s, I decided to search around for some frozen things to take with me. And that’s how I stumbled on an entire array of “Marketside” foods, which are designed to look like they were made fresh in store (they are refrigerated instead of frozen), but are actually mass-produced, like everything else inside a Walmart store.

Prepping it for human consumption is very easy: pop it out onto a paper towel, stick it in the microwave, and cook for a minute on each side, flipping it after 30 seconds. Well, that’s what the actual directions stated, anyway; as usual, I took an even lazier way out, keeping the sandwich in the plastic (but opening one end), and just cooking the whole thing for a minute, with no flipping. Sure enough, the sandwich came out piping hot and ready to eat, without any cold spots or otherwise noticeable issues.

The first thing that caught my attention was that this thing is absolutely loaded with cheese: if it were the real stuff, it would be stringing out all over the place. But since it’s the pasteurized junk (which, honestly, you have to accept at this price point), it instead just falls all over the place and sticks to the packaging, making an absolute mess of things. Either way, I have to say that it made my mouth water, and was an enticing way to start the festivities.

Wow, this has a pretty interesting flavor. I thought maybe they’d be trying to emulate a fast-food breakfast kind of taste, but this has a taste all its own...for better and for worse. It definitely doesn’t taste the way a “fresh” one would, which is to be expected from a supermarket sandwich, but the overloaded cheese certainly steps it up and presents a delicious artificial flavor that I have to admit to loving. Curiously, although the sausage should be front and center (this does, after all, feature two patties), the sausage taste is surprisingly “muted”, at least in comparison to what I was expecting. In fact, just trying a piece of sausage on its own revealed just how uninspiring they are without the other ingredients there to pick it up. It's lacking the typical “bite” of most sausage patties...a flavor that's pretty much a required component of sausage, and that drags things down a little bit.

Rather surprisingly, the english muffin works well here. In fact, now that I think about it, english muffins are the perfect kind of bread for frozen sandwiches, because they're already kind of chewy and tough on their own. And since that's how frozen bread will almost always come out of the microwave, it translates very well, without the softness or even occasional sliminess of biscuit-based breakfast sandwiches.

How’s the price, you may be wondering? Unfortunately, I have failed you by forgetting exactly what I paid, but I’m pretty sure it was in the ballpark of $2.25. While that might sound like a lot, this is a pretty big 6.1 oz. sandwich; by the end of it, I was pretty full (not to mention sick of the flavor), so there’s plenty here that it should be enough to satisfy most hungers, and for a price that's cheaper than a lot of similar fast food sandwiches. If only that sausage tasted better...

Overall: 5.5/10. In a world that’s always trying to go more expensive and gourmet, sometimes it’s refreshing to step into a Walmart, until you are instantly reminded of why you never set foot in a Walmart…it’s like a hellish alternate universe where you exchange a little piece of your soul for cheap corporate goods. Enter this breakfast sandwich, which doubles the sausage yet somehow doesn’t even single the sausage flavor, leaving some non-descript patties of near-nothingness that lack the signature bite of the normal breakfast meat. The pasteurized cheese is here to steal the show, though, so whether or not you’ll like this depends on your affection for fake cheese products, with large amounts of the stuff falling all over and sticking to everything. The microwaved english muffin comes out semi-tough and chewy, which is pretty much an accurate texture to regular english muffins. It’s honestly a pretty decent combination, though nothing at all like a fast-food breakfast sandwich—which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your stance. I’m not sure I would get this again, and I was pretty sick of it by the final bite, but it represents decent value and a whole lot of convenience.

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