Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Frozen Lunch Review #2: Chinese Style Vegetables and White Chicken


The latest in frozen foodstuffs so unsatisfying that I blow the second half of my lunch break to complain about them, Michelina's Budget Gourmet's offering of "Chinese Style Vegetables and White Chicken" is as tasty as it's unremarkable title implies.

I knew this one would be a risk. If normal Chinese food leaves you hungry again after a thirty minutes, what would happen if you shrank the portion down to the size of a frozen dinner? Not to mention the confusion inherent in "Chinese Style Vegetables." What does that even mean? The vegetables belong to a communist society experimenting with a capitalist marketplace?

With a prep time of about 4 and 1/2 minutes, the meal is about average on cook time. The sauce, somewhere between sweet and sour and refrigerator soy sauce packet from '03, at least smells decent while cooking.

The average cost of the "Budget Gourmet" line is like 99 cents, so you definitely get what you pay for. The thing I like about the meal is that it doesn't pretend to be something it's not, like those crazy microwaveable panini sandwiches. Basically, it's marketed to the cheapass who knows he won't pack a real meal in the morning and can through the afternoon on a stomach full of rice and three pieces of "white chicken" (I'm not even going to try to figure that out. White meat? White feathers? The chicken reflects all colors?)

There's no fancy dividers, no separate dessert bunker, and half way through the microwave you have to stir the rice and the goo together to form a meal. But for all its shortcomings, Michelina has charmed me with her (his? its?) price point. I am broke, Michelina, and your Chinese style vegetables and superior to my American style hunger pangs.


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