By Mike Thayer
So when I saw these in the freezer section at Costco and always looking for something in a convenience food to have at the ready at home, I picked up a box of Raybern's Meatball Marinara Sandwiches and threw it in the cart.
The description of the sandwiches on the box is pretty straight forward: Italian style seasoned meatballs with Marinara sauce & melted mozzarella cheese.
The picture sells it, but will the actual product live up to the picture hype?
I sampled these sandwiches for lunch and dinner on a work day, meal one - lunch - was done in the microwave per the box instructions and for meal two - dinner - the sandwich was done in the oven. Raybern's recommends thawing the sandwiches in the refrigerator for eight hours prior to nuking or baking, which I did.
Prepared in the Microwave: The bread remains soft, fulfilling the Raybern's promise, but the rest of the sandwich is a bit of a disappointment. The meatballs are under-seasoned and the sandwich is under-sauced. The portion of cheese is OK, but the sandwich does not deliver on the box photo hype and overall, the flavor is, "eh"....
Prepared in the Oven: This was the better sandwich - no surprise here, the oven beats the microwave in helping to deliver better flavor and texture every time. The bread had some crispy edges that you like in a 'toasted' preparation and considering the underwhelming flavors I got in the lunch sandwich, I doctored this sandwich up a bit, adding some shredded pizza blend cheese along with a bit of black pepper. It still suffered from being under-sauced.
I purchased a box of 6 sandwiches for $11.99 at Costco, that's $2 per sandwich. And while that $2 is cheaper than what you might pay for such a sandwich at a fast food restaurant and about on par flavor-wise, I was hoping for more from Raybern's for a convenience food made at home. I'm giving Raybern's Meatball Marinara Sandwiches 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and they are a borderline repeat buy, a Plan B kind of thing. They need some doctoring to kick up the "eh" factor up another notch.
$pend Wisely My Friends.....