iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
GET UPDATES FROM Zagat
 

Cheap Eats Taste Test: 7 Frozen Restaurant Meals

Posted: 06/08/2012 9:20 am

In honor of Cheap Eats Week we decided to go where few foodies have gone -- the grocery store's frozen meals section -- to see whether DIY versions of popular chain restaurant faves are just as good in our own kitchen at even cheaper tabs. We picked from full-service restaurants only (and not just because avoiding Boston Market's Swedish meatballs was imperative), and our highly scientific selection process involved choosing based on apparent popularity (the fewest remaining product on the shelf). What was gross and what was surprisingly good? Click through the below slideshow to find out.

[Also see: 8 Gut-Busting BBQ Dishes From Around the U.S.]

P.F. Chang's Firecracker Shrimp With Yakisoba Noodles
1  of  8
PLAY
FULLSCREEN
ZOOM
SHARE THIS SLIDE 
Servings: 2
Cost: $8.99

The Dish: Lightly breaded shrimp, edamame, carrots, onions and spicy sweet sauce come together in this noodle-based dish that you basically dump in a pan, stir a few times and serve. The shrimp tasted like real shrimp, the veggies were crisp and the overall taste was satisfying in a food-court quality kind of way. Sure, the sauce was a bit cloying, the ingredients list was scarily long and we're not sure how we'd feel after downing the entire plate (we're tasters, after all), but all in all, we were pleasantly surprised.

Should You Buy It?: If you live in a city where getting cheap, quality Chinese couldn't be easier, than heck to the no. But if you're a suburb dweller, we say yes. An equivalent dish in the restaurant would run at least 50% more (including tip) and if you're on a budget, this will work for an umami fix.

[Also see: The Best BBQ Restaurants in 10 U.S. Cities]
RATE IT!   |  
VOTE
CURRENT TOP 5 PICK YOUR OWN TOP 5
USERS WHO VOTED
NEW! CREATE YOUR OWN SLIDESHOW