Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ball Park Flame Grilled Beef Patties: They "BEEP!" When You've Cooked 'Em!

 Brunch? You won't catch me on a Sunday morning at Croc's eating an Eggs Benedict sandwich on an Arnold bun and drinking a Bloody Mary Ingalls Wilder whilst being entertained by a bevy of drag queens anytime soon. My idea of the AM-PM meal combination is a tasty cheeseburger on a Thomas' English Muffin and a side order of Cheerios at 10:30 a.m. Sure, I enjoy the buttery nooks and crannies as much as any early-rising schoolboy or Raisin Bran dad-rocker. Still, there's something special about savoring a grilled patty smothered with the cheese of my choice in between the toasted halves. For at least twenty years, I've stuck with slices of Kraft singles and Heinz Ketchup (NOT "Catsup"! You can take that mess to your nearest animal shelter, dawg!) when constructing the muffin burgers. Last week, an absence of those stock items prompted a drastic change in preparation. Squares of Sargento Swiss replaced the usual Stars 'N' Stripes offering, while Great Value Horseradish Mustard capably filled in for the Pittsburgh-based legendary condiment. As for the meat, it also differed from the packaged ground beef I'm accustomed to shaping.

What does a 40-foot rubber duck have to do with Memorial Day weekend? If "Not a Josh-darned thing!" or something more creatively expletive is your immediate response, please join me as a guest at the next cookout I attend. Perhaps we'll see an inflated bag of Ball Park Flame Grilled Beef Patties covering the entire surface of the Thornton family's swimming pool. Before dealing with that monstrosity, don't hesitate to pick up a smaller-scale version of the "art" in your grocer's freezer. Once the exhibit is safely on the kitchen counter, take a burger from the bag and wrap in a paper towel. Place the contents in a microwave oven and heat for 65-75 seconds. (I always cook 'em for 80 seconds, 'cause going a bit over the limit is my style.) Remove the patty from the towel and put it on a small plate. Top the meat with your favorite cheese and nuke for 20-25 more ticks. In tandem with a Martin's Potato Roll, add extras like mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and Sharon Reams' homemade pickles if you're lucky. How's the first bite?

Of course, nothing beats a backyard burger right off Eric's spatula or from the open flame at my beloved Baron's Pub in Peanut City, but Ball Park somehow manages to simulate that next-day grilled taste with just a few keystrokes on your favorite kitchen appliance. The patty was the perfect size for an English muffin, and the cheese melted wonderfully on top. A bag of six burgers can be purchased for around $7, which is less than the price of a putrid example I recently consumed at a supposed fine-dining establishment within walking distance from my home. Heck, labeling that case study for "Restaurant Impossible" as "just-fine dining" would be a gross misrepresentation of its wares. But I digress and digest. Ball Park Flame Grilled Beef Patties are highly recommended for your next cook-in.

"BEEP!" That means brunch is ready! Whose feather boa is this? I'd feed it to the duck, but he's been deflated. What a drag...

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