Friday, June 15, 2012

You Gonna Eat That?

Denise and Margaret
Sometimes it pays to have connections, be an insider, rub elbows with the elite especially here in LA/Hollywood. It's all about who you know and naturally, I know a lot of people who are very well connected. Well all that networking finally paid off this week! My dear friend Laura from Beverly Hill . . . I mean, San Antonio is promoting a new product. We met back in college at USC, and by that I mean high school in Texas. Ok so we were on the flag team and lost touch after high school but we DID find each other again in LA! That part is true. Turns out we are both in PR and were promoting an event that her client was participating in. Small world huh? Lucky for me, we kept in touch and many, many, years later, she sends me a box full of free sandwiches courtesy of Raybern Foods! SCORE! Aside from being a fatty, I'm also a foodie so consider this my first official food blog.

The loot
When she first pitched me the idea of sandwiches I wasn't very enthused until she mentioned the care that went into selecting the bread and the natural ingredients. This is LA after all, no processed glucosamazoids in my food please! Like really, gag me with a biodegradable spork! I gathered a few of my coworkers, Denise, Loni, Margaret, and Tessie, aka, the lunch ladies, and told them lunch was on me. The day was sunny and warm as I lugged the dry-ice infused box over to the lunch table, pulled out the neatly wrapped subs, admired the bright label graphics, read the instructions. Oh, we have to microwave these things? Hmm, that doesn't sound appetizing. So off we go back indoors with cold sandwiches in hand. Nuked them for 1.5 to 3 minutes. As each second of microzapping passed, my heart sank. It's going to taste like cardboard and slime, I thought.

I proceeded to divide the generous subs into quarters so we could each try several varieties including what is touted as the bestselling Philly Cheesesteak sandwich in America, Ham & Cheddar, Pastrami & Cheese, Chicken Philly, and Chicken Bacon Ranch. If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I'm completely obliterating my diet here with all this bread, cheese, and beef, but in the interest of market research, I'll make the sacrifice.

According to Raybern, the company was started in 1978 by two guys named Ray and Bernie. It took one year for the company to develop their patented bread recipe that cooks 'bakery soft' in the microwave. In the company’s quest to perfect their recipes, Bernie taste-tested sauces, meats and breads on his family – including son Chad who continues with the company today. Raybern’s makes a million sandwiches a week by hand in California. The rest of the country has been enjoying these bites for years and now they're hitting the SoCal market!

Me and Loni, first bites.
So let the tasting begin! First impressions, not bad. It's very cheesy, the bread is soft. Hey, what is that I taste? Could it be? Is it . . . flavor?? What happened to the cardboard? Nothing nuked could possibly be this soft and delicious. I was so ready not to like it that it took a moment to realize that these sandwiches are actually pretty good. I tried the Chicken Bacon Ranch and as Denise said, "Cheese and bacon make everything good." I agree! The consensus was a resounding thumbs up! Everyone had a favorite but what impressed us the most was how well they held up in the microwave. The idea of these heat and go meals appealed to all of us. Margaret said she'd take them along on a road trip. Although the cheese was very melted, they weren't as messy as they first appeared. I suggested buying up a few for small gatherings or as additions to a BBQ and slicing them up to put on party platters. Loni said they'd be perfect for Super Bowl. We agreed that even guys would like them and would fill their manly appetites, well almost. At 320 calories per serving (two servings per sandwich) we also thought it wouldn't break your diet. 640 calories for lunch, plus my cup of fruit and ice tea, not bad. The only thing missing from these tasty delights are the veggies. I was craving some jalapeño slices in my Philly and Loni thought grilled veggies would be a nice addition.

Margaret's top picks were the Chicken Philly and the Ham & Cheese. She thought the Chicken Bacon Ranch was just ok although she has this weird aversion to packaged meat so if she were to buy it in the store, she'd choose chicken.

Denise liked the Pastrami & Cheese the best. It had a good flavor particularly with the dijon mustard. She loves stronger spices. I have to give it up to Denise though. If I thought I was sacrificing my diet, she's actually 99% vegetarian. So thanks for allotting your 1% of meat-eating to me and my blog! Now I'm really glad the sandwiches were good!
 Loni's favorite was also the Pastrami & Cheese as well as the Philly Cheesesteak. She liked that you could see the spices in the sandwich with specks of black pepper throughout. The cheese was not overly processed. "You could tell it was cheese!"

Tessie (on the right) also favored the Pastrami & Cheese as well as the Ham & Cheddar and the Chicken Bacon Ranch. She felt that the stronger flavors like pastrami work better in a frozen sandwich. We all agreed!

As for me, I like it all! If I had to choose my favorite would be the Ham & Cheese and the Chicken Bacon Ranch. What can I say, I love pork!

So now you heard what we had to say. Now go try it for yourself. Raybern's frozen sandwiches are now available at your local SoCal Target stores. Plus, like Raybern on Facebook and get your $1.00-off coupon! Retail is a pack of 2 for $3.99, yes two!!. Not a bad price considering lunch can cost well into and past the ten dollar range anywhere now-a-days. Thank you Laura for sending us such a yummy lunch! Ahh, the glamorous life! Gotta love it!


  1. The hubster will be trying them out soon. Happy to hear that he's to expect good things!

  2. Great! Don't forget the dollar off coupon on Facebook.