She may have simply been trying to upsell me, which is uncharacteristic for a TJ's employee, but the checkout lady suggested I try these patties with sweet chili sauce, implying that their flavor wasn't particularly pleasant on their own. I politely declined, mainly because I didn't want to lose my place in line, but I got to thinking, "these patties must be really bland." Later, I found a comment or two online supporting that sentiment. Uh oh. Let's have some hot sauce on stand-by, just in case.
Next morning, I woke up hungry. Lacking other breakfast options, I decided to brave these veggie patties for my morning meal. I opted for the stove top heating method. I readied my skillet with a bit of olive oil and opened the package to find...orange hockey pucks. Not especially enticing. Not particularly appetizing. But I proceeded nonetheless.
After a full 12 minutes on medium heat, my patty began to brown. It had sopped up all but a few drops of the above-mentioned olive oil and was looking far more edible than it had straight out of the box. I decided to try it sans condiments. I braced myself for disappointment...and perhaps even disgust...
But what I tasted were all the ingredients of a delicious breakfast burrito, minus the tortilla, all smooshed together in a little round veggie patty. Not sensational, but not unpleasant in the slightest. Eggs, potatoes, onions...and of course peas and carrots, all right there, toasty warm and pre-seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper. I mean, the olive oil certainly helped, too. But I didn't even feel the need for hot sauce. In fact, I tried it with a little Tapatio later on, and sure, it gave the veggies a nice hot kick, but honestly, I preferred the patty plain. I did wrap it in a soft flour tortilla and made a proper burrito, but I was quite happy to let this product stand on its own.
Texture-wise, there were small pieces of soft carrots and peas, and all the other ingredients were scarcely more than an indiscriminate mush. But as a breakfast burrito, it worked. It didn't want to keep its puck-like circular shape at all. It wanted to fall all to pieces—just another reason to serve it in a tortilla, if you ask me. When it comes to food, Mexican-Americans are very practical people. And being married to one has its perks...like almost always having hot sauce and/or some sort of tortillas on hand.
Would this product work as a veggie burger? No way. It's not hearty enough. It's not firm enough. It certainly wouldn't pair well with traditional burger condiments. And there's absolutely no indication that this product is trying to imitate meat. Not even fake meat. But as a breakfast burrito-filler substitute, it's got my seal of approval. Less than $2 for four patties? This might even be a repeat purchase. Sonia liked it too, and she remarked that it was much more flavorful than she expected it to be. Double fours here.
Bottom line: 8 out of 10.