These are just your average cocktail beef franks. Nothing special, nothing terrible. The only complaint I have about these things is that after you bake them, they are not visually appealing. The instructions state to place each beef frank on the baking tray seam side down. This is likely to prevent the puff pastry separating from the beef frank. Unfortunately, there were almost always about half my beef franks were not fully wrapped by the puff pastry after baking, even though I followed the instructions and they were all fully wrapped before baking. This is likely due to an insufficient amount of puff pastry used in wrapping each beef frank.
This is admittedly a minor complaint and does not take away from the product as a whole. If you want beef franks and don’t care about how they look, this will do just fine.
Artisan Appetizers are part of BJ’s own Wellsley Farms brand of products that they exclusively sell in their own stores. The quality of these products are usually pretty good and the prices reasonable. This applies to this item as well.
Worth mentioning is that this — like with most of these frozen appetizers — requires an oven. Microwaves are not able to prepare this the way it was intended. Toaster or convection ovens are also not useful.
As with most baking, you need to decide whether it’s done by looking at it. Not all ovens are the same and if you rely solely on the recommended baking time, it may end up over or under cooked.
The product itself comes with three baking-safe trays, each filled with a different type of appetizer: apple fig brie; cheese and caramelized onion; and chicken pot pie. Each individual appetizer is comprised of filling set in puff pasty.
The onion and cheese one is mostly just cheese. It tastes like a cheese ball with little to no onion flavor. This was very easy easy to overcook. I recommend following the stated bake time strictly.
The apple fig brie is pretty good in that you can really taste the apple/fig and the brie. There’s a tiny bit of apple, more fig puree/jam, and a lot of brie cheese. It’s a good combination as the tanginess of the brie goes well with the sweetness of the apple/fig. When I followed the baking time, it came out a little under cooked. I recommend overcooking past the recommended time for a few minutes.
The chicken pot pie was the plainest of the three. It just taste like a slightly under seasoned chicken pot pie. Nothing above average and nothing terrible about it.
Overall, this was pretty good, but I’m not sure I would purchase it again. It is certainly convenient if you’re having a small party, especially considering that it comes in ready to bake trays. The taste just isn’t amazing. I could eat may be one or two of each flavor before not wanting to eat anymore. On the other hand, this may be exactly what you’d want as an appetizer. You don’t want something your guests will go to town on. You want something they will lightly snack on before the main course.
I had a coupon for these things at BJ’s and I figured I’d give them a try.
The first thing you should know is that these are not microwavable. That means that you’re going to have to preheat your oven and bake them for around twelve minutes (as recommended by the packaging). That’s not a long time, but it’s too much for me. For me, frozen food is food of last resort. It’s food I eat when I am at my most lazy and desperate. I want to plunk my food in the microwave, hit some buttons and get a mediocre product that will satisfy my hunger. Preheating an oven for fifteen minutes before putting the food in for another twelve minutes and then putting on a glove and taking the hot tray out while trying to avoid burning myself is simply too much hassle. I will not be purchasing these things again for personal consumption. I would buy these again to feed some guests at a party though.
The taste is pretty good. Specifically, the cheese they use is pretty good. It’s a blend of mostly cream cheese and parmesan cheese. It’s taste like a mini Philly cheesesteak in spring roll form.
Another thing to keep in mind is that according to the back of the box, this isn’t true steak but “fabricated steak.” Not sure what that means, but it tastes like it’s mostly ground beef. It’s hard to tell with such a heavy cheese flavor.
Overall, these things were pretty good. The taste is there and I think these things would be nice to serve at a small party. I would not buy them as an anytime-snack for myself though. There are simply too many competing frozen products that are equally tasty but that do not require preheating my oven.