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This week we have another altogether new (to us) company: Main Street Kitchen. At first this company was a bit of a mystery: we bought two varieties for $1.25 each at our local Winn-Dixie, brought them to Dr. Gourmet Headquarters, and as usual did an internet search on the company to find out more about them.
This company does not have a website, although we found at least three brick-and-mortar restaurants named "Main Street Kitchen" - none of which are affiliated with a frozen food brand. The products themselves can be found online through Instacart at Albertson's and Safeway grocery stores, so presumably they're available at those grocery stores, if you have them near you.
I did note the Kraft Heinz logo on the back of the box, however, and visited their website: still nothing. The product line may be so new that they haven't yet added it to their website, an idea supported by the fact that I couldn't find any other reviews of this product line prior to July of this year.
No matter. The numbers on these meals are pretty reasonable, with the Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli coming in at 220 calories, 500 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of fiber.
The thing about Fettuccine Alfredo is that it's all about the sauce: "It's just the point of the whole dish," observed a panelist. "Everything else could be perfect, but if the sauce isn't really good, forget it."
The sauce is itself the largest ingredient in the dish, which bodes well - not enough good sauce is just as bad as enough or too much merely acceptable sauce. We were surprised to find that this is one of the best frozen Alfredo meals we've ever had: The sauce is thick and creamy with a savory roasted garlic and parmesan flavor, the broccoli is still crunchy, and perhaps most surprising, the pasta is just al dente and "almost tastes like fresh pasta - it's got that wheat flour flavor." Impressive.
With that impressive start, our expectations were fairly high for the Creamy Chicken Rigatoni, which has similar numbers at 260 calories, 590 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of fiber.
The first thing we noticed with this dish is that the sauce is much thinner than the Alfredo. The second thing we noticed is that the chicken is "oddly pink," as a panelist put it. The clearly ultra-processed, incredibly smoothly-textured chicken slices (uniformly about 1/4 inch thick), are made of "white meat chicken" and additives like tapioca starch. When tasted by themselves the chicken pieces were described by our panel as "like chicken-flavored soft rubber."
The pasta is just a little overcooked, and the sauce, well... it's thinner than we'd like. There's some basil and cheese flavor, but "nothing to get real excited about." There are five bits of broccoli - one of which is all stem. It's not bad, it's just... not as good as the Alfredo. Get that instead.
Review posted: October 11, 2019