We Proofed $2 Parking Lot Steaks
Many of us love a good steak. But steak is expensive, with filet mignon selling for up to $25 a pound in grocery stores.
Thus, several traveling steak sales that take place in parking lots across the country attract many budget-conscious shoppers.
Advertisements and sign on tent advertise 20 rib eye steaks for only $40.
What you get when you visit the sale
We wanted to know what kind of steak you can get for two bucks these days.
So we entered the tent, where we were immediately planted with more than just a $40 box of ribeyes.
A vendor tried to sell us $300 worth of various frozen steaks, which he then agreed to download for only $200, with the $40 rib eye tossed free.
But after explaining to me that I only had $40, he finally agreed to sell me a box of 20 small frozen rib eye steaks.
Before leaving the parking lot, we showed off our loot to mall patrons.
Jennifer Wright and Shauna Parks weren’t too impressed.
“It looks like a hamburger patty,” Parks said. “It doesn’t look like a steak I would eat, honestly.”
But appearances aside, are they any good?
The grill test
We decided there was no better way to find out than to go to a good steak and burger restaurant and grill them one.
So we headed to a nearby steakhouse to compare our parking lot rib eye with a $10 supermarket rib eye we picked up at the grocery store that morning.
Chef Rob Nugent opened the parking lot steak, noting that it was “really small and really thin”.
Nugent threw both over the flame, where our thin parking lot steak was eclipsed by the store’s ribeye.
It cooked in just a few minutes.
“It was really fast,” Nugent said. The ribeye from the grocery store took another 5 minutes.
Outside in the dining room, I put on my towel, took off my face mask and dug in.
It tasted like…meat. It was a little crispy, but edible.
But the ribeye from the grocery store was juicy, tender and flavorful. It looked and tasted like an expensive steakhouse cut in comparison.
Who is behind the steak sale?
There is no single seller of these steaks.
Several small businesses run these sales, criss-crossing the country, according to dispatches, selling commercial-grade steaks to schools, prisons and other places in need of cheap meat.
We found a number of complaints from the Better Business Bureau nationwide about the steak show we visited, which appeared to be at someone’s home in Mississippi.
A complaint says “poor quality meat,“another saying “I don’t know what kind of meat it is.”
Several people have complained about having trouble getting a refund after spending $100 or more.
But the label on our box says it’s USDA beef, with 15% tenderizing solution added.
Ultimately, this is not a scam, just a case of getting what you pay for.
Some reviewers say these two-dollar rib eye steaks are an inexpensive way to make cheesesteak sandwiches or a beef stir-fry.
This way you don’t analyze them closely and waste your money.
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