Retro Memories : TV Dinners

Back in the 70’s and 80’s the TV dinner was something of a weekly tradition. Sure, mom would make meals from her meal-plan most of the week, but a couple of days; Friday and Saturday night usually, dinner came in an aluminum tray.

Back in the 70’s it was Mean Joe Greene pushing “Hungry Man” dinners on TV that kind of made it okay to not slave in the kitchen a couple nights a week.

Someone needs to tell Mean Joe he’s letting all of the cold out of the freezer… You do it.

And in the 80’s, with the addition of the microwave and microwave-safe TV dinner trays, it became even more okay… I mean, you bought a microwave, and they make microwave meals to put in said microwave, so – why not?

The 80’s even had TV dinner brand warfare… I recall “The Budget Gourmet” being a big deal around our house…

Anyway, the reason for this trip down questionable culinary memory lane is that today I found a local restaurant that is making old-school TV dinners, but with higher quality ingredients…

Same partitioned foil, same cardboard cover, way better taste and texture.

I gather the reason for this menu expansion is the controllavirus… See – no one was allowed to go into a restaurant for several months last year, and even now places that pay the state extortion fee can only open at 50% capacity… So, you have a restaurant, and freezers full of food, and a staff to prepare that food, but you can’t serve it because zombies – what to do?

Apparently you buy a truckload of to-go tins and have the cardboard lids printed – and presto! Retro TV Dinners!

Anyway, these are really great and are basically what you see on the cover. They’re old-school in that they require a 350 degree oven and 30 minutes to an hour to prepare, like the TV dinners of yore – but the time is definitely worth it.

They run $10 a piece (or cheaper by the half-dozen) and you can get them at