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REVIEW: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt

Written by | April 21, 2014

Topics: 2 Rating, Frozen Food, Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt

Some memories are best left in their own time. Case in point: Third wave ska, Disney Afternoon cartoons, JNCO pants. Let them be. Revisiting these things is a risk, a danger to the fond nostalgia they might evoke at this point in time. This is because they are objectively poor (and memories are unreliable), composed of a multitude of components and emotions, including the way we picture our younger selves—hopeful, untainted, resilient. Memories are a trick. We’re all on the same page here, right? Memories are a trick. Got it? Good.

Cue the time machine. Sometimes it’s a phone booth, sometimes it’s a DeLorean, and sometimes it’s a British phone booth. In this case it’s a supermarket freezer, packed full of frozen treats, yearning to be consumed. The colorful packaging displaying giant carb pills chock full o’ meat ‘n dairy tantalize and beckon, ready to send you back ten, fifteen, twenty years. Whatever you like, master. Look, it’s even a fixed run! Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt. What a beaut.

Remember Hot Pockets?

Flaky crust injected with beef or pork — an inside-out pizza, a sandwich with no edges. An afternoon treat before soccer practice, or during a Mortal Kombat II jam sesh. Enjoyed with a cold Fruitopia. Mom, stop trying to make phone calls, I’m on AOL! Aw, man I got Hot Pocket all over my hip-hop Looney Toons t-shirt. I know, I know. We just went over this. Memories are lies, yeah yeah. … Eff it, we’re going back! It’s a time machine, bro. You can’t not go. It’s a time machine. Don’t be lame. Let’s do it. Start it up!

The Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt sucks. The box promises Angus beef, portabella mushrooms, provolone and mozzarella and “soft-baked bread.” The bread is soft, yes, sort of like a ciabatta or something. It’s also super soggy after the requisite minute and fifty seconds in the microwave. Maybe there’s a conventional oven plan we can put this on? The box has no instructions for that. All the best, we’ve seen microwavable burritos. We don’t have 40 minutes to sit around waiting for a Hot Pocket to thaw.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt Innards

There are a few hits of “premium meat” flavor and mushroom taste, which is somehow immediately fleeting, taken over by steaming hot filling that tastes like nothing. The photo on the box is stuffed with beef and cheese, and the bisected reality is one of a space worm from Dune that feeds on bad choices and nostalgia. The beef on the box is sliced and layered. The beef in the actual pocket is chopped into bits, resembling the leftover bits from a deli slicer. Even the box has memories that lie.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt Closeup

The worst part is that it’s not substantial at all. It barely registers as a snack. If you’re not gonna make it good to eat at least food coma us so we can dream about a Hot Pocket that is satisfying on some level. It was a bad omen when taking it out of the microwave, the Hot Pocket looked like a pet gerbil that had made a doodie mess out of its backside all over the plate. It looked shameful, like it had made a mistake. It’s not your fault, though. The mistake was all ours.

As the time travel effects wear off and we slingshot back to the present, we see a whirlwind of our past: First girlfriend, favorite teacher, Chuck Berry’s cousin Marvin Berry, wife of multiple time travelers Rachel McAdams. Reflecting on our trip, Prophet Gaffigan was right. We should have never gone back. Now the entire past is up for scrutiny. Maybe everything in the past sucks, except for Batman the Animated Series, Starter jackets, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

The question is: Did the Hot Pocket get worse, or was it never good in the first place? The answer doesn’t matter. In 2014, it’s garbage. We’re all about e-cigs, Teslas, and Google Glass now. Perhaps it was a fine product for children. But we’re adults. We’ve had sushi. We’ve eaten Ethiopian food. This is not for us anymore. Forget it, Jake. It’s Hot Pockets.

(Nutrition Facts – 270 calories, 90 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 490 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.)

Item: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt
Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 2 sandwiches/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Very cheap at a buck a piece. Maybe one bite of okay flavor.
Cons: Not substantial. Contents eventually taste like nothing, like a waste of product. Should be at least filling if not tasty, but is neither.

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QUICK REVIEW: Herdez Cocina Mexicana Chicken Mole Bowl

Written by | March 24, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Frozen Food

Herdez Chicken Mole Bowl

Purchased Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 10 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Mole sauce had a pretty accurate flavor and a little spicy kick. Great size for a work lunch. Can be microwaved thawed (so you can keep it at your desk and prevent food theft!) Most of the chicken was tender. Rice had a good, sticky texture and real cilantro taste with a hint of lime. Kudos for at least trying to make authentic-tasting frozen Mexican food.
Cons: Some of the chicken was dry. Expensive for the amount of food you get. Mole sauce could have had a stronger presence. There were bland spots in the rice. Don’t pronounce mole like the animal (it’s moe-LAY).

Herdez Chicken Mole Bowl Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 390 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,290 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 19 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 4% calcium, and 15% iron.

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QUICK REVIEW: Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Veggie Egg White English Muffin

Written by | March 21, 2014

Topics: 4 Rating, Frozen Food, Lean Cuisine

Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Veggie Egg White English Muffin

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 2 sandwiches
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Egg white is loaded with spinach and tomatoes. Has less fat, calories, and sodium than the turkey sausage version. Egg whites were fluffy. An option for vegetarians who eat eggs and cheese. If you want to be grumpy at work, this will help get you in the mood.
Cons: Not worth the 5 PointsPlus. Spinach and tomato have a disappointingly mild flavor. Egg whites should’ve had a butteriness. English muffin doesn’t get hard like it did with the turkey sausage version, but it’s still a little tough in the middle. Had the proper wattage microwave, but it didn’t heat up completely; some parts were lukewarm.

Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Veggie Egg White English Muffin Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich – 180 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 110 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 12 grams of protein, 2% vitamin A, 15% calcium, 2% vitamin C, and 10% iron.

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QUICK REVIEW: Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Wild Blueberry & Pomegranate Oatmeal

Written by | March 18, 2014

Topics: 3 Rating, Frozen Food, Lean Cuisine

Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Wild Blueberry & Pomegranate Oatmeal

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 2 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Filling. Great…if you’re desperate. Makes a decent hand warmer. Warms my innards. Low fat. Contains ingredients I can easily pronounce.
Cons: Provides just 2 grams of fiber (competing products offer 5 grams and fast food oatmeal offers at least 5 grams). Blueberry flavor is too mild. Pomegranate flavor is non-existent. End result after following microwaving instructions looks like I melted Grimace. Not a very good way to start one’s morning.

Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Wild Blueberry & Pomegranate Oatmeal Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 160 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 220 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein.

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QUICK REVIEW: Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Turkey Sausage English Muffin

Written by | March 6, 2014

Topics: 5 Rating, Frozen Food, Lean Cuisine

Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Turkey Sausage English Muffin

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 2 sandwiches/box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Edible. Not the worst way to start your morning; that would be not having toilet paper. Why does the picture below make me want to play Super Mario Land? Low fat. Good source of protein and calcium. Cheese on box front image is a realistic representation of what cheese really looks like after being microwaved.
Cons: Not the most flavorful way to start your morning. Heating instruction are a slight pain (wrap in paper towel, 30% power for 90 seconds, flip over, heat on high for 60 seconds); can’t set it and forget it. One side of the English muffin gets a bit hard after being nuked (although it does also happen with other frozen English muffin breakfast sandwiches). Yes, just one side. The other side is fine. Egg whites have no flavor; could’ve used a little butter flavor. Turkey sausage wasn’t seasoned very well.

Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Turkey Sausage English Muffin Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich – 220 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 100 milligrams of potassium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 15 grams of protein, 20% calcium and 15% iron.

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