REVIEW: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken

There have been more than a few moments throughout my life when I thought I may be going crazy, and most of them revolve around one thing: Hot Pockets.

I’ve been eating the things since they were first introduced, and, while I enjoy them, I’ve never found a flavor I fell in love with other than the four cheese one. Ugh, Four Cheese. So greasy. So bad for my stomach. BUT SO TASTY!

I would try picking up different flavors and giving them a chance, but after awhile it started to seem like an insane game to be playing, as no pocket could ever equal Four Cheese.

Four Cheese may have to worry though because a new competitor, Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken, has stepped into the ring to contend for the Trevor’s Favorite Hot Pocket Championship title belt. Or plaque. Or trophy. It’s a metaphorical award so you can picture it whatever way you want, Okay? Geez.

With my hometown being an hour away from Buffalo, NY, I’ve had every buffalo wing that’s worth eating, so it should come as no surprise I’m kind of a buffalo snob.

When I first glanced the buffalo chicken pockets, I gave a “pff,” as in, “yeah, like THEY know how to do buffalo sauce.” I usually don’t judge a book by its cover but instead the preface. In this case though, I was cover judging pretty hard. I decided to give them a chance. At the least it would provide me with a good laugh.

As is normally the case with a Hot Pocket, I got pretty enraged after it came out of the microwave. The crust broke at the side and a good-sized glob of sauce spilled out onto the plate. I swear, every goddamn time!

A pocket is supposed to hold something, yet a Hot Pocket never can seem to hold onto its contents. If my pants pockets were as reliable as a Hot Pocket, I would probably be down a good twenty dollars in change this year alone.

They should be called “Hot But Not Always Reliable Pockets, or “Hot Pocket With Holes in it.”

Damn, I should’ve considered a career in marketing. Those are genius names! Moving on.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken Top

The first thing I noticed before really paying attention to the inside of the pocket was how good the crust was. I don’t know if this has a special crust since it is limited edition but they really outdid themselves on this one. It’s very buttery and flakey, almost approaching biscuit levels in those respective categories.

At first, the sauce did not seem all that spicy to me. I remained snobbish for a few bites, listening to Chopin, reading the current edition of The New Yorker and sticking my pinky out whilst holding the Hot Pocket.

Once I reached the middle though, I silenced Chopin, closed the magazine, reunited my pinky with his its finger brethren, took a breath and said, “whoa.”

The buffalo sauce seemed more spicy/sweet than spicy at first but once you ingest enough of the sauce it really hits you. The best part is it tastes like real buffalo sauce, not some sad attempt at buffalo sauce, which I was fully expecting.

And I’m not kidding when I say it’s spicy. My forehead started getting hot towards the end of the pocket. It didn’t sweat but I think if I ate a second one it may have.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken Innards 2

The box puts emphasis on the fact that the pocket contains white meat chicken, and I will say the chicken was actually very tender. Not once did I encounter a piece of grizzle that I’ve found in other Hot Pockets with chicken in them.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken Innards

The one big complaint I have, other than post-microwave pocket breach, is that the pocket seemed to be under-stuffed. When I eat one of my precious four cheese pockets, it is PACKED with filling. There was easily room for a little more. Maybe some type of cheese, like a blue or provolone?

Well, I guess finding another Hot Pocket I can enjoy along with Four Cheese proves my sanity! I have to go stick it to my Yu Darvish bobblehead. He always calls me crazy and hurls insults at me like, “Hey, Trevor. Can you hear me? Of course you can! Your big ears could pick up radio signals!”

Damn talking bobblehead. I’ll show him. I’m not crazy. Crazy cool, maybe!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 280 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.)

Item: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Buffalo Style Chicken
Purchased Price: $1.87
Size: 2 sandwiches
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Top-tier crust. Buffalo sauce was very tasty with a nice spicy kick. Yu Darvish bobblehead. Being totally sane.
Cons: Could’ve had more filling. Post-microwave pocket breach. Mean big ear jokes.

REVIEW: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Angus Beef Melt

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.

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

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.

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

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.

QUICK REVIEW: Lean Cuisine Morning Collection Turkey Sausage English Muffin

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.