Marvo covered Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers back in January, and now I’m here to tell you about the other SideShots: Sloppy Joes.
If you’re anything like me, and most people in this country probably are, the majority of your sloppy joe experiences have come from a pound of ground beef, a can of Manwich, and some cheap generic hamburger buns. In other words, you were a poor college student or a stoner. Or both.
I haven’t had sloppy joes in at least a few years, but I remember them being messy and guiltily tasty. As your bun falls apart two seconds after you ladle on the Manwich mixture and your face and hands get covered in tangy tomato sauce, you get the feeling that you are a little too old for eating something this cheap and messy. Messy ribs at a great barbecue joint? Acceptable. Messy $1 can of tomato mix? Unacceptable. Growing up sucks.
According to the official SideShots website, “Thanks to the mini soft-baked bun, Sloppy Joes no longer requires [sic] a fork for spillage.” Bad grammar aside, perhaps Hot Pockets has come up with a solution for us adults to enjoy sloppy joes without the sloppy. Microwaving two SideShots only takes a minute and 45 seconds, perfect for a rushed lunch at the office. Of course, there’s still the fact that you’re eating Hot Pockets. I don’t know if you noticed, but all the other grown-ups brought Lean Cuisines. You better hope they don’t find out about your adult Underoos.
The SideShots come in two packages of two. I found that two of them worked well for me as a sort of half-snack half-meal, but someone with a less delicate, feminine appetite could probably eat the whole box and call it a day.
What I didn’t expect when I opened the box is that the two SideShots per pack come attached to each other. My immediate thought was, of course, “BOOBS!” Then I read through Marvo’s review and saw that he’d already made a bra joke, totally destroying my bun pun.
Hot Pockets SideShots are in late telophase of the microwaveable snack mitosis cycle, wherein each individual SideShot has developed its own distinct sloppy joe nucleus and a bready cell plate has formed between the two. Cytokinesis occurs after the brief heating period has been completed, when the consumer of the SideShots separates the two distinct meaty cells by means of some type of knife or other device capable of cutting them in twain.
Now don’t you wish I’d just shouted “BOOBS!” instead?
My SideShots smelled pretty good when they got out of the microwave. The bread was aromatic, and the innards had a generic sloppy joe smell to them. The enjoyment pretty much ended there, though. While the bread was really soft and had a texture I didn’t think any Hot Pockets product could achieve, the sloppy joe mixture itself left much to be desired. The tomato sauce tasted like a mixture of ketchup and Chef Boyardee Spaghetti-Os sauce. The little bits of meat looked like rabbit pellets and were incredibly mushy. When I isolated one and tried it without the sauce, it had absolutely no flavor, which is disturbing, since there was a taste of beef when I took a bite of the whole thing. Must be something they hid in the sauce.
I decided to take a look at the ingredient list, and found some unsettling phrases, like “cooked beef patty crumble” (contains 13 sub-ingredients), “dough conditioner” (I did notice the silky smooth surface of the bread!), and “dried egg yolks” (that just sounds wrong). There were promising ingredients in there, like green peppers, onions, and garlic powder (the former two were listed under the “contains less than 2% of” section), but very little of the spices and flavorings like these that you would expect to find in a sloppy joe actually came though.
When I said earlier that “I found that two of them worked well for me as a sort of half-snack half-meal,” I was speaking strictly from a fullness standpoint, not a flavor perspective. Hot Pockets SideShots Sloppy Joe aren’t awful, they’re just substandard and, frankly, taste juvenile. It seems like the same type of person who would glean enjoyment out of a cup of Easy Mac would enjoy this product. Maybe I underestimated Manwich after all.
(Nutrition Facts – 2 buns – 270 calories, 70 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 710 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% calcium, 20% thiamine, 8% vitamin B12, 20% folic acid, 15% iron, 10% riboflavin, 15% niacin and 10% phosphorus.)
Item: Hot Pockets SideShots Sloppy Joes
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Bun was soft. Mitosis. Cooks up fast. Boobs. Bun contains the filling without spillage. Kids would probably love the taste.
Cons: Beef was mushy, flavorless and looked like rabbit pellets. Adult Underoos. Sauce was disappointing and lacked sloppy joe flavors. Growing up. “Dried egg yolks.”