Hot Pocket!

During my time at Notre Dame, the South Dining Hall’s kitchens were closed for renovation. Note that I wrote “kitchens.” That’s because the dining halls themselves were not closed. They were just left opened to provide students who didn’t want to trek across campus in the freezing February nights to North Dining Hall with a dining “option.” And, really, the only “option” available was Hot Pockets.

That particular year, I ate a lot of Hot Pockets, and I’m pretty sure whatever rare form of cancer eventually kills me can be traced back to my Hot Pockets diet of the late ’90s. Hot Pockets are, after all, the asbestos of the culinary world.

My favorite Hot Pocket was the “Philly Cheese Hot Pocket;” a cleverly named amalgam of processed cheese stuff, “meat parts,” and mushrooms wrapped in what I’m pretty sure is the result of a recycling process for previously recycled coffee cups. Hot Pockets were the only food I’ve willingly eaten to include mushrooms because the quality of the meat parts was so bad that I was never sure if I was eating mushroom or meat part. The plasma-like form that the innards of a Hot Pocket took on after 30 seconds in the industrialized microwaves of the South Dining Hall made any such distinctions impossible anyway.

I bring all this up because it’s the off-season, I just ran across this video on Serious Eats, and it made me oddly nostalgic for Notre Dame.

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  • Sully

    If memory serves not only were they hot pockets, but they were hot pockets warmed over a sterno. Good times, good times.


    Wow, you just gave me a very visceral flashback.

    It was clever how the only lighting they provided by those buffets came from those sterno cans. Everything was essentially back-lit.

  • Bullfrog

    I was at ND during the same time. My God, I ate so many effing chicken patties that semester.

    My other SDH flashback: I was telling my wife the other day about Lent at ND, and how the dining halls went so far as to remove the Bacos on Fridays. Bacos, I have been informed, are actually vegan.

  • Sir John

    Sounds like Yuck. Who hates mushrooms? I’m an addict. Try Shitaki done in butter and a garlic clove. As good as Steak


    Sir John,

    It’s not just as good as steak. I’ve tried it many times, always with the promise of “steak like.” It’s only steak like if your steak is soft and slimy and tastes like ground.

  • trey

    Mushrooms taste like a giant grey booger that came out of an elephant.

    Id rather have the…HOT POCKET!

  • ndalum

    Oh, man…I was in O’Neill my freshman year for the dining hall renovations. How many treks to South dining hall in the evenings did we make? And how about planning your lunch break between classes to be near North Dining Hall? Or the number of pop tarts that were eaten? Ah, good times…

  • Bad Kermit

    No love for the beef stew?

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