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REVIEW: Burger King Big King (2013)

Written by | November 19, 2013

Topics: 2 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

Burger King Big King

For every Diablo II, there is a Titan Quest. For every Bruce Lee, you get a Bruce Li (or a Bruce Leung if you’re really unfortunate). And for every Volcano, you are tortured by a Dante’s Peak. Is it me or am I the only who laughed when that old lady was screaming in that boiling lake? The melting legs in Volcano were funny too, but at least it had Anne Heche when she was “librarian-hot.”

They say people believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (Run-on sentence warning.) I say people who say that are secretly wishing to bury a pickaxe into the skull of the imitation rather than spew some bullshit silver lining sayings.

Burger King’s Big King isn’t so much an imitation as it is more of a dare to size up a corporate “Who’s penis is bigger?” argument. The name itself, Big King, is a figurative flaming arrow shot Rambo-way at a certain clown who hawks a particular legendary two all-beef patties sandwich.

But if you plan on taking down a legend, you need to bring more than just empty talk.

You see, I envision this as a bonus stage in Mortal Kombat II, complete with a pixelated voice shouting “Round One, FIGHT!” and the secret blood code unlocked. It’s Big King versus Big Mac! (Cue the underrated Utah Saints’ remix of Mortal Kombat theme song.)

Then I picture the sap playing as Big King watching in silence as he is being barraged by multiple point punches. Soon, computerized shouts of “Toasty!” and “Flawless” pepper the air as the digitalized lettuce and pickles start flying around. Of course, the player smashes the Playstation controller onto the cold tile and walks out.

I believe Big King was introduced in the 90’s, the decade that brought such embarrassments like the soul patch, nipples on Batman’s suit or The Spin Doctors. However, not everything in the 90’s was bad, but Big King will make you think otherwise.

As you can imagine, Big King is two savory fire-grilled beef patties, special sweet thousand island sauce, lettuce, melted American cheese, crunchy pickles, crispy onions in a sesame seed bun. Don’t try to hum that tune while saying that because it won’t work. If you don’t detect the difference, your taste buds will certainly alert you to it.

The burger, to say at the very least, made me contemplate suicide after I poisoned all my goldfish by dropping an Alka-Seltzer in the bowl while listening to Interpol. Dramatic I know, but this burger was a complete Hindenburg disaster.

Burger King Big King Ooze

Upon examination, there was so much sauce. It was dripping off the sides like a glazed donut. The burger patties were dry and thin, like those cheap chocolate chip cookies you get from a subpar travel lodge. True to form in my experience, the cheese was not melted and limp. Yet, the lettuce and onions were abundant and crisp, and those pickles crunched like a sonata. Maybe those passive-aggressive people are right, there is a damned silver lining in everything!

Burger King Big King Topless 2

When I took my first bite, I wanted to throw it away angrily or 80’s-style wrestler stomp it on the ground. All I could taste was the tangy thousand-island dressing that had too much mayonnaise, the intense briny edge of the pickles and flavorless (but crispy) iceberg lettuce. If the sesame bun was toasted, I had no clue because it was soggy and disgusting. It was like eating a sweet mayonnaise and lettuce sandwich. The onions didn’t even add much, except depression.

The sauce drowned out everything. It doesn’t help the beef patties were wafer-thin as if it were pretending to be carpaccio and the flavorless lettuce only emphasized the sole flavor of sweet and tangy globs of mayonnaise.

I was so angry, the onion rings couldn’t even make me happy. Instead I smashed it with my fists and Frisbee’d the offensive sandwich into my neighbor’s lawn.

Burger King’s promise that “Taste is King” on its bags is akin to the corner escort who says “I love you long time.” I’m all for an alternative, but sometimes the old adage rings true…the original is sometimes better. Unless you’re talking about 2008’s Rambo, which I hate to admit, it kicks First Blood out of the jungle.

(Nutrition Facts – 510 calories, 29 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugar, 18 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Big King
Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: The lettuce and pickles were crunchy. Jet Li. You will be find comfort being assured that McDonald’s still trumps in all other special sauce sandwiches. Unlocking the blood code and stomping things 80’s wrestler style.
Cons: Too much sauce. Cheese not melted. Bruce Li. Thin and dry patties. The onion rings won’t save you. Smashing your controller in a fit of rage as an adult.

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REVIEW: Burger King Satisfries

Written by | September 25, 2013

Topics: 6 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

Burger King Satisfries

I have to admit “Satisfries” is a very clever name for Burger King’s latest addition to their sides menu. Or perhaps I should say its name gratifries my wordplay bone. Yes, I could fill this review with words that end with -fries, but the thought of that probably horrifries many. So this sentence signifries the end of me using anymore words I’ve made up using the suffix -fries.

Burger King’s Satisfries look like your typical crinkle-cut fries, but it’s what you don’t see that’s being promoted heavily by the fast food company. According to Burger King’s website in a big, bold font, Satisfries have 40 percent less fat and 30 percent less calories than McDonald’s fries. They also have 20 percent less calories and 25 percent less fat than Burger King’s classic fries, even though they’re cooked in the same fryers, same oil, for the same amount of time as the non-crinkled fries.

So what fast food magic allows Satisfries to have less fat and calories? According to Burger King, these new fries use a less porous batter to keep out more oil during cooking. So how are these crinkle-cut fries that sound like they’ve been through a culinary Oxy acne treatment?

I like them. In fact, I like them more than BK’s classic fries. Although, to be honest, I don’t think too highly of them.

Burger King Satisfries Innards

They have a better potato flavor than Burger King’s classic fries and because they’re thicker there’s a lot of hot and fluffy goodness inside. It’s almost as if they’ve been stuffed with mashed potatoes. Satisfries go great with ketchup (and Burger King’s Zesty sauce) and have a pleasant crisp exterior, however I think BK’s classic fries are crispier and salted better. The first few Satisfries I ate were salted well, but as I made my way through the sleeve, they seemed to be less salty.

However, while Satisfries have significantly less calories and fat than McDonald’s fries, I don’t think they have the flavor to make my taste buds crave them instead of McDonald’s starchy offering. They taste too similar to the frozen crinkle-cut fries I can prepare in my oven.

Burger King Satisfries Classic Fries

You also have to pay a premium for them. They’re 10 to 30 cents more expensive than Burger King’s classic fries and there’s an upcharge if you want them with your value meal.

Personally, I think Burger King should make their Satisfries the same price as their classic fries and then have the two battle it out for the hearts and wallets of consumers. The product that sells better wins and becomes Burger King’s only fries and the loser is banished from the fast food world and promises to never return, not even for a limited time, joining Burger King’s pre-2011 fries and The King mascot.

I hope Burger King’s Satisfries sell well and takes its rightful place as the fast food chain’s default fries. They’re better tasting, better for you, and have a better name than their classic fries. Also, having two different fries on the menu that have almost the same flavor profile stupefries me.

Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

(Nutrition Facts – medium size – 340 calories, 120 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Satisfries
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Medium
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Better potato flavor than Burger King’s classic fries. Clever name. Less calories and fat than McDonald’s fries and BK’s classic fries. Hot and fluffy innards. Crispy exterior. Not using diversifries, exemplifries, and identifries in this review.
Cons: Pricier than Burger King’s classic fries. Not as crispy and salty as BK’s classic fries. Still not as good as McDonald’s fries. Autocorrect correcting every attempt to type Satisfries.

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REVIEW: Burger King French Fry Burger

Written by | September 4, 2013

Topics: 6 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

Burger King French Fry Burger

Remember when Burger King’s slogan was, “Have it your way”?

I do. Actually, I’ll never forget because it’s tattooed on my mind. And that mind tattoo is burned in a dark part of my head where evil thoughts roam, revenge run free, and horrible pop song lyrics hibernate until they decide to pop into my consciousness at odd times. Anger is what prevents the slogan from moving into the pop culture ether in another part of my head.

The slogan has been there for many years because I could not get a Whopper made my way. All I wanted was some French fries on my Whopper, but the cashier said I couldn’t do that. And the manager who was listening to our conversation also said I couldn’t do that. Blurting out their slogan over and over again using various tones probably didn’t help. Although, now that I think about it, I was kind of being a prick by testing the system.

Epiphany!

Catharsis!

Anger released!

Ohhhh. “Have it your way” moving to the pop culture ether in another area of my mind, where it’ll float with other useless information that will come in handy during trivia or while doing icebreaker worksheets.

Burger King French Fry Burger Innards

While it may not be a Whopper topped with French fries, the Burger King French Fry Burger comes pretty close. It’s topped with a fire-grilled beef patty, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, and, of course, French fries. Because the French Fry Burger is a value menu item, don’t expect a pile of fries. Actually, don’t expect any particular number of fries because it seems to vary. I ordered two of them and both came with three fries. Our friends over at Grub Grade had one with four fries and Man Reviews Food received one with six fries.

(Note: Let us know in the comments how many fries were in your Burger King French Fry Burger.)

The sandwich has that signature Burger King beef flavor that comes with every Whopper…and every burp after eating a Whopper. With both burgers I purchased, the mayo to ketchup ratio significantly leaned more towards the former. I was hoping there would be more ketchup, since, you know, ketchup and fries go together like suits and ties; clouds and skies; and poop and flies.

If you order through the drive-thru or get your food to go, there’s a 100 percent chance the fries in the sandwich will be soggy by the time you wrap your mouth around it. But when you do get around to eating it, the fries will provide a noticeable fluffy starchiness that no sesame seed bun could provide. However, what isn’t noticeable is a potato flavor, which seems to get lost between the gloops of mayonnaise and ketchup. Perhaps six fries might’ve helped with that.

Overall, I think the French Fry Burger is tasty, but its nonexistent French fry flavor makes it tastes too similar to a Whopper. To me, the only appeal of Burger King’s French Fry Burger is the fact it’s only a dollar (or $1.19 here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). Its cheap price probably makes it taste better than the fries do.

(Nutrition Facts – 360 calories, 170 calories from fat, 19 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 490 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.)

Other Burger King French Fry Burger reviews:
Grub Grade
Man Reviews Food

Item: Burger King French Fry Burger
Purchased Price: $1.19*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Only a dollar at most Burger King locations. A tasty, cheap sandwich. Something to buy when I don’t feel like eating a McDonald’s McDouble. Letting go of anger.
Cons: The three fries in each of my burgers didn’t provide a noticeable potato flavor. Inconsistent number of fries among fast food bloggers. If you order it to go, there’s a good chance the fries will be soggy. Tastes too much like a Whopper. Muttering “Have it your way” in my sleep. Whopper burps.

*because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean we sometimes pay more for things.

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REVIEW: Burger King Rib Sandwich

Written by | May 19, 2013

Topics: 8 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

Burger King Rib Sandwich

It was a late night at the office. Outside my window, the occasional crack of thunder broke through the sound of unrelenting rain. I sat at my desk, furiously tapping away at the typewriter, working on reviews of the latest food items to hit the streets. Suddenly, the phone rang.

It was a stranger. He spoke low, almost whispering, his voice shrouded in mystery.

Me: Hello?

Stranger: Is this a secure line?

Me: Yes.

There was a pause.

Stranger: I heard you’ve been having cravings…for the McRib.

Ah, the McRib. That elusive barbecue pork sandwich sold only periodically by McDonald’s restaurants. Unfortunately, McRib season had recently ended, and my stomach growled with a hunger that could only be sated by one special sandwich.

Me: Keep your voice down! McRib season is over. There’s nothing for me to do.

Stranger: I’ve got something you should see. Meet me in the alleyway on Fourth and Main. No cops.

The stranger hung up the phone. I put out my cigarette and grabbed my trench coat and fedora. No good detective – I mean, food writer – leaves without his fedora.

I thought about the call. Could this shady stranger possibly be a McRib dealer, peddling pork sandwiches as addictive as crack cocaine? Or might his product be a cheap, low-grade imitation? There was only one way to find out.

I waited in the alleyway for the stranger. Just as I began growing impatient, I saw him appear, his identity masked by the shadows. He handed me an unmarked white bag.

Stranger: It’s not a McRib, but try it. You won’t be disappointed.

Suddenly, the stranger ran off. In the poorly lit alleyway, I had difficulty seeing what he looked like, but as he fled, I noticed the faint outline of a crown upon his head.

Ah, The Burger King. We meet again.

Burger King Rib Sandwich Wrapper

Back at my office, I opened the bag and found the new BK Rib Sandwich, a barbecue pork sandwich available for a limited time on Burger King’s new summer menu.

I must admit, I had high expectations. Could the new BK Rib Sandwich possibly compete with my beloved McRib? Wide-eyed with anticipation, I unwrapped my sandwich…

Burger King Rib Sandwich Top View

The first thing I noticed about the BK Rib Sandwich was its appearance. Unlike the McRib, which has a wider-shaped roll, the BK Rib Sandwich is served on a standard hamburger bun. Upon removing the top, we find pickles and a rather square-shaped pork patty, complete with appetizing grill marks. Though the sandwich seems a little flatter than the McRib, the pork on the BK Rib Sandwich just looks better than the pork slab found on the McRib.

But enough about the looks. Taste will be the determining factor for this sandwich.

Burger King Rib Sandwich Pork Closeup

Biting into the BK Rib Sandwich, I instantly noticed the pork flavor: it has a much more vibrant smokiness compared to the McRib. As a result, it feels more like I’m eating authentic pork and less like I’m eating a processed pork product. Furthermore, the barbecue sauce is truly enjoyable. Though the sauce might not be as noticeably tangy as the McRib sauce, it is sweet nonetheless, and even has a pleasant spiciness which I was not expecting. After a few bites, I noticed the heat of the burger. The burn is not overwhelming, though; the sauce of the BK Rib Sandwich has the perfect amount of kick to complement its sweetness.

Sadly, I feel that the pickles found on my sandwich took the back seat to the rib flavor. The sweetness of the pickles was often masked by the flavor of the barbecue sauce and pork. This was a little unexpected, as the pork patty wasn’t completely slathered in sauce. In addition, the sandwich completely lacked onions, which happen to be my favorite part of the McRib. Onions would have been a definite improvement for the BK Rib Sandwich.

So how does the BK Rib Sandwich fare against the McRib? Well, that’s a tough question. Both sandwiches have their strengths. I love what the onions and pickles do for the McRib, but the lack of onions and the masked pickle taste are definite drawbacks. However, I prefer the barbecue sauce on the BK Rib Sandwich due to its combination of sweetness and spiciness.

Overall, the BK Rib Sandwich was delicious, and I hope it will be seen as more than just a substitution for the McRib. Will I ever eat another McRib? Yes, it’s inevitable. It’s a classic! And I truly hope that the sandwich returns with Burger King’s summer menu next year.

(Nutrition Facts – 560 calories, 31 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1530 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugar, 24 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Rib Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.25
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Spicy barbecue sauce. Smoky pork flavor. Grill marks. Meeting strangers in alleyways.
Cons: Pickle flavor is masked. No onions!

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REVIEW: Burger King Donut Holes

Written by | April 19, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

BK Doughnut Holes

I’ve developed a few personal rules about breakfast:

Don’t mix orange juice with coffee.

Don’t put grapefruit in the omelette.

Don’t put broccoli in the chocolate ice cream.

If you want a donut, get one.

The last of these, while the seemingly simplest of the bunch, is not always easy. When the craving for a rotund chunk of fried dough strikes, there’s no stopping it, but, in a city where the only fresh-made Krispy Kreme is in an underground cement “garden” and the price of artisan donuts could empty the bank, it’s easy to find yourself stranded in lower Manhattan without a reasonably priced fried dough option in sight…but what’s this?! Burger King offering me instant puffs of fried dough?

Look at that receipt

It proposed such unknown…and yet such happiness. And are we to deny ourselves potential happiness for fear of the unknown? Nay, dear readers! We are not chicken-bellied fools! We boldly go forth and pursue happiness!

Doughnut hole secret identity

It may be a Whopper box, but you can’t fool me!

Pully-aparty donuts

You donuts and your secret identities.

I take a bite and, ahhh, yes, warm donut holes. Or rather, doughy, cube-like shapes. Nothing scary at all. At the same time, nothing too spectacular. On first bite, the dough is warm and a bit chewy, the glaze sticky and sugary. This is a yeast dough, to be sure, somewhat reminiscent of the cross between a grocery store donut and a brioche roll.

However, this joyous experience is time-sensitive. Give these suckers two minutes and the dough takes on taste and texture of a frozen Pillsbury dinner roll that’s been put in the microwave a few seconds. The eating process gets to be a bit of a calisthenic session for the jaw.

The glaze was simple enough, tasting mostly of sugar, sugar, and sugar, a one-note satisfaction to which I’m especially keen on, although I wouldn’t have argued if a little vanilla or cinnamon showed up in there. Both in the warm and cool phases, the glaze remained sticky. I was hoping this sugary patina may dry and crackle along the edges like a Krispy Kreme, but it remained shiny and thin as the wax on a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa at a car show.

Sad piece of dry dough

One of the more frustrating qualities of fast food restaurants is the 10:30 breakfast shutdown. Oh, the days that have passed where my 4:30 p.m. sausage biscuit craving is left unfulfilled! Luckily, BK put these donut holes on their all-day menu, so, if the craving hits, you can trust BK will be there with your yeast rolls and sugar.

But, overall, I don’t think I’m up to buying these again. Maybe it was the weather or the lunch rush, but the dry dough and thin glaze didn’t fill the empty donut pocket in my soul. If you really, really need a glazed fix or enjoy microwaved dough, these are an acceptable stand-in, but I would recommend the grocery store Krispy Kreme first.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 donut holes – 280 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)

Other Burger King Donut Holes reviews:
Brand Eating
Man Reviews Food
Serious Eats

Item: Burger King Donut Holes
Purchased Price: $1.40
Size: 5 donut holes
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Available any time of day. Sweet glaze. A good idea. Nice portion.
Cons: Dry. Tastes of microwaved dinner roll. Tough to chew. Weak glaze. Grapefruit in an omelette. Low Krispy Kremes population in Manhattan

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