REVIEW: Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

When I think of Italian comfort food, Burger King comes to mind.

Mmmm…rich garlicky marinara, creamy mozzarella, and herbaceous basil. Wait a minute, you don’t think of Burger King? Neither do I but when I found out BK was putting a Super Mario Bros. twist on their menu, I just had to try it.

Wait. That’s an understatement, I must try it!

I really wanted to grab their new Italian Breakfast Burrito, which is an amusing name if you think about it hard enough, but I was too late. However, I didn’t go away empty handed because I was greeted with their new Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. Admittedly, I am biased because I have a disturbing obsession with chicken parmesan. And while the ingredients are simple, the execution is not.

Chicken parmesan is my litmus test for an Italian ristorante. It’s like how egg rolls or fried dumplings can tell me how good a Chinese restaurant will end up being. If they cannot make a staple dish, their General Tso’s chicken most likely tsucks.

Ah, but let’s not kid ourselves, this is Burger King. I’m not even going to compare the level of its Italian items to depressing faketalian Olive Garden. I would probably place the sandwich at the expectations of canned Chef Boyardee pasta. Until that creepy spider fiasco, I was a connoisseur of canned ravioli and Boyardee was the bareback cowgirl of awesomeness. Damn you spiders, damn you all to hell.

I should also note I was given the option to have the chicken grilled or breaded. Grilled? You might as well serve me sushi made with brown rice or mix twelve year Van Winkle “Lot B” bourbon with Coke. I opted for the only correct choice which is breaded and if you’re wondering what the grilled version tastes like…tough, I’m not eating that (or so I thought, more on that later).

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich Top

So now that I properly shifted my paradigm, I looked at the sandwich and couldn’t help but feel sad. It looked like their normal fried chicken sandwich with some tomato paste jizzed on it as an afterthought. I couldn’t taste the “shaved” parmesan and BK’s definition of artisan style (their words, not mine) must mean shabby. And, as a final “eff you”, the mozzarella is just drooped on top of the fried ugliness.

I guess the chance to get this “grilled” should have been ominous enough but who else can say they ate a BK Chicken Parmesan? Probably the homeless who scoured garbage cans and found these half-eaten chicken sandwiches tossed out by unhappy customers.

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich Split

Indeed there were a couple of slices of mozzarella but when I split the sandwich in half, you can see where one layer was placed on top of another. Both layers were pretty much unmelted. I think the cadavers in the autopsy rooms at the local morgue are warmer.

Burger King’s website states that the chicken is generously breaded but my chicken was entombed with batter. It was like eating a brick filled with white chicken meat. Not surprising, the marinara was dreadful and tasted like pasty ketchup. Those On-Cor frozen chicken parmesan family entrées in the unattractive yellow boxes taste better.

Italy hasn’t been this disappointed since pre-tomatoed Mussolini. Yeah, I was pissed. Coupled with the fact that this sandwich was also expensive ($5.89!), I was ready to chalk this up as a big fail. Alas, (overdramatic sigh) I wouldn’t be giving a fair review if I didn’t purchase another one at a different Burger King.

Try Number Due. (Get it? It’s Italian for two.)

Here is something annoying to me and I’m not sure this is the case at all Burger King locations, but if you do not specify you want the chicken grilled or breaded, it will come grilled. That makes no sense for two reasons:

1. I don’t know of any restaurant that offers chicken parmesan grilled.

2. Every picture BK has of this product, from their menu in the eatery to its website, shows that it’s breaded.

Needless to say, I didn’t indicate which one and was handed a grilled chicken version. I took a bite and was happy the cheese was melted but the chicken was spongy and bland. I returned it and got the correct artery clogging breaded sandwich.

The cheese was melted properly and this made a huge difference. The creamy mozzarella followed by the breaded chicken was excellent. The chicken was breaded with the right amount, unlike the “colostomy in your future” fried rock in my original sandwich. It was not as light as tempura (which would be gross) but heavy enough to give it that crispy bite. I could actually taste the parmesan, but suspect the cheese was sprinkled from a can versus shaved.

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich Top 2

There was still too little of the marinara sauce, which tasted like tomato paste out the can, but the melted cheese carried the sandwich’s flavor. Also, the artisan bun the second time was devoid of weird flecky sesame seeds and other random speckles, but it didn’t affect the sandwich’s flavor.

The second Chicken Parmesan Sandwich from the second Burger King was miles better than other one I tried. That is shitty because we shouldn’t have to play Russian roulette with our Burger King locations.

I really enjoyed this sandwich even though it’s still a bit pricey for a fast food sandwich. Not sure if Little Caesars still sells their own chicken parmesan sandwich, but I believe theirs is the best fast food version I’ve eaten.

Using an old slogan of Burger King’s, my suggestion is to ensure that the cheese is melted by telling them you want to “have it your way.” And for God sakes, demand the breaded one or you will eat something horrible.

The Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich won’t blow your mind (maybe your arteries and heart), but I do think it’s a great option if you don’t feel like eating a Whopper or have always dreamt of having onion rings with your chicken parmesan.

(Nutrition Facts – 470 calories, 15 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1600 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar, and 37 grams of protein.)

Other Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich reviews:
Junk Food Critic
Snackfood Appreciation Society (video)

Item: Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.89
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Melted mozzarella on breaded chicken. Burger King offering something different from the norm. The sandwich is a hit, but it depends on the BK you go to.
Cons: Grilled chicken parmesan sucks. Expensive. Having to specify which chicken you want is stupid. The sandwich is a hit, but it depends on the BK you go to.

REVIEW: Burger King Popcorn Chicken

Burger King Popcorn Chicken

If you want to see what kind of terrain the Curiosity Rover on Mars is experiencing, you could visit the NASA Mars Science Laboratory website or you could just stare at the picture above of Burger King’s Popcorn Chicken because they look like rocks that have been sitting on Mars’ surface for thousands of years.

The new Popcorn Chicken is part of Burger King’s new limited time only premium chicken menu that also consists of a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich and Italian Basil Chicken Sandwich.

If you used the Curiosity Rover’s Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, or visited the Burger King website, you’d discover the Popcorn Chicken’s composition is white meat chicken breast and seasoned breading. When I purchased a medium-size serving, I got many pieces that had very little or no chicken at all.

The large pieces that did have a decent amount of chicken in them had dry meat and had me thanking the Roman god of war, Mars, for the two dipping sauce containers that came with my order. Speaking of dipping sauce, there are eight from which you can choose from. There’s King Kung Pao, BBQ Roasted Jalapeño, Barbecue, Honey Mustard, Sweet and Sour, Ranch, Buffalo, and Zesty. I went with Honey Mustard.

The breading was dry and depressing. It was supposed to be seasoned, but my Papillary Gustatory Receptors couldn’t detect much seasoning besides salt. Instead, I mostly tasted the flour in the breading. It also didn’t have a satisfying crunch, instead it was like a crumbling muted crunch. If the Curiosity Rover had a Despondency Detecting Moisture Discharger, it would use it to cry about the dry breading…and to, perhaps, give it some moisture.

As you can tell, my first experience with BK’s Popcorn Chicken was Spirit-Rover-stuck-in-the-soil disappointing, so I decided to order it again, but from a different Burger King location.

Burger King Popcorn Chicken Innards

My second serving of BK’s Popcorn Chicken was much better and I thought they were as good as McDonald’s Chicken McBites. The chicken was still dry, but not as much. The breading had a better crunch and my Papillary Gustatory Receptors could taste the seasoning in it, which was slightly peppery. They’re flavorful enough that I could eat them without any dipping sauce. By the way, I went with Honey Mustard again because I like mustard and the word “honey” has been stuck in my head thanks to Honey Boo Boo.

I have to say I really like what Burger King has been doing with their menu every few months. Instead of introducing one or two new products, they’ve released a slew of new items at one time. In June, they rolled out a summer BBQ menu with BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, two new BBQ Whoppers, sweet potato fries, two new BBQ chicken sandwiches, and a bacon sundae. And now they have this premium chicken menu with Popcorn Chicken, Chicken Parmesan Sandwich, Italian Basil Chicken Sandwich, three chicken salad wraps, and an Italian Basil Chicken Wrap.

I really hope Burger King continues this.

(Nutrition Facts – medium size – 300 calories, 14 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 1090 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.)

Other Burger King Popcorn Chicken reviews:
Chow (video)

Item: Burger King Popcorn Chicken
Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: Medium
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: As good as McDonald’s Chicken McBites. Wide selection of sauces. Good enough to eat sans sauce. Awesome if you want to recreate what the Curiosity Rover sees. Burger King releasing new products at a crazy pace.
Cons: Chicken was a little dry. Inconsistencies between locations. Spirit Rover getting stuck in soft soil on Mars. Awesome source of sodium. Honey Boo Boo.

REVIEW: Burger King BK Bacon Burger

Burger King BK Bacon Burger

Believe it or not, long before the days Burger King became Smoothie Queen and BBQ Pork Noble, the chain actually focused most of its attention on hamburgers. And, what’s more, that creepy looking, high-as-a-kite King mascot of theirs actually cooked up a few tasty options for a buck. The Whopper Jr., anyone? Or how can we forget the Buck Double. A meal for a King, these items were not. But when it came to the dollar menu hierarchy of the Fast Food Court, they commanded some high praise.

Flash forward to the Burger Renaissance. The feudal days of cheap, dollar-menu burgers have all but disappeared, with burgers from the Big Three blurring the definition between fast food and fast casual. A few holdovers still exist on the value menus, but with beef prices rising at staggering rates, the dawning of a new burger age seems to have all but triumphed over the cheap burger nostalgia of a decade ago.

Burger King’s new Bacon Burger looks to recapture some of that nostalgia, mostly at the expense of former $1 offering like the Single Stacker and the Whopper Jr., which at my local BK were priced at $1.19 and $1.49, respectively. At a buck, the new Bacon Burger ditches the cheese in favor of “naturally smoked thick-cut bacon” and “creamy mayonnaise.” Why don’t they just say it? Food prices are going up, so we’re cutting back. LIVE WITH IT.

Burger King BK Bacon Burger Beef Patty

The burger is nothing if not “value” sized, with your standard puny Whopper Jr. hamburger patty. The bun to burger ratio obviously favors the bun by a substantial margin, but what the puny patty lacks in girth it makes up for with taste. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always found Burger King’s flame-broiled patties to be beefier, sweeter, and just more satisfying than the likes of McDonald’s and Wendy’s, even when shrunken to Lunchables-sized portions. It’s that flame-grilled, sweet aftertaste which affords me to overlook the unfortunate laws of fast food value burgers, which, if you didn’t know, don’t exactly come at a temperature of your choice.

The beef might be good by fast food value standards, but problems abound. Let’s start with the mayo, which covers up that small patty and drowns out the flavor in an insipid cloud of white. Good God, what a worthless condiment!

Don’t get me wrong, it serves its place on a BLT and the like, but here it just manages to turn the otherwise soft and malty sesame seed bun to a soggy mess on the interior, in the process drowning out the salty-sweet-acidic kick you’d normally get from the ketchup.

Burger King BK Bacon Burger Bacon Closeup

The onion is almost nowhere to be found, and despite loudly proclaiming this as their “Bacon Burger,” the bacon comes up short. It’s not bad – smoky, crisp, admirably meaty by fast food standards – but it’s underrepresented. What appears to be two halves of a single small slice don’t give you the kind of diameter-spanning coverage you’d want in such a small burger, while the lack of chewy and grassy fat limits its flavor. And can we talk about why lettuce and tomato were left out of the party? You have bacon. You have mayo. Seems to make sense to me to add some relief from at least a little herbage.

Burger King BK Bacon Burger Reality

I don’t know about you, but if you’re going to name something a Bacon Burger, I’d expect bacon to be exploding out of the damn thing, much like the horribly unrealistic promotional photo hung in the windows. That, or I’d expect you to go all Slater’s 50/50 on us.

Be that as it may, the BK Bacon Burger serves a purpose for cheapskates everywhere who cling to the idea of that American right of cow munching for just a buck. Likewise, for those of us who could care less for the worthlessness of a barely melted half of American cheese, it makes sense to take any bacon where you can get it. If anything is wrong with the BK Bacon Burger, it’s the fact that it’s an unfortunate reality of market forces, forcing the downsizing of the beefy goodness and smoky brilliance that otherwise could pass for a Hamburger with Bacon.

My suggestion for the cheapskate braving this brave new burger world? Nibble, and bring your own tomatoes.

(Nutrition Facts – Bacon Burger – 320 calories, 17 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King BK Bacon Burger
Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 105 grams
Purchased at: Burger King, albeit, not in the Burger Castle
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Flame grilled burger taste on the cheap. Good beefy flavor. Surprisingly smoky and crisp bacon. Sesame Seed Bun lovage. Keeping the dollar menu memories alive.
Cons: Too much mayo overpowers small patty. Bacon lacks full burger coverage. Bun is too big for the beef, while lettuce and tomato would be nice. Economic reality. Missing the creepy King mascot.

REVIEW: Burger King Bacon Sundae

Burger King Bacon Sundae

The Burger King Bacon Sundae is a little disappointing.

Oh, it’s tasty and you’ll gobble it up hard, like you’re a sugar monster, but it’s disappointing because after all the artificially-flavored bacon products I’ve tried over the years, I kind of miss the fear I had with each and every bite as I tried to consume them.

Well, the ten grams of saturated fat and 61 grams of sugar this sundae contains evokes fear, but I’m sad there’s nothing unnatural tasting about it that made me pause every time I put it near my mouth.

There aren’t any cerebral alarms going off to warn me. There isn’t an angel on one shoulder telling me not to do it and a devil on the other shoulder yelling at me, “Eat it, you pussy!”

Burger King went the safe route and just put chopped bits and a slice of their new thick hardwood smoked bacon on top of chocolate fudge, caramel, and their vanilla soft serve. There’s no bacon-flavored syrup, no sprinkling of Bacon Salt, and there isn’t even a cup shaped like a pig’s snout that I can wear on my face when I walk out of a Burger King and yell, “OINK! OINK! OINK!”

The Burger King Bacon Sundae comes with what I estimate to be two slices of bacon — one chopped up and the other sticking out of the vanilla soft serve like a bacon tombstone. Oh, when I say, “slices,” I mean Burger King slices which are shorter than the slices you would get if you threw some bacon into a pan. Two slices may not seem like a lot, but there’s enough bacon to have a little bit in every spoonful. The bacon wasn’t what I would call crispy. Perhaps hardened would be a better adjective.

I don’t think the bacon adds much of a pork or smoky flavor, instead it’s more salty, and I thought it went well with the gooey chocolate fudge and caramel. However, if I scooped up too much of the sweet sauces, which there were a lot of, they totally porkblocked any bacon flavor from my taste buds.

Burger King does a good job creating the coveted sweet and salty combination with its bacon sundae. Although bacon is the dessert’s special ingredient, its flavor is relegated to the background, which might disappoint hardcore bacon lovers. It’s a really nice treat, but my masochistic taste buds wish Burger King went way over the top with its bacon flavor.

Perhaps BK should’ve added a dollop of Baconnaise.

Thanks to TIB reader Stephen for demanding the Burger King Bacon Sundae be reviewed.

(Nutrition Facts – 510 calories, 18 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 670 milligrams of sodium, 75 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 61 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.)

Other Burger King Bacon Sundae reviews:
So Good Blog
Brand Eating

Item: Burger King Bacon Sundae
Price: $3.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Nice combo of sweet and salty. Lots of bacon. Nice sized sundae. Lots of chocolate fudge and caramel. Subdued pork flavor will make this appealing to more eaters. Thank goodness, no Baconnaise.
Cons: Doesn’t come in a cup shaped like a pig’s snout. Bacon flavor is muted. Might be disappointing if you’re a bacon lover. Probably not the best thing to eat, health wise, after consuming a BK combo meal. Being pork blocked.

REVIEW: Burger King Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Burger King Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

With the introduction of their new Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Burger King now has their own McRib. Actually, to be more accurate, Burger King now has their own limited time only pork sandwich slathered with sauce that’s kind of scary looking when you pull back the bun.

BK’s pulled pork sandwich brings together pulled pork, Memphis BBQ sauce, sliced onions, and a sweet southern sauce on a toasted artisan-style bun.

To be honest, I’ve never experienced Memphis barbecue because I’ve never been to the great state of…(double-checking on Wikipedia) Tennessee. So my digestive system hasn’t had the pleasure of eating at fine Memphis BBQ establishments like…(checks Google) Central, Neely’s, Corky’s, Payne’s, The Bar-B-Q Shop, and the G’town Commissary. Since my taste buds have never tasted Memphis barbecue, I can’t determine how offended Memphians (I hope that’s correct) should be or if they should feel offended at all.

As you can see in the photo above, the BK Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich comes with a lot of pulled pork. Although, the pulled pork looks more like finely shredded pork. Perhaps, too finely shredded, because when I pulled back the artisan-style bun, the amalgamation of pork looked like clumped wet cat hair. So if you purchase this sandwich, DO NOT TAKE IT APART! Also, DO NOT LOOK AT THE SANDWICH WHILE EATING IT OR ELSE YOU WILL SEE THIS:

Burger King Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich Innards

I know fast food in promotional photos never look like that in real life, but there was a major difference between BK’s photos of the sandwich and what mine looked like. While the beautifully photographed sandwich had pulled pork drenched in sauce, my pulled pork was just topped with sauce.

Burger King Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich Topless

Because the pork wasn’t soaked in sauce, I noticed the pork was a bit dry and with some bites it was slightly tough. It had a mild pork flavor that doesn’t get completely overwhelmed by the sauces.

Wait. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s good the pork wasn’t drenched in sauce because the two sauces that top this sandwich made it extremely messy. I think I used three napkins to clean my hands. The BBQ sauce had a wonderful sweet and smoky flavor. Because there’s no spiciness to it, it’s slightly different from the usual barbecue sauce BK uses. The sweet southern sauce was also tasty, although its pastel yellow color looked a little weird. It gave the sandwich a little tanginess. The onions added crunch and complemented the pork and two sauces.

Even though it’s probably not comparable to a pulled pork sandwich from a Memphis barbecue joint and the pork is a little dry and looks like clumped wet cat hair, I think the Burger King Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich is surprisingly decent, thanks to the two sauces. It’s also on the smallish side, but I think it’s a better tasting pork sandwich than the McDonald’s McRib*.

*I don’t really care for the McRib.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 470 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,420 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 27 grams of protein.)

Other Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich reviews:
Grub Grade

Item: Burger King Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.99 (sandwich only)*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly decent. Tasty sauces. Lots of pulled pork. Onions were a nice addition. Bun held together despite absorbing lots of sauce.
Cons: On the smallish side. Pork not drenched in sauce. Pork looks like clumped wet cat hair. Hella messy. Sweet southern sauce has a weird yellow color. McRib.

*Prices will vary. I will pay more than most of you because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.