We, as a society, move one minute closer to the somewhat dystopic culinary midnight of a full-on meat replacement with the commercial-creation and mass-consumption of the Sonic Signature Slingers, a new limited-time cheeseburger with a “100-percent pure beef” patty that is apparently “blended with savory mushrooms and seasonings” which, according to the good folks at Sonic, is something that is “almost too good to be true.”
They said the same thing about Soylent Green.
Futuristic nutritional values and dietary requirements aside, however, Sonic’s big selling point of their Signature Slinger (a cooler way to say slider, I guess?) is that their “Classic” option is a better burger for you and your health, “starting at under 350 calories.” What you do with the rest of it is up to you and your dietician, I guess, especially when considering that a much heftier (and financially comparable) Jr. Deluxe Burger is only 380 calories.
At first glance, the Classic Slinger is a bit of a greasy mess, with the “bakery-quality” brioche bun simply glistening with grease as errant mayo and cheese glooped and glopped about with no remorse. The patty itself was yawningly flat and offered nothing noticeable to the naked eye to distinguish it from any other ol’ beef patty they serve, especially when desperately aided with pickles, onions, and tomatoes. (The promised lettuce, however, was nowhere in sight, at least not here.)
Taste-wise, the mushrooms and any expected earthiness thereof was just not there, not in any apparent shape or form. Not only that, but the patty was actually kind of dry and the requisite dowsing of mayo and cheese was a real Godsend in this case, adding much needed texture and flavor to the proceedings, aided with many sips of a Rt. 44 Diet Dr. Pepper, of course.
To be honest, the Classic Sonic Signature Slinger is really nothing special; it’s a fine little cheeseburger to be sure, but one that is just as comparable in most ways to any other sandwich on the value menu. This goes double for the mostly redundant Bacon Melt Signature Slingers, which is more of the same except for, you guessed it, bacon.
Served on the same “bakery-quality” brioche bun, those smoky strips of greasy pork add nothing but extra calories and fat to a cheeseburger whose sole purpose was to be better than that. There’s very little charm to the whole thing, the same dry patty in need of extra cheese and mayo, leaving the customer wondering what far more substantial alternatives on the menu they should’ve ordered instead.
After trying both varieties, it’s mostly left me wondering who, exactly, are these are for? They’re obviously not for vegetarians, they’re not all that better for you, health-wise, and, worst of all, they add no sort of new and spectacular flavor sensations to the palate to set them apart from the rest of the all-beef pack. I guess, out of natural curiosity, they’re worth a try or two, but, in the long run, they’re just kind of…there.
That being said, I do look forward to the next scientific development in the Sonic test kitchens, presumably that of the all-mushroom beef-flavored patty in the next few frightening years. Charlton Heston would be proud. ¡Cómpralo ya!
(Nutrition Facts – Classic – 340 calories. The other nutrition facts aren’t available on the Sonic website.)
Purchased Price: $1.99
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Supposedly under 350 calories. The novelty of a mushroom beef-patty. Charlton Heston screaming in the streets.
Cons: Dry and in need of plenty of calorie-inducing condiments. No mushroom “flavor.” Kind of pointless.