REVIEW: Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad

Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad

All things considered, there’s really nothing stranger than walking into a Burger King and getting green ketchup. Scratch that. On second thought, walking into a vintage 1950s decorated Burger King with booths shaped like cars and getting green ketchup, while staring at an obnoxiously large LCD menu board pulled from The Jetsons, might just qualify.

These oddities notwithstanding, my purchase of a salad at Burger King clearly puts this scenario in the realm of the SyFy channel.

Burger King, as you’re probably well aware, is attempting to revamp its menu to draw closer to a certain fast food giant which boasts a smiling clown as its spokesman. Ditching its previous botox-injected spokesman of questionable royal bloodlines, Burger King has also revamped its menu to diversify its offering. How diverse are we talking? Lets just say it includes drinks that rhyme with how I’d assume the French to pronounce “crappy,” as well as lettuce. Lots and lots of lettuce.

Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad Closeup

Seven kinds to be exact, which, along with a whole bunch of other fun vegetables, are offered in the new B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad.

Putting on the man pants and ordering the $5.49 salad, I got the distinct impression that the staff of this particular Burger King doesn’t often prepare salads. I only say this because the girl taking my order had to check what exactly was in the salad when I asked her, and even after verification, presented me with a crouton packet, Caesar dressing, as well as a cup for soda — none of which should have been included in my order. Likewise, an essential component of the Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato acronym was missing, although five perfectly ripe and juicy grape tomatoes were delivered to me in an extra cup after half my salad was eaten and my own spelling shortcomings realized.

Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad Chicken

You’d think that after such an auspicious start I’d be loath to partake in this feast of classical “Health Halo” consequence, but in the interest of complete objectivity, I have to say it shows promise as permanent menu item. It starts with the chicken, which — while only offered to me in the grilled variety — had a seriously and none-to-fake chargrill taste. Moderately juicy and marinated in a lip-smacking glaze, it may have qualified as salty, but it didn’t come across as saline injected or overly enhanced.

Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad Chicken Closeup

The bacon, too, was quite good by fast food standards. Its thick and meaty with a dominant smoke flavor, although I’d prefer the pieces to have been reheated or freshly grilled, as to release some of that chewy fat into a glorious natural vinaigrette of bacon drippings. Such a scenario would have aided in the melting of these three-cheese blend, which while adding a moderate amount of flavor and salt, was otherwise just there.

Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad Dressing

I honestly was quite surprised in how much I enjoyed the dressing. Having only known one Ken in my life (the victim of childhood G.I. Joe raids on my sister’s Barbie gatherings) I didn’t know what to expect from Ken’s Avocado Ranch, but it manages to combine a fantastic buttermilk tang with a peppery and slightly sweet kick. While the 170 calories in a single pack won’t endear it to the diet crowd, it does serve its flavor purpose as a foil to the otherwise meaty and smokey overtones of the salad, which, after applying tomatoes, also received a hint of sweet relief to go with the buttery and bitter lettuce crunch. Were all seven lettuces present and accounted for? Well, having slept through most of my Plants in Civilization class during my senior year of college, I cannot verify this with absolute certainty. But there was clearly more than just iceberg, which for a dude buying a salad at Burger King is not half bad.

Clearly, Burger King has some work to do in the execution department of this salad. And while any review of a fast food salad begs the proverbial viability question in a market which can see me blow 500 calories for something cheaper and, to some extent, much more tasty, there is also something to be said for offering items that appeal to a larger audience. For the time being though, I’d make these suggestions:

1) Lighten up the dressing
2) Include more tomato
3) Get more from the red onions

If those three issues can be corrected then this salad is worth your time even if you’re not in the salad crowd. Heck, if the bacon can be rendered a bit further and served warm and crispy with fat drippings, then this salad is worth your time even if your definition of salad hereto now includes only the pickles and onions on your burger. But before any of this happens, Burger King has got to get its crews up to speed, and teach them to associate the “sculpted Roman head guy” with croutons, and the acronym B.L.T. with, among other things, tomatoes.

As for that interior decorating, I’ve seriously got nothing.

(Nutrition Facts – One salad with Tendergrill chicken and Avocado Ranch Dressing – 510 calories, 33 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,610 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, and 42 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Chicken B.L.T. Garden Fresh Salad
Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly flavorful and juicy chicken. Smokey and thick-cut, ribbony bacon. Ken’s Avocado Ranch gives all Kens a good name. Cheese is slightly melty. Tomatoes had good sweetness. Protein power.
Cons: Costs more than one of those Chefy burgers. Total assembly failage. Having to correct people at their jobs. A buttload of salt. Where the hell did that trans fat come from? Five tomatoes is too little. Curios interior decorating.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Adam

Hola, Impulsive Buy readers.
I’m Adam, and as the newest member of the The Impulsive Buy team, I’ll be subverting your all too worthwhile endeavor of kicking the “Latte factor” purchases in your life, further playing havoc to your personal economy and giving your mother yet another reason to say “I told you so,” at those dreaded family functions we call “dinner.”

I suppose this is the time when I say something significant about myself to distinguish me from the myriad of other product reviewers on this site and others. Well, I won’t lie — I pretty much meet your standard definition of a blogger. Six years after diving into the world of blogging under the dubious premise of adding to my “portfolio” as a sports writer, I’ve been sucked into the crazy world of link dropping and taking pictures of dollar menu purchases, all the while making every effort to reference obscure Star Wars books and World War II battles. I’ll try to keep those to a minimum here, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t shamelessly plug my own faith and breakfast cereal inspired blog, Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp.  
As for my food philosophy, you only need to know three things.

1) I have a stash of French Toast Crunch and Waffle Crisp in my basement that I’m saving for the Cerealpocalypse. 

2) I could survive on a steady diet of boiled chicken liver and frozen peas if need be.

3) The only food I’ve ever found truly repulsive is the olive.  
Needless to say, I won’t be reviewing olives here. Anything else is fair game.