QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Crispy Pretzel Chicken Fries

Burger King Crispy Pretzel Chicken Fries 1

What is it?

Hooray, it’s a new Burger King menu item that ISN’T just a slight variation of its King burger formula! Alas, that doesn’t mean said product is anything radically unique, though. Instead, BK’s newfangled Pretzel Chicken Fries are more or less a minute redressing of its meaty side dish…complete with a snazzy cardboard container featuring plenty of puns about both poultry and pretzels.

Burger King Crispy Pretzel Chicken Fries 2

How is it?

Burger King Crispy Pretzel Chicken Fries 3

If you’ve tried the BK Chicken Fries before, you know what to expect here. The taste, text and general mouthfeel is the same, and to be perfectly honest with you fine people, I thought the pretzel flavor — while noticeable — was still a little underwhelming.

Burger King Crispy Pretzel Chicken Fries 4

You might expect the fries to have a nuttier, saltier taste, but by and large you have to really focus to even absorb the pretzel taste while you’re chewing. And in case you’re wondering, using any of BK’s proprietary sauces pretty much negates any kind of pretzel flavoring you might detect in these suckers.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Long story short, if you’ve had the regular Chicken Fries, you’ve basically already tried these. Yes, there is a subtle pretzel flavor in there, but it’s so subdued that I’m not even sure I’d be able to distinguish it from the regular Chicken Fries in a blind taste test. That said, the 9-piece set is actually astonishingly filling — you may not think that less than 400 calories worth of side dish can put a dent in your stomach, but these things might just surprise you.

Conclusion:

Although the product is only nominally “new,” as a limited-time-only offering it’s not bad at all. The fries are warm, flavorful and chewy, and they go incredibly well with the in-house zesty sauce (which, I think we can all agree, should’ve become a retail item a LONG time ago.)

As an overall fast food item, I’d say it’s well above average, but as an “event” food, so to speak, it’s hardly anything worth going out of your way to experience. And if you’re a health-conscious consumer, don’t even think about going anywhere near these things: with a whopping 1,200 milligrams of sodium, the Pretzel Chicken Fries contain nearly 30 percent MORE salt than a regular old BK Whopper.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 9-pieces
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 340 calories, 21 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,200 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Sourdough Chicken Club

Burger King Sourdough Chicken Club

What is it?

You kids remember a couple of weeks back when we reviewed BK’s Sourdough King? Well, this newfangled Sourdough Chicken Club is pretty much the same basic concept, except with a few obvious (and not so obvious) tweaks.

Burger King Sourdough Chicken Club 2

Essentially, it’s a big, crispy chicken patty (topped with melted cheddar) with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and bacon wedged between two pieces of sourdough toast … hence, the name “Sourdough Chicken Club,” I suppose.

How is it?

This is a MUCH better offering than the aforementioned beef Sourdough King, for several reasons. First things first, the sourdough toast set-up just seems to compliment chicken patties better than beef patties (as any Zaxby’s enthusiast, naturally, will be quick to tell you.)

Burger King Sourdough Chicken Club 3

Secondly, BK wisely eschewed the onions and “special sauce” for a more traditional BLT-and-mayonnaise assortment, which not only creates a less messy sandwich but a more harmonious-tasting one. This is a hearty, extremely filling fast food offering, and one that tastes surprisingly fresh, to boot.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Burger King Sourdough Chicken Club 4

Of course, this being a super-sized BK sandwich, the item is pretty salty, and although it’s nowhere near as sloppy as its all-beef predecessor, it is still fairly greasy. The shredded lettuce might be a deal breaker for some of the more finicky fast food aficionados out there, and for those of you on a budget, take note: at almost $6, this isn’t exactly a value-priced pick-up we’re talking about here.

Conclusion:

I went into the Sourdough Chicken Club with pretty low expectations and can safely say I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The chicken patty is juicy and crispy, the bacon is almost perfectly seasoned and all the ingredients gel incredibly well together.

It’s not a perfect pseudo-deli-style chicken sandwich, but for what it is it’s not too shabby. And like I said earlier, this thing WILL sate your appetite in a hurry — just something to think about before you order an Oreo pie and extra-large fries to accompany the meal.

Purchased Price: $5.79
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 840 calories, 51 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,760 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Sourdough King

Burger King Sourdough King

What is it?

The Sourdough King is basically a slightly ritzier version of BK’s line of King sandwiches. The ingredients are all pretty much part and parcel of the usual Burger King sammich – you’ve got your flame-broiled patty, you’ve got some American cheese, and you’ve got a few strips of bacon – but the big variable is what’s holding all of it together: a toasted sourdough bun. Toss in some grilled onions and the King’s signature creamy sauce and that’s pretty much the gist of it.

How is it?

Burger King Sourdough King 3

It’s a bit of a mixed bag. The onions are pretty juicy and crispy, so that’s a plus. The charbroiled beef is as good as ever and that proprietary secret sauce (I’m thinking it’s half honey mustard and half Catalina dressing) is downright delicious.

Unfortunately, the toasted sourdough bun seems to get soggy fast, and the bacon – at least at my local BK – felt a little too chewy and flavorless.

Is there anything else I need to know?

With a fairly steep price point (the double-patty version will cost you $5.99), the Sourdough King doesn’t do a whole lot to justify its cost – indeed, it seems to be smaller than the chain’s regular Bacon King offering.

Burger King Sourdough King 2

Furthermore, the sodium content is also pretty high, so you’re definitely going to need a beverage to choke this thing down. And while very yummy, that “special sauce” is extremely greasy – better have the napkin dispenser nearby if you plan on tackling this sucker.

Conclusion:

The Sourdough King is tasty, but it’s hardly what I would consider a L-T-O worth going out of your way to experience. The sourdough bun doesn’t add anything to the tried-and-true formula, and you could easily replicate the overall taste and flavor of the sandwich by special-ordering a regular burger — thus saving yourself a dollar or two in the process.

Honestly, this is hardly anything more than a Bacon King with toast instead of a sesame seed bun; and if such an invitation has your mouth-watering and your free hand just itching to fork over your wallet…well, that makes one of us.

On the planet.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: Single patty
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Single Patty) 730 calories, 43 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 1570 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 35 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Arby’s Gyro Loaded Curly Fries

Arby s Gyro Loaded Curly Fries

After venison sandwiches, the monstrous Meat Mountain, and a mustard-slathered Cuban, I suppose the old Athenian route was one of the few remaining avenues left for Arby’s to explore.

Enter the Gyro Loaded Curly Fries, a limited-time-only companion piece to Arby’s armada of Greek-themed seasonal items such as the Greek Gyro Salad and the, uh, just plain old Gyro.

Arby’s proprietary Curly Fries, I suppose, need no introduction. We all know how fantastic they are. This newfangled edition ups the ante with a nice mixture of traditional gyro ingredients, including Tzatziki sauce, red onions, diced tomatoes and, of course, a heaping helping of gyro meat (which, in this instance, is a combination of beef and lamb.)

Two things make this dish stand out. First, the spices are really good. Of course, since I don’t work there I have no idea what the local Arby’s is putting in these things, but my well-traveled taste buds picked up all sorts of flavors that are more than atypical for a fast food haunt, including what appears to be cumin and coriander. For something you can pick up via a drive-thru window, this thing tastes astonishingly comparable to “real” Greek cuisine.

Secondly, the Tzatziki sauce is outstanding. My big fear was that it would be either too weak and watery or too thick and overpowering, but give the meat maestros at Arby’s some credit, they came pretty darn close to striking a nearly perfect balance on this one. It’s extremely unlikely, but I’d love to see this delicious yogurt become a permanent addition to the sauce bar.

Your mileage will vary on the quality of the meat. The slivers are a little chewier than you’d expect, and the very well seasoned exterior might be a turn off to those of you with blander appetites. I guess my biggest gripe is that the chunks of gyro meat are just too small and too few and far in-between the fries. Really, you’d need to get a double order of meat for the meat-to-fries ratio to come out even, so do keep that in mind before you flip open your wallet.

Arby s Gyro Loaded Curly Fries 2

The tomatoes and red onions are kind of an afterthought. The former are so small and inconsequential that you barely taste them and the latter are probably a wee bit too big and overpowering compared to the rest of the dish. Simply put, the fries and the onions just don’t gel at all in terms of taste and mouthfeel, no matter how much sauce you add into the mix. I’d recommend skipping the onions altogether, but hey – that’s just my personal preference.

On the whole, this is a much better than anticipated side item. It’s filling and feels fresh. Of course, it’s not for all tastes, but as long as you’ve got a penchant for spicier offerings, you’ll probably get a kick out of these specially dressed Curly Fries.

(Nutrition Facts – 820 calories, 530 calories from fat, 49 grams of total fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,650 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of total carbohydrates, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, and 14 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The seasonings are superb. The Tzatziki sauce is surprisingly rich. Lamb and Curly Fries go together way better than we ever could’ve possibly imagined.
Cons: The onions are a bit much. The slices of meat are a tad too small. Having to listen to the cashier refer to it as a “GUY-RO” instead of a “YEAR-OH”…repeatedly.

REVIEW: Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

At this point, the only way fast food chains can be “innovative” when it comes to chicken sandwiches is if they radically change the stuff around the chicken – i.e., all of the other ingredients underneath the bread – or find an entirely different kind of bird to deep fry (I’m anticipating a breaded pheasant Arby’s entree by 2020, for sure.)

Needless to say, Burger King’s all-too-generically titled Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich isn’t the revolutionary L-T-O the fast food industry’s looking for. That’s not to say it’s bad or anything like that, just that it’s, well, pretty much exactly what you would expect. As soon as you eye the sandwich, you know precisely what to anticipate, and as soon as you take your first bite all of your prejudices are validated. Sorry BK – this is one book we can all safely judge by its wrapper.

First things first, my sandwich didn’t look anything like the sandwich on the advertisement posters. Sure, they never do, but in this case it was egregiously underwhelming. The whole sandwich was flatter than a pancake, to the point I couldn’t even see the interior chicken gawping at the sandwich sideways. And I assure you, what was lurking underneath the hood was even more disappointing.

Yeah, that’s a pretty small chicken patty, isn’t it? Hell, that thing is so small, it might be better described as a morbidly obese chicken nugget. Still, it did have a nice, healthy orange sheen to it, so I’ll at least give the King props for aesthetics.

Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2

Maybe it’s just my local BK crew not giving a hoot, but it seems like there was a surplus of mayonnaise on my sandwich and a deficit of tomato and lettuce. Ultimately, this thing had more “dead space” on it than any fast food burger I’ve chewed in a long time. Indeed, my first couple of bites, I was literally gnashing bread on bread. I’ve gotten to the center of a Tootsie Roll lollipop faster than it took me to hit something other than bun on this sucker.

Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich 3

The white meat patty – once you get to it – though, is pretty good, but the “spiciness” is another letdown. Pretty much all this thing does is give you a nasty case of Doritos breath, and maybe a little bit of “Texas Pete tongue” for half a minute.

Again, it’s not horrible tasting, it’s just so woefully predictable. Even if you haven’t tried BK’s latest, I promise you that you’ve had at least one other sandwich that tasted like it. Had Burger King at least tried to up the ante with a spicier dressing, hotter cheese, or even some spicy onion rings, they would have given this thing some kind of identity.

But as is, this thing is painfully bland. And if there’s one thing worse than being a bad fast food sandwich, surely, it’s being one that’s just OK.

(Nutrition Facts – 700 calories, 42 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,140 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: The chicken patty has a nice apricot glow. The ample “white space” allows for plenty of creative uses of condiments. The white meat, admittedly, is pretty chewy.
Cons: It’s not spicy – at all. It really could benefit from some extra ingredients. The feeling that you’ve already eaten this thing before…and at a lower price point, too.