REVIEW: Burger King Impossible Whopper

Burger King Impossible Whopper

I was a vegetarian in college.

I didn’t have any moral reasons for it, I just figured it was an easier way to lose weight and keep my vitals on the up and up. Plus, there was a vegetarian in my psychology class I was smitten with, and I reckoned that had to score me a couple of extra points.

Well, as was my torrid collegiate romance with Becky Schopenhauer, my dietary dalliance with vegetarianism was short-lived. One of the things people don’t tell you about going full veggie is just how expensive it is, and when a four-pack of MorningStar Farms veggie patties costs twice as much as two eight packs of Earl Campbell Hot Link sausages — and you’re a broke communications major — the economics become pretty obvious.

Yet all these years later, every now and then I still get a hankering for a good black bean burger. And while a lot of the more upscale burger joints have their own default veggie alternatives, finding soy patties at the larger fast food chains — your McDonald’s, your Wendy’s, your Steak n’ Shakes, etc. — is usually a lost cause.

Burger King Impossible Whopper 2

Sure, a few chains have experimented with meatless options a la Beyond Meat, but nothing on the scale of Burger King with its newfangled Impossible Whopper, which, as the name suggests, is the fast food leviathan’s signature item, albeit with the all-beef patty eschewed for an Impossible Foods-branded faux burger.

Without getting too scientific here, the secret ingredient in the Impossible Whopper patty is this stuff called leghemoglobin, which is a genetically-modified soy derivative that supposedly provides consumers the most meat-like meatless taste on the market.

Sure, sure, all of this pre-publicity puffery is fine and dandy, but I’m here to give it to you straight. So, is the Burger King Impossible Whopper truly the revolutionary product it claims to be?

Well, not really, but that’s not to say it isn’t a decent fast food burger.

Burger King Impossible Whopper Toppings

First things first, the patty itself is just too small. It’s maybe half the girth of the standard Whopper patty, and instead of being plump and juicy, this newfangled Impossible Whopper tastes more charred and salty. The patty itself, though, does have a pretty solid smoky flavor to it, and the mouthfeel of the product isn’t as chewy as you may expect. It doesn’t quite capture the “real” beef Whopper taste, but it gets closer to it than you’d think.

Burger King Impossible Whopper Tomato

And that’s thanks, in no small part, to the rest of the sandwich. It’s pretty amazing how all of the accoutrements — the lettuce, mayonnaise, and tomatoes — gel together to provide an idiosyncratic Whopper taste, despite the lack of a “true” Whopper patty whatsoever. You might have some reservations about the Impossible Whopper, but holistically, it tastes remarkably like its object of emulation.

Despite all of the hoopla over this meatless menu item, it seems a little odd to me that so few have noted that, for years, Burger King has already been serving what is effectively a “veggie Whopper.”

The weird thing is, the overall product reminds me of Burger King’s previous meatless burger, which utilized a MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie patty. Whatever gustatory quirks may be there, it appears are sizzled out in BK’s grilling process — so ultimately, you wind up with an Impossible patty that tastes just a tad too crispy, and a little too generic, for its own good.

Still, it’s an altogether pleasing product that ought to make vegetarians on the prowl for something a tad more filling than a garden salad pretty happy, although I just can’t see it turning long-time, omnivorous Whopper-fanatics into staunch vegans anytime soon.

Regardless, I’m pulling for the Impossible Whopper to be successful, if only to inspire competing burger chains to try their hands at the pseudo-burger fad. I mean, let’s face it — who doesn’t want to live in a world where Arby’s releases its own vegan-friendly Meat Mountain Sandwich a couple of years down the road?

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 630 calories; 34 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,080 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar and 25 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Pulled Pork King

Burger King Pulled Pork King

After trying its hand at seemingly every possible variation of the King burger imaginable, the suits at Burger King finally decided to get rid of the flame-broiled patty altogether and try something radically different with the fast food flagship.

Enter the Pulled Pork King, which as the name suggests, is a Sloppy Joe-like sandwich consisting of BBQ-sauce-slathered shredded pork, crispy onions, and a handful of pickles…all underneath a toasted sesame seed bun, as apparently required under a decree of the Burger King himself. (An aside, but does the titular Burger King even have a first or last name?)

I went into this with pretty low expectations, but I have to say I was very surprised by its overall quality. The shredded pork was flavorful and unexpectedly smoky, giving it an authentic taste and texture you wouldn’t expect to come out of a fast food kitchen.

Burger King Pulled Pork King 4

Burger King Pulled Pork King 3

Likewise, the BBQ sauce itself was very good, packing enough vinegary tart and sugary sweetness to placate seemingly all of your tastebud’s domains — although I’m disappointed to report that said sauce was nowhere near as “hot and spicy” as advertised. But the crispy onion and pickles certainly did their part, bringing enough mouthfeel and flavor diversity to the product without taking away from the marquee pork taste.

At $5.79, the Pulled Pork King is a hefty investment for a BK offering, so your mileage may vary on whether or not the L-T-O is worth that kind of moolah. That said, the sandwich itself is fairly large and filling, so if volume is a priority, you probably won’t be disappointed by this one unless you have the stomach of a competitive eater or something.

Of course, this being a King burger relative, the usual caveats about salt and squishiness do apply: with more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, this thing will starch your throat fast, and heaven help you if you drop this thing on your lap — good luck EVER getting the BBQ sauce stains off your Dockers there, buddy.

Burger King Pulled Pork King 2

Burger King’s Pulled Pork King checks off just about all the boxes you would want a summertime, L-T-O sandwich to check off. It’s unique and ephemeral, and smacks of instant nostalgia, but at the same time, it’s also a stunningly flavorful item that tastes way better than you’d expect it to be. Never in a million years would I have thought Burger King of all restaurants would’ve figured out the secret sauce to crafting a great, on-the-go pulled pork sandwich, but here we are.

Long story short, if you’re a fan of BBQ or plain adventurous when it comes to fast food, you would be wise to give the Pulled Pork King a try. Heck, it’s so good, it kinda’ makes me wonder how BK would fare at an L-T-O brisket-burger next.

Purchased Price: $5.79
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 690 calories, 25 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,190 milligrams of sodium, 82 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 34 grams of sugar, and 35 grams of protein.

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REVIEW: Burger King Stacker King

Burger King Stacker King

What is the Burger King Stacker King?

The newfangled Burger King Stacker King, as the name implies, is the beefed up (literally) spiritual successor to BK’s fan-favorite Stacker. Indeed, the Stacker King is more or less the same concept as the decade-old mega meat sensation. It’s a combination of flame grilled beef, a deluge of crispy bacon, a hearty helping of American cheese, and a delightful dollop of the proprietary Stacker Sauce. And, depending on your appetite/lack of concern for your wellbeing, it comes in single, double and triple patty-stacked permutations.

How is it?

You know exactly what you’re getting into with this one. The Stacker King (I went with the double-patty offering) is an ultra-satisfying, no frills, no-risks-taken burger that’s about one thing, and one thing only — volume.

Burger King Stacker King Lots o Bacon

You have to give Burger King some props on this one because they did not skimp out on the protein; in fact, my Stacker King came loaded with no less than EIGHT strips of bacon, which is enough to qualify as a breakfast buffet legally. And the Stacker Sauce — something of a lite chipotle mayo medley with a teensy taste of relish and celery — is a plain fantastic condiment, which I’d love to see released as a retail product.

Burger King Stacker King Stacker Sauce

Is there anything else you need to know?

Something like the Stacker King is almost a review-proof fast food item. Right off the bat, you know whether you’d love it or flee from it in terror, so if the photos get your stomach rumbling or churning, I can promise you the actual product would have the same effect on your tummy. Two words of warning before you place your order, though: running the gamut from $5.49 to just shy of $8 (in metro-Atlanta, anyway) these sandwiches aren’t the cheapest burgers on the market, and they have nearly a full day’s worth of sodium.

Conclusion:

Burger King Stacker King Cheese

It may not be a terribly creative item, but the Stacker King is unquestionably a scrumptious and extremely filling fast food L-T-O. Sure, we could complain about the product being a little bit too basic (this thing would’ve been considerably better with Swiss or Havarti), and the lack of virtually any veggies might put a few would-be diners off. But on the whole, this is a yummy, unsophisticated, XXXL burger that does everything it has to and absolutely nothing more; obviously, the more artisanal fast food fans need not apply here.

Purchased Price: $6.29
Size: Double
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Double) 1050 calories, 68 grams of fat, 28 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 grams of trans fat, 235 milligrams of cholesterol, 1879 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 61 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Bacon Cheesy Tots

Burger King Bacon Cheesy Tots

What are the Burger King Bacon Cheesy Tots?

With the Bacon Cheesy Tots, Burger King is putting a new spin on a tried and true comfort food favorite.

Sorta’.

These spherical, fried potato discs might look like your average tots, but inside you’ll find a molten core of creamy cheese and several hearty chunks of crispy bacon. Or, at least, that’s what the marketing materials claim.

How are they?

Burger King Bacon Cheesy Tots 8 Pack

On the whole, the Bacon Cheesy Tots are tasty, but they ultimately feel like nothing more than a glorified breakfast menu side item. The exterior shells of the tots are nice and crispy (thank goodness, because there are few things in this world more lamentable than soggy tots), but the interior filling leaves a lot to be desired.

Burger King Bacon Cheesy Tots Innards

On the plus side, the tots do taste adequately cheesy — in case you were wondering, it appears to be cheddar-based — but the bacon ratio is sorely disappointing. In fact, on some tots you may only get a speck or a granule of bacon bits; and such inconsistency from tot to tot, I assure you, is truly maddening.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The general texture and mouthfeel of the products are quite satisfying, and the tots are certainly filling on an empty stomach. Alas, its taste isn’t all that distinct, and as the case with MANY Burger King items, the product is astoundingly salty. Just eight pieces will net you close to half a day’s worth of suggested sodium intake. Naturally, you’ll need a beverage nearby for this one — and your favorite in-house BK dipping sauce wouldn’t hurt, either.

Conclusion:

Burger King Bacon Cheesy Tots Innards Closeup

The lack of bacon is what really hurts this one. Granted, I wasn’t expecting the tots to be edible bacon pinatas or anything, but it certainly feels like modern science has progressed enough that far more chunks of pork can be engineered into the potato balls.

Furthermore, it would’ve been nice to see BK partner this one with some sort of sauce. A nice, mesquite BBQ blend, for example, would’ve given this product some added shelf-life. Still, considering the low price point and the high volume of product, there’s certainly an element of value to the tots; although unless you are REALLY strapped for cash, I wouldn’t exactly recommend going out of one’s way to experience this L-T-O snacker.

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 8 tots
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 330 calories; 14 grams of fat, 0 grams of total fat, 15 milligrams
of cholesterol, 1,020 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein

REVIEW: Burger King Big King XL

Burger King Big King XL

What is the Burger King Big King XL?

Well, as the name implies, the newfangled BIG King XL from Burger King is pretty much a jumbo-sized variation of its Big King burger — which, itself, is basically Burger King’s rebuttal to the Big Mac.

For the uninitiated, we’re talking more than 1/2 lb. of flame-grilled 100 percent beef, a double serving of gooey American cheese, a smattering of sliced onions, a crown of lettuce, a deluge of pickles, and a heaping helping of the proprietary Stacker sauce underneath the topmost sesame seed bun.

How is it?

In a word? Heavy. Literally, metaphorically, figuratively and phonetically. I’m not quite sure how much the sandwich weighs, but this thing has to be at least a solid pound with all the accoutrements included. Indeed, it’s so big that it might prove a challenge to eaters with smaller mouths, so keep that in mind before you shell out the moolah for this one.

Burger King Big King XL Top

As for the overall taste and texture, it’s pretty much exactly what’s advertised — a humongous, sumo-wrestler-sized version of the tried and true Big Mac imitator, which is definitely more than enough to fill up just about anybody who doesn’t have the metabolism of a hummingbird.

Burger King Big King XL Patties and Toppings

Burger King Big King XL Lettuce

Is there anything else I need to know?

I thoroughly enjoyed the Big King XL, even though as a limited-time-only offering it’s rather staid. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed having some bacon in there, or it would’ve been cool to see the King give the plus-sized burger a more unique hook — perhaps one of the more esoteric toppings, like jalapeno rings or mushrooms, or even an all-new sauce. But as is it’s still a perfectly fine, flavorful and filling hamburger that ought to satiate anybody with a craving for high-calorie mega-fast-food.

Conclusion:

You know exactly what you’re getting into with the Big King XL, and that’s mostly a good thing. There’s no denying it’s a tasty burger, and if you’re on the prowl for a fast food offering that will stick to your ribs, look no further.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: XL… what else?
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 980 calories, 63 grams of fat, 27 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 gram of trans fat, 215 milligrams of cholesterol, 1660 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 56 grams of protein..

QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Burger King Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich

What is the Burger King Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich?

The Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a fairly straightforward offering from The King. You’ve got a big, crispy chicken filet (which, if you so request, comes with special spicy seasonings), a couple of strips of smoky bacon, a toasted potato bun, and two types of cheese-related dressings underneath. There’s a thick, creamy cheddar sauce and what appears to be at least two slices of melted (or at least slightly warmer than usual) American cheese.

How is it?

Burger King Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich 3

The chicken filet is actually a lot better than you may anticipate, and as always, Burger King’s bacon, in my opinion, remains one of the most underrated toppings in the world of fast food fix-ins.

Burger King Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich 4

The potato bun, unfortunately, doesn’t have much flavor to it, but where this thing really disappoints is in the cheese department. The proprietary cheddar sauce is shockingly tasteless, and whatever brand of American cheese BK is using these days has to be one of the more mundane variations on the market.

Is there anything else you need to know?

This is a perfectly fine fast food offering… and that’s the problem. There’s no denying the Cheesy Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich — which I’m just going to call the CBCCS from here on out — is a flavorful, hearty sandwich, which will certainly fulfill whatever poultry-burger cravings you may be having.

Alas, it doesn’t offer anything new, and the lack of any fresh produce to counterbalance the medley of meats makes this a recipe for cottonmouth city (not a surprise in the slightest, since this sammich packs nearly an entire day’s worth of recommended salt intake).

Conclusion:

The CBCCS plays it a little too safe, and the result is a tasty, but hardly remarkable, limited time only sandwich from the fast food juggernaut that seems like it’s pumping out a new LTO item every 10 to 12 days.

The sandwich definitely could have been improved with a different sauce (a savory boom-boom aioli, perhaps?) and with so much meat in the mix, some lettuce and tomato almost seem like a gustatory necessary.

It would have been nice to see BK get a little experimental with the toppings (some onion rings or fried mushrooms would’ve been great), but it seems like the choice of dairy is where the King went astray here. Swiss, mozzarella, gruyere … pretty much anything would’ve been a better fit than the Velveeta spread they ultimately opted for.

Still, it is good and extraordinarily filling; but for the rather steep price point, it seems like you should be getting something a little more distinct than the final product.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 650 calories, 32 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,980 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 31 grams of protein.

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