REVIEW: Burger King Nightmare King and Frozen Fanta Scary Black Cherry

Burger King Nightmare King

Three years ago, Burger King unleashed its HA1loween Whopper on the masses. The steak-sauce slathered burger was really no different from the franchise’s marquee product, save one characteristic: the bun itself was pitch black. We’re talking darker than the other side of midnight or a lump of coal’s shadow. Coupled with an awesome mummy-inspired wrapper, there’s no denying that, aesthetically at least, BK hit a home run with one of the greatest seasonal fast food stunts in history.

That is, until customers started reporting some rather, uh, unsavory side effects associated with the product. And like that, the HA1loween Whopper went from being the All Hallows’ Eve junk food extravaganza of 2015 to forever being known as “that one hamburger that turned everybody’s turds turquoise.”

Well, BK has been hard at work over the last three years refining the general idea of the HA1loween Whopper, and they return this Spooktober with a steak sauce-less variation with a totally overhauled gimmick.

This time around, the revamped and rebranded Nightmare King instead comes with a glowing, algae-green bun, an extra piece of protein and a brand promise that ingesting the burger will give you ACTUAL nightmares. As in, BK even commissioned a real sleep study to prove that eating this Hallow-burger will inspire bad dreams, which has to be the single most bizarre fast food marketing hook I’ve heard of, well, probably ever.

But beyond all of the advertising hullabaloo and the empirical shock of gawping at what appears to be a radioactive Whopper, does the Nightmare King actually deliver the gustatory goods as a limited time only product?

Burger King Nightmare King 2

For starters, it’s almost impossible to describe the actual color of the hamburger bun. Sorry folks, but these photos don’t do the item justice. It’s not quite a lush, verdant green; it’s more of an off-copper gold-green. If Burger King sought to make this sucker look like poisonous fungi, it nailed it out of the park.

Burger King Nightmare King 3

Of course, the hamburger bun, outside of its serpent-like sheen, tastes just like any old sesame seed sandwich. It’s a missed opportunity, in my eyes; I mean, if you’re going to release a bun the same color as swamp algae, wouldn’t you want to make it taste at least somewhat like guacamole or wasabi?

Regardless, the sandwich itself — the Halloween gimmick aside — is astonishingly decent. The Nightmare King is a huge mamajama consisting of a flame-grilled beef patty, a crispy chicken patty, an absolute TON of bacon, a nice slathering of American cheese, a hearty helping of onions and a generous dollop of mayonnaise.

Burger King Nightmare King 4

Needless to say, it’s a VERY filling sandwich that would be as tasty sans the reptilian-tinted bun. It wouldn’t be surprising to see BK re-release this one a little later down the line with a more traditional bun. The dressings may scream “novelty,” but rest assured this is a damn delicious burger, no matter the time of year.

Burger King Frozen Fanta Scary Black Cherry

Lost amid all the hubbub about the Nightmare King, though, is the fact BK has wheeled out another spooky-themed L.T.O. to mark the 2018 Samhain season. And although it ain’t getting as much publicity as the franchise’s other holiday-hued offering, the Frozen Fanta Scary Black Cherry drink is one seasonal treat you don’t want to sleep on.

Effectively a cherry-limeade slush, this thing looks and tastes the way an L.T.O. Hallow-product ought to. It has a nice, velvety, blackish-purple sheen to it, and the half tart-half fruity flavor gives it a nice Jekyll and Hyde dynamic.

And considering the Nightmare King packs a jaw-dropping 1,800-plus milligrams of sodium, you’ll DEFINITELY need to have one of these things on hand to counteract that demonic dry mouth sensation, for sure.

Purchased Price: $6.29 (Nightmare King) $1.00 (Small Frozen Fanta)
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Nightmare King)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Frozen Fanta)
Nutrition Facts: (Nightmare King) – 1,020 calories, 65 grams of fat, 20 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,890 milligrams of sodium, 60 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 51 grams of protein. (Small Frozen Fanta Scary Black Cherry) – 120 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 grams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders

Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders

What are Burger King’s Crispy Chicken Tenders?

The newfangled Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders boast of “whole muscle white meat chicken” in a “home-style seasoned breading.” Which means, yeah, they’re pretty much the same thing — conceptually — that you’d get at every other fast food joint in these United States.

How are they?

BK’s latest menu addendum isn’t going to win any awards for creativity, but it makes up for its lack of originality by being a plain tasty offering.

Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders 2

First off, the tenders themselves are pretty big (I’d say they’re about the same size as Zaxby’s Chicken Fingerz) and the breading has a nice — dare I say KFC-esque? — smoky flavoring. The white meat is quite chewy, and for those of you who dislike the prospects of a torched tongue, rest assured that while these tenders have a little bit of heat to ‘em, they’re by no means a “spicy” product.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Burger King isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel here, and that’s ultimately the best attribute — and biggest weakness — of the product. Although quite yummy, they don’t have an idiosyncratic feel to them, and the lack of an especially pronounced herb or spice does make the breading taste a bit too mild. Honestly, there isn’t anything about these plump, juicy tenders that you haven’t already experienced, and likely at a lower cost than the $5 price point.


Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders 3

All in all, the Burger King Crispy Chicken Tenders are a solid — if not utterly predictable — addition to the BK lineup. Thankfully, its robust assortment of sauces gives the product a longer lifespan (naturally, I’d vouch for the Buffalo Sauce), and for a fairly small amount of food, the four-piece deal, surprisingly, filled me up.

Still, it would’ve been nice to have received a unique, proprietary sauce (how great would a Jalapeno queso have been here?), and one can’t help but be gobsmacked by the sodium content on these suckers — with a walloping 2,200 milligrams, eating these are equal to downing a full teaspoon of salt.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 4-piece meal
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 630 calories, 31 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,200 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 36 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Jalapeno King and Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich

Burger King Jalapeno King and Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich

As a huge fan of both authentic and inauthentic Tex-Mex cuisine, I’ve always had a penchant for jalapeno peppers. While a few chains add them as ingredients to their limited time only burgers, they nonetheless remain one of the less heralded toppings in the fast food cosmos. Needless to say, if I had it my way, jalapeno rings would be as ubiquitous as burger toppings as onion rings.

Thankfully, Burger King has come along with two newfangled, LTO sandwiches that seek to bring a little sweet heat to palates across America. First up in our dainty double feature of foodstuffs, it’s BK’s latest addition to the Big King family, the Jalapeno King.

Burger King Jalapeno King 1

As soon as you unwrap this monstrous burger, the powerful aroma of jalapeno hits your olfactory glands like a punching bag. The mammoth double-decker sandwich comes with half a pound of grilled beef, several strips of crispy bacon, a coating of pepper jack cheese, a green chile aioli (more on that in a bit) and, of course, a smattering of jalapeno rings.

If you’ve got a penchant for super filling, ultra-beefy burgers this one ought to satisfy you and then some. You get a TON of meat in this thing, and that aforementioned aioli is delicious (it’s basically a chipotle mayo dressing, with a subtle hint of lime thrown into the mix … I think.)

Burger King Jalapeno King 2

On the downside, though, the sandwich might be a bit too big for its own good. As much meat as they packed in this sucker, at least a quarter of the sandwich is just sesame seed bun on sesame seed bun action, and all that white (wheat?) space means some of the subtler flavors (like the bacon and the pepper jack cheese) get lost in the gustatory shuffle.

Burger King Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich 1

The considerably lighter Jalapeno Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich may not have the bulk of its beefy sibling, but overall I’d consider it the better one.

For starters, BK appears to have amped up their breading spices for this one, and for once, a fast food burger marketed as “spicy” actually TASTES respectably spicy. There’s a unique BBQ/Creole spice flavor I detected on the chicken rubbings, which makes it feel unlike anything you’ve probably tried at one of the major fast food chains before.

Burger King Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich 2

It has pretty much all of the same toppings and fill-ins as the Jalapeno King (save for the toasted potato bun), but the more condensed package allows the ingredients to meld quite a bit better than it does on the JK. You can feel the cheese and bacon gel together here, and the combination of pepper rings and BBQ spices might get your eyes to water a trickle or two. Of course, its smaller size also means it’s going to be a sloppier meal, so as always, we here at The Impulsive Buy encourage you to snack smart and ALWAYS opt for an extra napkin or two.

With both sandwiches costing north of $5 as standalone offerings, they’re probably not the best option for economically-minded diners. Still, you have to give BK props from at least trying to provide fast food consumers something outside the norm — as well as crafting two spicy LTOs that might get your nose running.

(Nutrition Facts – Jalapeno King – 990 calories, 65 grams of fat, 24 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of trans fat, 205 milligrams of cholesterol, 1550 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 55 grams of protein. Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Sandwich – 760 calories, 45 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1720 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $6.29 (Jalapeno King)

Purchased Price: $5.49 (Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich)
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Jalapeno King)
Rating: 8 ouf to 10 (Spicy Crispy Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich)
Pros: Both sandwiches are ridiculously filling; unlike most “spicy” fast food sandwiches. They’re genuinely spicy. The green chile aioli is superb.
Cons: The pepper jack cheese doesn’t taste that intense. Getting sauce and oil all over the place while you’re eating them. Trying to mathematically figure out how the chicken sandwich has more sodium than the Jalapeno King.

QUICK REVIEW: Burger King American Brewhouse King

Burger King American Brewhouse King

What is it?

Move over Meat Mountain. Take a hike Most American Thickburger. Flamethrower Grillburger? You might as well qualify for the kids menu now.

Just in time for the post-Independence Day afterglow, Burger King has graced us all with one of the most monstrous fast food burgers in history: a half-pound, all beef mega-sandwich topped with crispy onions, American cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, bacon and a hearty, proprietary “tavern sauce” — all culminating in a 1,500 calorie-plus, Budweiser-co-branded, grub-on-the-go Goliath.

How is it?

Burger King American Brewhouse King 2

Well, not that it’s all that surprising, but by golly, this newfangled American Brewhouse King is quite filling. Unless you’re a competitive eater or something, this huge honkin’ hamburger is almost sure to put you in a food coma, and truth be told, I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful the whole thing was.

Even factoring out the gimmicky pseudo-beer-flavored queso (which I still found quite tantalizing), you’ve got a solid fast food burger here, in which all of the ingredients gel quite well together. It may be nothing more than a shameless novelty, but as far as shameless novelties go, it’s certainly one of the more unironically enjoyable to come down the fast food chutes in quite some time.

Is there anything else I need to know?

You can quibble over a few details (I thought the crispy onion bits were too small and too sporadically sprinkled), but for the most part, you are getting a pretty good (if not somewhat overpriced) burger.

Burger King American Brewhouse King 3

Of course, the usual Burger King caveats do apply; considering this thing packs in almost a full day’s worth of sodium and has about half a dozen viscous fluids dripping out of it, you’d be well-advised to keep both a cold drink and a couple of napkins nearby at all times.


As a tongue-in-cheek, “yeah, we KNOW how unhealthy we’re being on purpose” summertime splurge, this is astonishingly tasty. Unlike some of the other seasonal gimmick foods making the rounds these days, the American Brewhouse King actually has consumer value beyond being another “experiential” event food tailor-made for the Instagram set.

Calorie overload or not, there’s no denying Burger King crafted a hedonistically yummy fast food artery-clogger with this one; give it a try if you’re an adventurous sort, but be prepared to do a LOT of overtime on the treadmill afterward.?

Purchased Price: $6/29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 1,550 calories, 136 grams of fat, 47 grams of saturated fat, 8 grams of trans fat, 805 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,820 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 134 grams of protein.

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.


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.