REVIEW: Burger King Ghost Whopper

Burger King Ghost Whopper 1

Burger King might be the, excuse the pun, king of fun in the fast food burger world. While McD’s has added spicy BBQ sauce to tenders and Wendy’s seems to just add more bacon to things, BK is out with another Halloween-themed entry.

Continuing with its tradition of wacky colored buns after green and black, the burger chain is giving white the spotlight for its new Ghost Whopper. Unfortunately, there are no other differences other than the bun to the regular Whopper. They both have a 1/4 pound flame-grilled beef patty topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, sliced onions, and mayonnaise. Those last ingredients are white, like a ghost. Oooooh, spooky!!! But the bun isn’t just white, it’s also white cheddar-flavored.

Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you’ve experienced a Whopper before and know it’s a damn good fast food burger. The tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and onions give the burger a nice crunch while the ketchup and mayo give some creaminess that seems to bring all the components together without overshadowing each other. The standout, though, is the beef patty with a nice chargrilled flavor and those grill lines that seem to trick your mind into thinking it’s even better than what you’re tasting. With all that being said, how is the special bun?

Burger King Ghost Whopper 2

Well, I wish I had something more exciting to say, but it’s merely ok. Is it super cheesy? No, but I can tell it’s not a regular sesame seed bun. The flavor comes through at the very end of chewing, and it’s a nice capper to all the other ingredients. But you do have to really think about it to taste the cheesy nuances of the bread. It’s kind of like if you think you saw a ghost and you wanted to see it again. To do that, you would have to squint and work hard to try to get a glimpse of it again.

Meanwhile, the color is just satisfactory as well. The photos I took are a little misleading, because it’s definitely white. However, is it scarily white like a ghost? Not at all. Also, the fact that coming after a jarring black bun and glorious neon green one, it’s frankly lackluster. A steamed Chinese bun is even whiter than this.

Burger King Ghost Whopper 3

I appreciate Burger King’s constant innovation and doing fun promotional things. However, for some reason, this iteration screams (like what I did there?) of desperation of a phoned-in effort (remember the opening scene of Scream? Ha!). Between the extremely limited release at only 10 locations across the country to the single special component that didn’t even make an impression, it was a ghastly (ok, that’s the last one, I promise) disappointment for me.

Burger King Ghost Whopper 4

As I was finishing my burger, I was thinking back to the billboard at the restaurant where it slyly said at the bottom that it was, “APPROVED BY 11 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE.” I got a glorious chuckle out of that tidbit, but then it was followed by immediate sadness as I realized the actual product was nowhere near as clever or as exciting as the marketing on that window cling.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Not available on BK’s website, but here’s the nutrition facts for a regular Whopper) 660 calories, 40 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 980 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Impossible King

Burger King Impossible King

Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Two rights don’t quite make a left.
Two birds don’t make a handy bush. Or something like that.

But what do two impossibles make? ?Possible? Implausible? Divide by zero error?

Well, in my experience with Burger King’s Impossible King, I’d say it’d be more aptly named the Gastrointestinally Impassable King. For this sandwich, this absurdly unasked for and apparently regionally available unit of a double-pattied organism is heavy. Heavier than the internal conflict that arises when eating it:

Me: “It seems contradictory to put so much cheese on a meatless sandwich.”

Also me: “Dan, you’re just a vegetarian. And by default, they grill these with the beef burgers, wallowing in all the same moo juices.”

“I’m trying to get better! And besides, you can request for it to be non-broiled.”

“Did you?”

“…look, you’ve seen our stomach. We get bloated to the point of bleating off just one Impossible Whopper.”

“You haven’t had a real honkin’ heifer burger in years. Perhaps this isn’t for you.”

“Are you challenging me?”

“I’ll see you in the fetal position later.”

Alright, enough. Let’s enter the belly of the beast that is the beast in my belly.

I love the Impossible Whopper. It’s the perfect sacrifice to the phantom meat memories that haunt me not with “BOOs” but “lack of B12s,” and it’s my go-to vegetarian road trip indulgence. Yet by doubling down on impossibilities, the Impossible King manages to halve the original’s appeal. And for a good reason: balance.

Burger King Impossible King Split

The Impossible Whopper works because the scales of divine burger equity deemed it harmonious. Though the patties are imperfect meat clones that lack a certain hearty juiciness, the other toppings and trappings of a Whopper mask the blemishes with gushing pickles and the playful nip of white onions. But when said patty’s in-‘wich real estate becomes a duplex, the arid cracks in Impossible’s freest-range façade become glaring fissures.

The patties are dry. There, I said it. And by consequence, the entire Impossible King feels too dry.

Yes, the familiar smokiness and testosterone-associated texture of a burger still shine through to the point of inspiring me to call up my son for a game of catch. I don’t have a son. But the nuances. There’s still a palpable burst of much-needed tomato pulp, but the onion’d accents and pickled particulars are all smothered in dehydrated beefishness and a borderline seminal soup of mayo and melted cheese.

While I bet Burger King added so much cheese to try and restore blind burger justice, its dearth of flavor only makes the whole sandwich blander, mushier, and filler-heavy. Add in the sheer girth of this King-thing, and it’s unlikely to attract many seeking a wholesome lunch. I could only eat half of it at noontide, and after disgracing myself twelve hours later—as the Impossible King’s refrigerated remnants dimly reflected in the kitchen sink I devoured it over—I knew there would be an intestinal reckoning.

I slept the sleep of a freakshow cannonball-stomacher, and in my dream of getting gut-punched by the Burger King himself behind a heinously vandalized McDonald’s, I saw a prophecy of the abdominal agony that would come the following morning.

As I write this that very same morning, I can feel the Indigestible King exerting its influence over my writing, one fetal kick at a time. But I must tell you all the truth: even if you can find an Impossible King in your area, don’t bother. At $7.69, you’re paying two dollars too much for a manipulative sandwich that won’t respect you, nor your scant hopes of clean eating.

I’ll stick with the Impossible Whopper, thank you very much. It may not be healthy either, but at least it doesn’t force me into an unhealthy parasitic relationship with my distressed gut flora.

Purchased Price: $7.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Nutritional info unavailable: seriously, this thing’s a ghost online.

REVIEW: Burger King Pretzel Bacon King

Burger King Pretzel Bacon King

To begin, no, I don’t know why they call it “pretzel bread,” either. The bun doesn’t look like a pretzel, and it certainly doesn’t taste like one, either. But then again, I guess it’s a lot easier to fit the word “pretzel” on an advertising marquee than “try Burger King’s new Toasted Bun With The Letter ‘X’ Carved Into Its Bacon King,” so maybe it’s all just a matter of marketing?

As for the newfangled BK Pretzel Bacon King itself, basically what we’re working with here is the chain’s tried-and-true King burger, albeit with a much snazzier bun. As the name implies, BK has replaced the old sesame-seed-coated bun with a fancier, ritzier, and considerably fluffier pretzel bread base and it definitely distinguishes the product from its flame-broiled brethren.

On the whole, the product still has a fairly familiar Burger King flavor to it, but the texture is certainly something you don’t normally experience out of the fast food staple. Of course, it doesn’t quite taste like a gourmet burger, but it does provide a moderately more refined gustatory experience than most of the stuff you’ll be getting out of a drive-thru window these days.

Burger King Pretzel Bacon King Split

Underneath the bun, however, there’s not a whole lot new to experience here. Basically, it’s one or two 1/4 lb. patties topped with a hearty helping of bacon, shellacked with a blanket of molten American cheese, and then inundated with a barrage of mayonnaise and mustard. This is a product that would have benefited from having a couple of more ingredients in the mix — lettuce, tomato, heck, even a couple of fried onion rings would’ve done a lot to help this one pop a little more on your tastebuds.

Burger King Pretzel Bacon King Bacon

For the most part, every time you bite down you’re just getting a burst of cheese and mustard, which isn’t a bad combination per se, just one that’s, well, kinda’ mundane. A more exotic cheese (gruyere, perhaps?) would’ve given this one a firmer identity, and I’m still not sure why Burger King opted for the plain old yellow mustard when a spicier blend would’ve made for a more delectable limited-time-only product.

From there, the usual complaints and caveats about Burger King products continue to apply. I know it’s old hat, but with almost 2,000 milligrams of sodium in this sucker, you are really getting a high quotient of salt for one meal. And I wouldn’t suggest eating one of these in your finest apparel — even for a sauce-centric Burger King offering, this thing can get wildly sloppy.

On the whole, the Pretzel Bacon King is a solid and filing product, but its Achilles heel is that it’s too predictable. This is a fairly tasty L-T-O that plays things maybe a little too safe and offers consumers hardly anything they haven’t already experienced before. And at such a steep price point, you’d expect a little more than what you’re getting out of the overall package here.

Purchased Price: $5.79
Size: Single patty
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 920 calories, 60 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 135 milligrams of cholesterol, 1930 milligrams of sodium, 55 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 39 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Chicken Caesar Sandwich

Burger King Chicken Caesar Caesar Sandwich

What is the Burger King Spicy Chicken Caesar Sandwich?

With 2019 effectively serving as the Summer of Fast Food Chicken Sandwiches, did anybody expect Burger King to remain content sitting on the sidelines?

Indeed, BK has recently launched not one BUT THREE new Caesar Chicken Sandwiches, including both a grilled and crispy permutation. Today’s review, however, will focus explicitly on the spicy chicken variation, which comes with all of the usual fix-ins — lettuce, tomato slices, and bacon — with a couple of peelings of parmesan cheese and a proprietary Caesar sauce squeezed underneath the oily topmost potato bun. And oh yeah, I almost forgot — the crispy chicken filet is all breaded and battered with tongue-tingling spices. You know, with it being marketed as spicy and whatnot.

Burger King Chicken Caesar Caesar Sandwich 2

How is it?

At first glance, I was kinda’ taken aback by how small the sandwich appeared. And while the burger may be slightly more condensed than your regular Big King and Whopper offering, rest assured there is a LOT of content underneath this thing’s super greasy buns.

The chicken filet tastes slightly different from the chain’s other “spicy” patties, although I’m not quite sure what the new or tweaked spice itself may be (call it a shot in the dark, but maybe more paprika?). But it definitely gels very well with the rest of the ingredients. The bacon is super crispy, and the lettuce and tomato taste noticeably “fresher” than what you normally get out of a fast food hamburger.

Burger King Chicken Caesar Caesar Sandwich 3

But the two things that give this sandwich a unique identity are the slices of shaved parmesan cheese (which isn’t melted onto the chicken, thankfully) and the in-house Caesar sauce, which has a mild Creole seasoning flair to it. All in all, it doesn’t really taste like something you’d expect to find at Burger King — which, depending on your perspective, can either be a really good thing or a really bad thing.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Be forewarned; this is a very messy sandwich. Even small nibbles will produce quite a bit of Caesar sauce spatter, and the normal Burger King caveats concerning saltiness once again apply here. It packs a walloping 2,050 milligrams of sodium, so you’ll DEFINITELY need a beverage nearby to put this sucker down. Furthermore, at about $6 in the metro-Atlanta area, it’s far from a “cheap” on-the-go eat, especially considering the relatively small portion size.

Conclusion:

Well, the Spicy Chicken Caesar Sandwich certainly isn’t going to give the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich a run for its money, but that’s not really meant to be taken as a slight.

Overall, I’d consider this pseudo-premium offering from Burger King to be well above-average, and without question one of the more unique limited time only items to come out of the chain in quite some time.

The price point is problematic, but you could do much, much worse with deluxe edition fast food poultry burgers. Consider this a very good — although far from legitimately great — contribution from BK as the ongoing Chicken Sandwich Wars doth continue.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 830 calories, 50 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,050 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 37 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Maple Waffle Sandwich

Burger King Maple Waffle Sandwich

What is the Burger King Maple Waffle Sandwich?

Burger King’s latest answer to the McGriddle – a breakfast sandwich with maple laced waffle cakes as buns.

How is it?

It’s almost there. I wanted this to be great, but it’s ultimately just good. Good is good, though, right? Good.

Here’s the thing about fast food breakfast – the bread element is the most crucial part. I’m sure you’re familiar with BK’s eggs and meat. I’ve always liked BK’s fluffy folded egg, and its sausage patties are fine if not indistinguishable from anyone else’s. They do their part.

Burger King Maple Waffle Sandwich Top

The waffles are the big-ticket item here, but I think that might turn some people off of this sandwich.

I liked them, but they’re not without its flaws.

The waffles were a little too fried for my tastes, giving them an almost “funnel cakey” texture. I love that, but not sure I want it on a breakfast sandwich.

There are little maple spots speckled on the waffles, but they weren’t sweet enough. Again, it was alllllmost there. Getting subtle hints of sweetness was nice, but I was hoping for more.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I got the savory sausage because it’s the best option. Let’s be real. The thing is, Burger King probably should’ve gone with a maple sausage patty. This could have benefitted from more maple, and that would’ve been a good place to inject it.

Oh, and skip the cheese. It could just be me, but these savory/sweet breakfast sandwiches absolutely do not need a slice of cheese. In fact, I’d argue it knocks the sandwich down a peg as a whole.

Conclusion:

It ain’t great for ya, but you probably won’t be mad you ate this. It’s about 75% as good as a McGriddle. With a little tinkering, it could be a real star in the fast food breakfast world.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Sausage) 680 calories, 45 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 205 milligrams of cholesterol, 1140 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 23 grams of protein.

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.