I don't know if I've ever told you guys this, but I was diagnosed with Assburger's Syndrome a few years back. My family recalls dismissing my odd childhood quirks, but now knowing this, has discovered that it all makes sense. My obsessive nature for cataloguing and researching the various breeding habits of the Wagyu cattle, the two-step burger flip technique I patented and published in Burgher Quarterly at the age of five, my valedictorian speech at high school- "Some may go on to eat burgers. Some, to make them. But you, as you stand here on this bright, sunny day, go forth, denizens of Branford High School, and hold that spatula aloft!"
After being booed off the stage that day, ground beef pelting my mortarboard and gown, it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn't normal. Other kids were satisfied with the ordinary, with dry, tasteless burgers from chains. Burgers stamped out in perfectly circular forms from molds. Burgers that they could identify with. In college, I flourished. I found dry-aged Kobe burgers and regional specialties, but still, a persistent thought rang in the back of my head. What is it like to know and love a normal burger? This thought haunting my every move, I finally decided to go into my local Burger King and put this case to rest.
The BK Mini appeared to be the latest trend, along with commemorative Amy Winehouse steins and Justin Bieber skin masks. (Oh, the Google results we'll get for that.) Offered in a pack of four, the faithful employees of Burger King misunderstood my request in asking for one of each burger. Twelve minis later, and I was out the door. BK has recently employed the usage of a special, plastic-lined burger carrying case, not unlike some of Prada's recent wares or that of the White Castle Crave Case. Nice try, but unfortunately, it makes Burger King look like a Guitar Hero champ attempting to go up onstage and jam with Walter Becker of Steely Dan. Similar, but obviously and pathetically inferior.
Each burger variety comes in a pack of four, intentionally constructed (at least at my local chain) to annoy the fuck out of you with every step. The buns are stacked one way. These must be torn apart. And the burgers are layered in the opposite direction. These must also be torn. It ends up looking like something you'd want to feed through a catheter instead of eating, further propelling my theory that it would be much easier and a propos to eat the entire burger foursome out of its provided trough without using your hands.We'll start with the hamburger. All of the burgers had this same level of haphazard placement, as though they'd all been through Hurricane Katrina while their makers were in the middle of watching Cats on PBS. Seriously, how hard is it to match shapes together? Preschoolers don't even have trouble with that anymore. I requested this without cheese, and received it without cheese, but tasted the unmistakable tang of partially melted American in each bite. I cannot tell you how disturbing this is. Why would a simple burger taste like creamy, chalky cheese? It was creepy. When the cheese flavor faded away, I was left with a dry, chewy piece of beef and a slathering of ketchup and pickles. The two condiments were poorly chosen as each was acidic and sweet and thus doubled up on the saccharine flavor of the burger. A few raw onions would have been preferable, hell, a smear of their zesty sauce would have been better than these. The bread was strangely sweet and too soft for the burger. It would have been more appropriate for a breakfast sandwich or for usage as toilet paper for those with sensitive needs.
I figured the cheeseburger would be better as it would use that cheesy flavor to its advantage. Not really the case, unfortunately. Most of the cheese was painted all over the side of the box. In this burger, the beef was just as over-cooked and rubbery, but thankfully, the ketchup and pickle candy was tempered as a result of the blanket of cheese. These were extremely dry despite having a copious amount of condiments layered on top. The beef must have been soaking up all the moisture. What kind of hellspawn could create this?Oh yeah, that's right. Burger King. There's a reason the King's eyes looked so dead. May he rest in peace. The last of the minis (thankfully, BK knew they'd be attacked by ninjas and Jersey Shore wannabes if they dare called them sliders) was the chicken mini, which I was hoping would be a facsimile of the chicken mini from Chick-Fil-A. Well, it wasn't. Sadly, it was the best of the trio, which is like saying "Come Sail Away" is the best Styx song. Everybody loses. This particular sandwich brought back all of the painful memories and tense lunchtime trades of the 4th grade without field trips or Pizza Friday. You know the flavor like the back of your tongue. That thin, overcooked, spongy chicken patty glopped with mayonnaise. The sole mini I ate was cold and stringy in the middle with a texture like a rubber ball. The pickle was lost in the overall suckage of this sandwich, leaving behind a texture and nothing more. It was moist on the inside, though, that being its only saving grace. I was asked if I wanted cheese on these. Anything else on top of these would be adding fuel to the fire.I applaud Burger King for trying something new, though in the year 2011, the trend of "new" things seems to be more like rehashing old things that nobody liked in the first place, and remarketing them as new. In this dark time, I find myself missing the 2010 "new" items, where "new" was just an excuse to make weird-ass shit and sell it to people, daring them to consume it. These are just another product sealing the fate of mediocrity in fast food (what a surprise) with gluey cheese and sticky buns. Damn you, Burger King. Bring back the BK Baguette.
For now, these will live in The Freezer of Failed Expectations, on top of the Refrigerator of Truth and Condiments, where they will live out their days wishing they were frozen White Castle sliders before meeting their fate one drunken evening when I mistake them for actual burgers. They will be joining the ranks of similar eateries, like The Suburban. Thank god I'm not burgertypical.
Labels: 1, chicken, fast food, meat, sandwich