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The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fast Food Review: BK Tries BBQ and Sweet Potato Fries

No shirtless David Beckham's please. Over the last year or so Burger King has been a fast food chain obessed with reinventing itself and marketing itself in new ways, including the aforementioned ploy, in order to regain tons of market share lost to competitors and turn the tide of negative public opinion. Every time I have tried one of BK's latest gimmicks I have been thoroughly unimpressed. I've commented on this blog before that BK's new ideas are basically just crap McDonald's has been doing for a long time. Smoothies, salads, coffee drinks, "premium" chicken, they even made a big deal about changing their fries to compete with McDonald's. The overall verdict? Pretty lame. That's why when I saw the latest commercial for their "Memphis BBQ Sandwich" and sweet potato fries I gave them by my emphatic eye roll yet.

BBQ. My personal favorite and something sacred to a lot of people and a lot of cultures. Burger King doing a version is practically food sacrilege. In spite of all of that I decided I had to give it a try. Honestly, I have to say that in terms of all the bbq I've ever ate it was probably not near the top half of the list. However, it's important to note that, for a Burger King product, it was surprisingly good, and I would even venture to say that it's the best new item BK has put on the menu in years. The bbq meat itself was very finely shredded (probably too much for my liking), and the flavor of the sauce was sweet but subtle. My sandwich also had a strange kind of sauce in addition to the red bbq sauce that seemed almost like a honey mustard. At first I was apprehensive but I didn't hate it. The sandwich was topped with some pitiful looking raw onions which I removed. They simply don't belong on a bbq sandwich. Granted, there was absolutely nothing that made this sandwich "Memphis" bbq which usually means heavily spiced meat and no sauce, but I understood from the get go that labeling it "Memphis" is just marketing.

The sweet potato fries are another matter altogether. I have to confess I'm a total sweet potato addict. I've ate them since I was a little kid, and in recent years when sweet potato fries have been the trend I've been a happy man. It was about time that a fast food chain jumped on this, and I think it was especially a good move for BK. Their regular fries are something I wouldn't feed to my dog so anything is a step up. Unfortunately, the sweet potato fries must not be a huge hit because the ones I had must have been sitting out quite a while and were rather soggy and cold. That being said I still can't hate too much on sweet potato fries and at BK I'd get them over their regular fries any time.

Taste 7.5/10 A fairly solid effort from BK that exceeded most of my admittedly low expectations. I would order both items again.
Value 8/10 I got a medium combo with upgraded fries and a special sandwich and it was basically the normal combo price. The Girlfriend got a Whopper Jr. combo and our bill was still only 11 bucks or so.
Misc I would be remiss if I didn't mention the entire experience of going to BK. Two words: it sucks. Burger King can revamp their menu, add a bunch of sundaes and drinks, and replace the traditional menu board with LED screens, but one thing hasn't changed. The service. The employees are easily the  worst in all of fast food. We got ignored when we walked in, no one smiled, tables were dirty. It's just the type of thing you don't normally see at McDonald's. It's the reason my fries were cold, and that's why it's hard to go back.