Burger King is a staple of American cuisine, the kind of staples that seal your stomach shut after you’ve eaten too much Burger King. BK is the restaurant of choice, when not pissing off their franchise owners or dodging US taxes, the king has been busy as of late innovating in the fast food sector expanding his lines of failed products and, of course, ripping off McDonald’s. And why not? Burger King is currently in third place behind McDonald’s and Wendy’s and continues to shrink a little each year. That’s right, Burger King can’t even beat a ginger who doesn’t know what circular patties are.
It also doesn’t help that Burger King’s goal around 2003 to 2010 was to tailor its menu to the “American young male demographic,” or future stomach staplers of America, given that their then newly introduced items like the BK Stacker were disgusting blobs of cheese, beef, and bacon, and only served to promote some half-witted marketing dude’s idea that what people really want is a fast food place that prides itself on killing you faster than the competition. Once Burger King realized the market value of not targeting the fratboy who would eat dog crap if you gave him five bucks and a brewski, the company dramatically overhauled its menu, shrinking down to ten major items and introducing wraps, salads, and smoothies. By the company of course I mean 3G Capital, an outside investment firm who know that you don’t make big profits by targeting that fake 90’s “fight the power” dude-bro who, despite television portrayals, didn’t really exist.
But Burger King’s rule for ripping off McDonald’s is that if you’re going to 1:1 recreate your competition’s menu, do it wrong and do it late. The Big King is Burger King’s answer to the Big Mac, in which they just put their name on the sandwich. Earlier this year, they brought out two variations of the Big King, one of which the Shameless Consumer will be reviewing tonight at the cost of 2 for $5: The Mushroom & Swiss Big King.
I once referred to a plate of bloomin onions at the county fair as “terrifying awesome,” by which I was afraid that I would keel over dead before I managed to finish the plate. The Mushroom & Swiss Big King is terrifyingly awful, in the sense that it isn’t good but I can’t throw it out because the guy behind the cash register is currently pointing a loaded pistol in my direction. On second thought, I think I’ll just let him kill me. A trip to Burger King is a lesson in how poorly a business can be run, with the simple act of visiting and placing an order regrettable every time. Every visit means waiting fifteen to twenty minutes for your food, watching six of the eight employees piss around on their phones doing nothing, and still managing to get your order served lukewarm. I got faster service sending a telegram to Orville Redenbacher asking what the secret ingredient in his gourmet popping corn is, and he’s dead. The ingredient is corn, by the way. Who knew?
As for order, I found myself disappointed on two levels. The first, the gun trained on me wasn’t loaded because the employee can’t afford bullets, and the second is that this sandwich is absolutely disgusting. Burger King advertises the Mushroom & Swiss Big King as “our new Mushroom & Swiss BIG KING Sandwich features two savory fire-grilled beef patties, topped with melted Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, and featuring savory sautéed mushrooms, all on a warm, toasted, sesame seed bun.”
I have no clue what savory means, but in this context I’ll assume that it means canned and preserved with gravy. The gravy does a heavy disservice to the burger because, in addition to being globbed on, it gives the patty a greyish, sickly looking color like the kind of beef that sits outside in the sun for a day or two before Wendy’s sticks it in the chili. Burger King appears to be aware of this problem, because I asked the guy at the counter if the meat looked sickly and he responded “sir, it’s already dead.” You can’t pay your employees enough to lie to me, and certainly not enough to put me out of my misery after I’ve eaten your food, what are you good for Burger King?
In the standard Big King, the main ingredient is bread as you can see from the top picture. For the Mushroom and Swiss variant, the main ingredient appears to be mayonnaise. The mayo is dolloped on in such quantities that it overpowers the rest of the sandwich to the point where you can’t even taste the mushrooms and their heavy broth flavor, and the swiss cheese is nowhere to be found. I need to emphasize the fact that when I took the sandwich out of the bag, the wrapper was drenched in what I thought was grease. It was mayo. I have eaten mayonnaise sandwiches that had a smaller ratio of mayo than this burger.
The mushrooms, by the way, are soft and squishy and loaded with gravy that makes them slimy. This is probably the first time I’ve had to dab the inside of a burger with a napkin so I could feel safe eating it. The Mushroom & Swiss Big King is loaded with 560 calories, 20g protein, 35g carbs, 7g sugar, 37g fat, 11g saturated fat, 1.5g trans fat, 70mg cholesterol, and 760 mg of sodium or approximately 1.15 TGIF loaded potato skins.
I would be willing to put my money down that Burger King will expand the Big King line either this year or next, and you will see a rodeo Big King, an angry Big King, California Big King, Texas Big King, and more. We’ll call this one the King Big King, because much like its namesake it died on the toilet.