Friday, February 27, 2009

REVIEW: Burger King Serves Up a Different Kind of Shot

I first heard of the existence of the "new" Burger King Burger Shot via a Twitter post from @EricBGH, the nom de twitter of Bloody Good Horror's main admin. Since he's not located in the same part of the country as me I figured it might be a regional thing (like McDonalds' Crabcake sandwich I saw advertised in Ocean City, MD a few years back or the ill-advised Golden Arches Lobster Roll I tried in Maine many moons ago) and waited patiently for news of their arrival in my area.

I'm not sure why I get so worked up about these new and/or limited time menu items. They're almost always a disappointment and sometimes downright dreadful. Didn't I learn anything from the Loaded Steakhouse Burger disaster?

Naturally, some of you savvy readers will have already noted that the Burger Shot isn't really "new" at all. Burger King offered a similar menu item last year in the UK but it was far more advanced than the dumbed-down version us Yanks are getting. The UK sixer featured three different toppings on an Angus burger. One pair with ketchup, one pair with cheese, and the final duo with bacon and cheese.

Here in the States your options are limited to with cheese or without and my local BK couldn't even get that right. I ordered a Burger Shot with Cheese Value Meal (Coke and Onion Rings, please) but at least they didn't forget my Zesty O-Ring Dipping Sauce. Which, in my opinion, may be BK's greatest achievement outside The Whopper.

The Burger Shot can also trace it roots back to a 1980s Burger King menu item called Burger Buddies. Same concept: two mini burgers attached at the hip, sorta like conjoined twins, meant to be separated and shared. I don't remember ever trying Burger Buddies but I was probably too busy trying to drink my weight in Yuengling Porter.

But back to the Burger Shot. With every restaurant under the sun appearing to offer some bastardized mini-burger they call a "slider" it was inevitable that a major chain would step up to the plate and try to steal some of the White Castle/Krystal thunder.

After sampling the Burger Shot I can tell you that those beloved regional chains have nothing to worry about. The Burger Shot comes in a specially designed box which holds the six-pack of assembly-line-looking burgers. The buns and even some of the burgers remain attached, giving the whole offering the feel of something that was stamped out of a mold, not assembled with any kind of care.

Under the hood the burgers sport grill marks (not authentic I presume), pickles and a swirl of ketchup and yellow mustard. Luckily, the box includes instructions on how to disassemble and digest the mini burgers, though with something that's designed for more than one mouth (yeah, right) you'd think the final step might be "share".

The burger thickness is about that of a regular burger and unfortunately, the rolls seem to follow suit. Thick, doughy buns make this more of a Roll Shot with a little burger inside (and maybe a pickle, if you're lucky), well off the mark from the near perfection that is a White Castle Slyder, with its thin patty and wispy, slight soggy and cripsed rolls that can barely contain the slices of heaven they hold.

Sorry. Alas, the Burger Shot and a recent hook-up with some frozen White Castle Cheeseburgers have done nothing but leave me chomping at the bit for my upcoming trip to Cleveland and the chance to revel in Slyder excess.

The Burger Shot is a good idea though not executed with enough aplomb to make me forget a real Slyder or head back for more. As their recent limited-time excursions go, though, I have to admit I prefer these to the disappointing Angry (sic) Whopper or the average-at-best concoction known as the Loaded Steakhouse Burger.

For the full "you are there" essence of the moment check out our video of The Big Reveal.


Jennifer said...

Will a Skyline Chili 4- or 5-way be on your to-do list in Cleveland? I highly recommend one!

Dan said...

I've been starting to gather recommendations for the trip but I don't think anybody has mentioned Skyline yet. Consider it on the list! Any other Cleve-area recs?


Did you GRAB TEAR and ENJOY? Doesn't sound like it. It cracks me up that it doesn't matter what it is, if it's fast food and a limited time offer, YOU'RE THERE!

Dan said...

The box makes the process look far more fun than it was. The whole conjoined feel of it was frankly a bit creepy.

I'm such a predictable sucker for these things. I even tried the McLean Deluxe and the upscale Filet-O-Fish they put lettuce on!


What's got you goin' to Cleveland? Ever been? I think it's a great city and you will really like it.

What was the McD's sandwich where the whole selling point was that the lettuce and tomato stayed cold while the burger was hot?

And do you remember the commercials from the '80's with the jingle "I'll have a double double cheese cheese burger burger please?" Wayne and I used to repeat it constantly. Shocker, I'm sure.

Dan said...

Going to a horrorboy convention in Cleve the first weekend in April. Driving out with a buddy or two on Friday and heading back Monday.

I forgot you guys were big fans. Planning to hit the R&R HOF at some point -- want to see if they have enough stuff for the Dalis Car exhibit.

If you have any suggestions from your visits let me know!

I wasn't sure but a quick search confirmed that it was The McDLT you are thinking of. Not sure if I tried that one... but I sure ran out and got that horrid McLean Deluxe as soon as it came out. I literally think I took a bite then threw the rest in the back of The Probe.