This week, I dug into the sofa cushion and emptied the coins in my car ashtray for perhaps the biggest, best bargain in the drive-thru: three large pancakes with syrup and butter for 89 cents at Burger King. A meal deal for less than a buck, when was the last time we saw that? This doesn't even qualify for a Dollar Menu Board.
Here's the Burger King pancake breakdown: three "large" flapjacks, a packet for maple-flavored syrup and a slab of actual butter ("real tomato ketchup, Eddie?"). Good on Burger King for offering butter instead of whatever "butter spread" is in those 55 gallon drums in the storeroom.
Total calories: 440. Fat grams: 16. Sodium: 700 mg. Carbs: 71 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein: 5 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: 89 cents.
Perhaps Burger King needs to send its promotional team to the eye doc. "Large?" The King's cakes are about 4 inches across, hardly large by IHOP standards, and nowhere close to the manhole covers at Buffalo Grille. BK's pancakes are about the size of leggo my Eggos in the frozen food aisle of the supermarket. Burger King nukes them to order, and serves 'em hot and steamy with syrup and butter.
The pancakes have a hint of vanilla flavor — nice touch. If you want to avoid butter's calories and fat, just don't crack the butter packet. The maple-flavored syrup adds enough boost and gooiness to the pancakes. The pancakes are fluffy, golden brown and familiar. Perfectly fine. But this is more a price thing than a quality breakfast event. If three smallish pancakes don't hold you, just order another order. They're only 89 cents, it won't break you.
Best bargain buys
Burger King's crazy good pancake deal is only part of a recent onslaught of drive-through bargains. Burger King also has 10 Chicken Nuggets with two sauce packs (470 calories, 29 fat grams) for $1. Wendy's has "any size" fries (large has 554 calories, 26 fat grams) for $1. And McDonald's is sticking with its "any size" soda (diet has 0 calories and fat) for a buck. Eat cheap, everybody.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.