This week, I reached out for a Big King XL, the newest big'un from America's No. 2 burger barn, Burger King, with 7,200 restaurants coast to coast, and another 8,000 locations 'round the globe. If this sounds like Burger King taking aim at McDonald's iconic Big Mac ... well, the creepy King has hit a bull's-eye.
Here's the Big King XL breakdown: two quarter-pound Whopper beef patties, two slices of American cheese, sliced raw onion, tomatoes, lettuce, and Stacker sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun.
Total calories: 980. Fat grams: 63. Sodium: 1,660 mg. Carbs: 51 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 56 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: a whopping $5.99. Your mileage may vary.
Yeah, this is BK's assault on the Big Mac, only bigger and extra larger. Instead of Big Mac's bit player patties, Burger King steals the show with two Whopper-sized patties, a solid half-pound of flame-grilled beef. Edge to BK. The Big King XL also dispatches Big Mac's middle bun, a slice of unnecessary carbs.
More than twice the beef and less bread gives the unanimous decision to Burger King. The Big King XL also costs a couple of bucks more than a Big Mac, but that's the price you pay for bigger and better.
Where BK has it all over McDonald's is the burger grilling process. BK flame-broils its beef patties, so they're less greasy and tastier than McDonald's flat-top fried burgers. Burger King's toppings and veggies stand up to McDonald's in freshness and color. All things equal, the Big King XL and Big Mac aren't equal.
Burger King also has introduced an M&M's Shake, with bits and pieces of candy sprinkled throughout the cup like birthday confetti. It sells for $3.99 and it's a tasty deal. You can call it an M&M's shake, but it's official name is "Vanilla Shake Made With M&M's Chocolate Candies." Then again, the actual name of painting we call "Whistler's Mother" is "Arrangement in Grey an Black No. 1." The Statue of Liberty's original name is "Liberty Enlightening the World." A shake by any other name would taste as sweet.
If you think a shake all shook up with M&M's is weird, it's pretty tame by Burger King standards. In the past few years, the King has knighted Lucky Charm Shakes, Fruit Loops Shakes, OREO Cookie Peppermint Shakes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shakes. They also have plain vanilla shakes, but seriously, how dull?
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.