This week, I reached out for a Pulled Pork King Sandwich, the newest, and most different, addition to the upscale sandwich line at America’s No. 2 burger barn, Burger King, with about 8,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
Pulled pork at a drive-thru burger joint? Might as well, since the King just unleashed one-buck tacos on the menu. They’re going to need a special window to handle cars packed with teenage guys pulling up at midnight for cheap tacos.
The Pulled Pork King is a lot more expensive, but better suited for civilized daytime consumption.
Here’s the Pulled Pork King breakdown: savory tender pulled pork, topped with crispy onions, crunchy pickles, and spicy barbecue sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun. Total calories: 690. Fat grams: 25. Sodium: 1,190 mg. Carbs: 83 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Dietary fiber: 35 g. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $4.79.
This is Burger King’s take on the classic pulled pork sandwich. BK restaurants receive the pulled pork, already sauced and bagged, from a kitchen off campus. It’s not your favorite Houston barbecue joint slow-smoking huge pork butts out back. For example, over on Kirby, there’s a Burger King right next door to Goode Company, one of the most heralded and authentic barbecue joints in Texas. It would be unfair to expect Burger King to match Goode Company.
Still, kudos to Burger King for creativity and going the extra mile. As the great English poet Robert Browning wrote, “Ah, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” For those who didn’t major in English Lit, it was radio jock Casey Kasem who said, “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” Sort of the same thing.
Unfortunately, going the extra mile in Houston just finds another real-deal barbecue place. But let’s be fair to Burger King. For less than $5, the King is delivering a really filling, good enough pulled pork sandwich, which will please less snooty barbecue snobs.
The pickles and fried onion bits provide some fun crunch, and the sauce certainly pops with vinegar sharpness and sugar sweetness. What can I say? It’s a really nice sandwich anywhere outside Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, and other barbecue capitals.
We’re spoiled here.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.