This week, I reached out for a Pretzel Bacon King Burger, the latest addition to the BK's upscale King Family (for you Lawrence Welk nostalgia buffs) at America's No. 2 burger barn, Burger King, with 7,400 restaurants coast/coast. Since this burger is timed for Oktoberfest, as they say back in Munich, "Lass uns eins essen." ("Let's eat one.")
Here's the Pretzel Bacon King Burger breakdown: a quarter-pound Whopper beef patty, smoked bacon strips, American cheese, mustard and mayo on a toasted pretzel bun. Yep, the elves in BK's research and development are at it again, mixing and matching well worn Burger King staples. They should call this The Possible Whopper
Total calories: 920. Fat grams: 60. Sodium: 1930 mg. Carbs: 55 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 39 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6. Not cheap.
Which do you want first, the good news or bad news? The bad news? Okay.
The pretzel bun is big and husky, but there's no coarse salt on the crown. The best pretzels, like they serve in Germany or Philadelphia, have chunky crystals of salt stuck on them. A pretzel without salt is like French fries without salt … pretty bland, bordering on tasteless. With salt, yummy.
American cheese was the easy way out. Burger King should have gone the extra step for authenticity and used a deep, rich beer cheese. And yellow mustard? Please! This burger cries out for spicy brown mustard or a grainy German-style mustard. And what's mayo doing here? Hold the mayo and lose a bunch of calories and fat grams. This is tubby enough already.
If you want to go over the top, get the Double Pretzel Bacon King Burger, with a half-pound of beef. Now we're talking 1,240 calories, 84 fat grams and 2,350 mg of sodium. The double will sell of lot of soft drinks for sure.
Now, I haven't forgotten the good news. The Pretzel Bacon King Burger is really a tasty burger. The total makes up for all the shortcomings. There's a good-size slab of flame-grilled beef, and cheese and bacon. The pretzel bun is split on top and gives a lot of chewy texture. The burger is good, all right, just could have been so much better.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.