Burger King's A.1 Halloween Whopper Finds the Grinch in Ryan Cady
The only picture you really need to see
Photo by Ryan Cady
You're probably only reading this because you want confirmation of the rumors, huh? Well, fine, let's get it out of the way - we've gotten to know each other pretty well over the years, readers, so I don't have much to hide from you. You know many, many disgusting things about me, so why should I hesitate to add one more item onto the list? Alright. I'm here to confirm your greatest fears.
The Burger King A.1 Halloween Whopper does, in fact, turn your poop green.
And I don't want to go too into detail, but suffice to say it's not like, a sickly, oh-no-are-my-kidneys-failing green, but more like a limey, weird food coloring green. A green that stains. OKAY, OKAY, SORRY, STOPPING NOW. For both our sakes, maybe I should just get back to talking about the burger itself.
First of all, for everyone who got all excited that Burger King was bringing their metal-as-fuck Japanese all-black burger to the states, turn off your weeaboo engines, because, alas, this isn't really that. It doesn't come with spooky black cheese, sesame sauce, or a weird charcoaled bun. Sadly, the BK recipe for a spookylicious Halloween burger is - "mix all the dyes together into black and claim we added A1 sauce to it" with a slice of classic American cheese. Maybe I'm a little bitter, but I feel like the King shafted us a bit here, or maybe I just have high expectations after the glory of Chicken Fries. Suffice to say, if you want a TRULY midnight black as your death metal heart burger experience, you're going to have to travel to Asia.
But I don't wanna get up on my high horse and talk shit on the Burger King - I'm not royalty, and I definitely don't proclaim to understand the political and diplomatic complexities that go into running a food-based monarchy, but I have to say, even putting aside the expectations that the Japanese burger laid out for us, I'm not happy with the finished product.
My liege, I fear you have failed your people.
At its core, the Whopper isn't really all that great. It's better than a Quarter Pounder, but that's not a hard standard to beat - all you have to do is use actual beef. At least BK chars its patties, but even in the realm of fast food burgers, the good people at Carl's Jr. make better burgers than the King with their hands tied behind their backs, and at pretty much the same price.
So when you're offering up a gimmick (even a spectacular one like black burger buns) for a BK burger, that gimmick is going to have to shoulder most of the hard work. A thin patty with a lukewarm cheese product doesn't really rock even my fast-food-inclined world, even when placed politely next to the King's impeccably tasty French fries.
And, unfortunately, the gimmicky patties of the A.1 Halloween Whopper do not make an iota of difference.
Sincerely. First of all, the buns do not taste like A.1 sauce. Or any sauce. They just taste like bread. I ate the bun by myself, I ate the bun with my eyes closed, I ate a regular bun by comparison - just normal bun. There's a little weird cognitive dissonance when you first look at the burger (and I guess this is where the spooky Halloween bit comes in), and your stomach roils and your mind cries out that it must break in the face of such incomparable madness, and that to dare taste such Cyclopean delicacies is to invite the wrath of the Old Ones themselves and descend into gibbering, chattering lunacy -
Sorry, went full Lovecraft there for a sec. What I meant to say was, the burger looks weird, but it tastes normal. Boring normal. I could not taste any hint of A.1 flavor "baked into the bun," I could not taste the A.1 "thick and hearty" sauce supposedly slathered on top of the burger, and I could not taste the spookylicious spirit of the season in every bite. What I could taste, was disappointment.
Disappointment and American Cheese.
On the other hand, nobody likes a Scrooge, and who am I to get Grinchy on folks for feeling the Halloween spirit? I love Halloween! It's a joyous holiday, and I firmly believe that tradition doesn't have to make sense, as long as it's fun. So maybe I'm going about this wrong - maybe the King should be applauded for trying to introduce a little autumnal attitude that doesn't revolve around pumpkin spice (I mean, granted, they have a Pumpkin Spice Oreo Shake, and it IS delicious, but still). Maybe if you're going to grab a regular A.1 Whopper for practically the same price, it's not so strange to shell out a little extra for some haunting aesthetic value. Maybe it doesn't matter how the A.1 Halloween Whopper tastes, as long as you have fun and get a few social media posts out of it.
I guess that's up to you. But don't come crying to me when your poop turns green.
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