Burger King's new summer menu is both sweet and sour

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J. Wohletz
The new BK Bacon Sundae, sitting on my dashboard.
Just when I thought that Burger King had exhausted its creative juices creating the BK Bacon Sundae, the Whopper elves managed to turn out three new summer sandwiches, all based on barbecue.

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J. Wohletz
The BK Memphis BBQ sandwich.
I hit the drive-thru at the Burger King at 600 Broadway (the address that once mysteriously ran out of burgers) to order not only the infamous bacon ice cream sundae, but also the new trio of summer barbeque burgers: the Carolina BBQ Whopper, Texas BBQ Whopper and the Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich. I also decided to test-drive the sweet potato fries and new frozen lemonade.

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J. Wohletz
The BK Texas BBQ Whopper.
The BK Bacon Sundae is a regular BK sundae with vanilla soft-serve, chocolate and caramel sauce; the only thing that distinguished this from a regular sundae were the two small strips of fried, cold bacon on top. I'm pleased to report that the piggy BK sundae was not quite as gaggy as the one at Jack in the Box -- but that's just because the bacon could be easily removed.

The sweet potato fries were great: golden sticks that were crisp on the outside, hot and mealy on the inside, with a lightly sweet, buttery flavor. They were so good, in fact, they didn't need any dipping sauce.

And I was 100 percent in love with the frozen lemonade, which tasted exactly like the one you pay exploitative prices for at a state fair. It was overly sweet, tangy and lemony, with crushed ice that was nice and grainy. Even better, I didn't have to deal with the crappy parts of the state fair -- flies, people and more flies -- to get it.

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J. Wohletz
The BK Carolina BBQ Whopper.
I had some reasonable hopes for the Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich, which turned out to be a regular BK seeded bun filled with a generous glop of macerated, minced pork filling wetted with really sugary barbeque sauce, topped with sliced white onions and a lot of mayonnaise-based sauce that the Burger King website calls "Southern sauce." Is it made with real Southerners? Naw -- not enough gunpowder residue.

The sauce made the sammie unnecessarily sloppy, and the filling had the same taste and texture of the pulled pork you get in scoopable tubs at the supermarket. The sandwich wasn't awful, but it did desperately need pickles.

I swear to Martin Sheen that I could not tell the difference between the Carolina and Texas barbeques sauce on the two Whoppers. It's possible that employees may have a single source can of sauce, labeled "BBQ X," and just drip it on everything. My Texas BBQ differed from the Carolina only in that it had a few of those pickled, movie-theater-grade canned jalapenos on it, while the Carolina burger had bacon.

Technically the two Whoppers had different cheeses -- pepper jack for Carolina, American for Texas -- but they tasted alike to me.

The verdict?

Order a regular Whopper with cheese, a large sweet potato fries and a large frozen lemonade. And if one more fast-food chain jumps on this bacon sundae trend, I will seriously consider giving up bacon in protest, until these restaurants come back to their senses and make sundaes with tasty things on them -- like fruit, candy and liquor.




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