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REVIEW: “Steakhouse King” from Burger King

Proof that you can cover your lunch in two different kinds of fat-glaze, and still end up with a dry burger.

Burger King Steakhouse King

It seems like there are two types of fast food customers. There are those that, when making their burger selection, opt for a “more is more” attitude; pile on lettuce, tomato, onions, sliced avocado, mushrooms, onion rings, a live goat, and three different sauces, and even if the individual components aren’t great, the sheer quantity and variety of them will make for a tasty burger.

The other kind of customer plays it a little more safely, and selects something more bare-bones, with no threatening vegetables or “risky” ingredients. Meat. Sometimes multiple meats. Cheese. Bun. Where burgers are concerned, they’re a safe place for your mouth, a way to fill the empty void within without risking contact with vegetables or unknown, exotic flavors.

Burger King Steakhouse King

The new “Steakhouse King,” Burger King’s latest effort to get itself back into the hearts and minds of fast food consumers everywhere, falls somewhere in between the two. From the website:

The STEAKHOUSE KING™ Sandwich features two ¼ lb* savory flame-grilled beef patties, topped with 3 half-strips of thick-cut smoked bacon, A.1.® Thick & Hearty sauce, crispy onions, melted American cheese and creamy mayonnaise all on our signature sesame seed bun.

The first thing we noticed, after opening the bag and unwrapping the burger, was the vast amount of SAUCE poured all over place. In fact, it was impossible to open the wrapper, without getting it everywhere. This is a substantial burger, in terms of size, weight, price, and caloric payload; priced at around $7, the 1100 calorie burger is one of the least healthy “premium” options available.

Burger King Steakhouse King

For a burger so drenched in both mayonnaise and A.1. Sauce, our first impression of the burger was that it was oddly dry. The twin quarter pound patties (the same used in the chain’s “Whopper” sandwich) bore the familiar fake-smoke stank of Burger King’s once-legendary “flame broiled” taste, but were oddly dusty around the outside, even as the competing sauces worked hard to bring some sort of moisture to the proceedings.

Burger King Steakhouse King

Toward the center of the burger, things started to shape up, and there were a few brief glimpses of what Burger King’s product scientists must have had in mind when developing the Steakhouse King. The mayonnaise and A.1. brought a big punch of flavor and creamy fat to the party, and the crispy fried onion bits added a satisfyingly salty crunch. The additional texture was welcome, since the Steakhouse King doesn’t have any vegetables to lend freshness or crispiness. The bacon was also a non-participant, in terms of taste; the three limp pieces of bacon seemed to melt into the surface of the burger, and didn’t add any additional flavor to the sandwich.

Burger King Steakhouse King

Ultimately, as much as the Steakhouse King tried to bring some additional zest and interest to a standard meat-and-cheese double burger, it was hard to escape the dark fog that seems to hang over everything Burger King tries to do. Even with a remix of a few of their standby ingredients, the combination of lukewarm meat, a half-stale bun, some flavorless bacon, and rivers of mayonnaise and steak sauce are still 100% depressing and more reminiscent of the kind of food you would find in a rest area vending machine in the middle of the night, than a premium burger that set you back seven bucks. Hardcore plain-burger enthusiasts may find something to like here, but the rest of us can safely pass.

Burger King Steakhouse King

Nutrition info: 1100 calories, 75 grams of fat, 24 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 180 milligrams of cholesterol, 1620 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugar, and 50 grams of protein.

BONUS! Want to hear our unedited audio tasting notes from this review? Here you go:

 

Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the 'Wich, Please food truck, named Eater.com's "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015.

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