Once again, it’s fast food Friday here on the blog. In my ongoing quest to try new fast-food creations so that you probably won’t have to, this time around I tried Burger King’s new pulled pork sandwich and sweet potato fries. Here’s my review.
The sandwich: south of the border, this bad boy is called the Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, but the geographical descriptor has been dropped here in Canada. Apparently not enough Canadians have been to Memphis to make that a selling point.
If you compare my photo above to Burger King’s official glam shot, it’s clear as mud that the reality is very different from the fantasy. My first impression of the actual thing was that it looked thoroughly unappetizing. While pulled pork sandwiches are usually a goo of barbecue sauce, the ooze dripping from this one was actually the cheese-like stuff on top. The bun and onions appeared a little tired while the pork itself was rather generic looking.
Fortunately, it tastes better than it looks. The pork was fresher than I thought it would be and the BBQ sauce was a little tangy and a little earthy at the same time. Pulled pork has really exploded over the past few years, with seemingly everyone serving it up. Burger King’s effort certainly isn’t the worst you’ll find for a few bucks, but it’s definitely not as good as what you might find on, say, New York Fries’ pulled pork poutine.
The funny thing is, what really would bring Burger King’s sandwich to life is actual fresh onions, rather than the soggy mess that’s currently in there. One of my favourite things about In ‘N Out Burger, a western-U.S.-oriented chain, is the fresh onions on their burgers. They add that crisp, lively feel to what is otherwise a pretty stolid food item.
The fries: I like to think I’ve become something of a french fry connoisseur over the past few years. I can’t really stand run-of-the-mill frozen fries anymore, with fresh cut potatoes really the only way to go (again, New York Fries gets points here). If I have to have frozen fries, McDonald’s probably has the best of the bunch. Conversely, I avoid Burger King fries like the plague. They’ve got a weird battered consistency and they just don’t taste like potatoes at all.
The new sweet potato fries are a big step up, but that’s obviously not that hard to do. They still have that frozen remnant taste to them and perhaps not as sweet as they should be given that, but they are edible. I’m hoping Burger King adopts them full time – both new products are being offered on a limited basis – as they’re a thoroughly desirable alternative to the regular fries, should one ever find one’s self in a Burger King.
So there you have it: both the pulled pork sandwich and the sweet potato fries are decent. They’re not the best in either of their respective classes, but for fast-food fare they’re not entirely bad either.
It goes without saying that neither item is very good for you. The pulled pork sandwich packs a whopping 1,420 milligrams of sodium, or nearly an entire day’s recommended intake. The fries have about half that, but their 390 calories are almost as much as the sandwich, which has 470. Of course, if you cared about your health, you probably wouldn’t be eating at Burger King anyway. That’s why I’m here.