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A&E >  Food

If It’s Beef You Want, You’ll Go For Big King

By Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate

This week I reached out for a Big King at Burger King the new kid in town who’s taking dead aim at McDonald’s legendary Big Mac, the biggest-selling hamburger in the history of fast food.

Here’s the blueprint: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun. Hey, where have I heard that before? I can name that tune in two pickles, I mean, notes.

Total calories: 660. Fat grams: 43. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: 99 cents. (But that’s just the introductory price; it’ll probably double in a few months.)

The Big King and the Big Mac are so similar, I’ll bet those cloning scientists from Scotland are involved. It’s easier to tell the Olsen twins apart than these burgers.

Too bad you can’t copyright a sandwich, huh, McDonald’s?

“Upon further review,” as they used to say in pro football, there are critical differences between the Big King and the Big Mac. Most important, the Big King has more meat - 5.6 ounces, to the Big Mac’s 3.2 ounces.

The Big King doesn’t have the Big Mac’s middle slice of bread, either. (For you trivia buffs, the three slices of bread in a Big Mac are the crown, club and heel.)

So which do you prefer? More meat or more bread?

Meat, of course, and that’s why the Big King gets my vote. But there are other reasons. The Big King’s patties are flame-broiled, not fried like the Big Mac’s. The sandwich just feels more substantial.

Burger King also toasts its buns, which scores major points with me. Now I know that McDonald’s keeps saying it’s going to start toasting, too. But when?

Burger King slathers less King Sauce (Thousand Island dressing) on its Big King. With a Big Mac, the goop comes squirting out everywhere.

The Big King is here to stay, the first permanent addition to Burger King’s menu since the BK Chicken Broiler in 1990. But will the Big King replace the Big Mac in the hearts and arteries of America’s burger lovers? Probably not, even though I think it’s a superior sandwich.

The Big Mac was invented a quarter-century ago in Pittsburgh to combat - and how’s this for irony? - the Burger King Whopper. That’s too big a head start for the Big King to overcome.

Americans love consistency, and whether you like them or not, Big Macs are the same ol’ same ol’. If you think Big Macs are good, you’ll never get a bad one. The Big Mac didn’t become a hit for nothing.

Plus there’s something to be said for thinking up the idea first.


The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, REVIEW - Drive-Thru Gourment

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