I’ve got something to confess to you guys. I’m not really that discerning when it comes to barbeque. Oh, I enjoy the hell out of it. It’s one of my favorite sauces/preparations. But I’ve never been a strict partisan of one regional sauce and style of preparation over another. I know that in certain parts of the South and the West, them’s fighting words, but not having been brought up in a specific barbeque tradition, I’m pretty forgiving of liberal uses of the term. I’m far more picky about the preparation of certain deli-style sandwiches, such as a Reuben or Philly Cheesesteak. There we go. That’s my sandwich sin.
I tell you this because I want it to be clear that while I really liked Burger King’s Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, I liked it as a fast food pulled pork sandwich, not as an accurate representation of BBQ in Memphis. From what I know of Memphis BBQ, there are both dry rub and sauce variants. This pulled pork was a typical sauced style, with another tangy sauce and onions on top. Memphis BBQ is traditionally pork shoulders and hocks, but if you think it’s easy to tell what specific cuts of meat are in fast food sandwiches, or that the employees would tell you if you asked, or if they even know, you haven’t been eating Burger King very long. Again, overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Pulled pork doesn’t seem like it’d be too difficult to prepare on an industrial scale, and I’d be pleased as punch if more fast food joints started adding it to their menus. It’s a little smaller than I’d hoped, but that’s nothing some fries won’t take care of.
The Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich runs for around $6 in a combo. It also pairs well with other picks from BK’s summer menu, like their sweet potato fries or lemonade. If you’re an unencumbered barbeque fan like me, it’s definitely worth your while. And if you’re from Memphis, give it a shot, and let me know in the comments how faithful it is.
July 24, 2013
Pretzel buns are a relative newcomer to the fast food scene. Long established in smaller restaurants as a complement to ham and cheese sandwiches, they began to come into vogue last fall as an Oktoberfest ingredient. Both Steak ‘n’ Shake and Red Robin offered Oktoberfest burgers on pretzel, paired with sauteed onions and spicy brown mustard. It’s a traditional German thing, or maybe a Chicago thing too? I dunno. Anyway, the pretzel bun is making the move to more pure commercial restaurants with Wendy’s new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. It’s less ambitious than most Oktoberfest burgers, skewing closer to a basic bacon cheeseburger.
The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger adds a hearty honey mustard to the usual array of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The cheese used is Cheddar, which is a nice step up from the usual American and suits the pretzel bun well. My only complaint is that mine had a bit too much lettuce. It was good lettuce (I’ve never been a fan of the shredded stuff), but it would’ve overpowered the burger if I hadn’t pulled some off. The pretzel bun has a nice flavor and different texture, but isn’t overly chewy or tough. The burger seemed a little on the small side, but overall was tasty and satisfying.
The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger runs for about $6-7 in a combo, which is a pretty good deal. If the current trends continue and pretzel burgers continue to expand, you won’t have much trouble finding some to try. So far, though, this is among the best of them, and doesn’t appear to be seasonal. Give it a shot.