In defense of… Burger King

Burger King. Booger King. Booger Fling. I’ve heard them all. I’ve heard that they lock some poor artisan from the Old Country in an airless box and make him paint on the grill marks with liquid smoke. I’ve heard that it’s only where the more “urban” people go to eat. I’ve heard that the King is “creepy.” I’ve heard that it “sucks.”
I refuse to believe it.
Burger King has been, and always will be, my favorite gruntburger spit-em-out of them all. My favorite burger chain is still Hardee’s, but calling them gruntburgers nowadays might as well be akin to calling McDonald’s horse knees and koala brains. I also exempt White Castle from this list, as they are an entirely different category altogether. (Though that didn’t stop Hardee’s and BK from trying to steal the market…dum-dums…) As far as I’m concered, gruntburgers go like this:
1. Burger King
2. Jack in the Box
3. Wendy’s
4. A&W (barely)
and
5. McDonald’s
There’s others, like Whataburger or Checkers (as far as Wikipedia is concerned) but those are the ones I’ve had, and those are my picks.
So why all the hatred for Burger King? To be honest, I have no flippin’ idea. The burgers are the same slap-bang processed tiny slabs of cow-cow that you get almost anywhere else, but it has that yummy smokey flavor that I’ve loved since I was a mite. There’s just something about the smoke, the ketchup, the mayo, and the garlicky pickle all dancing together on a Whopper (hey, kinda like that commercial…) that just makes it work for me. They are the King of Burgers, where McDonald’s is just the sneering vizier behind the throne. The burgers taste like real burgers, smell like real burgers, and look like real burgers should look, moreso than the other grunts. Yeah, the chicken’s good, yeah the onion rings are some of my favorites (I’m not a big onion guy to begin with), but as far as your bread and butter goes, Burger King has ’em all beat.

Or should that be bun and burger? Could you even get buttered bread at a BK? Who knows. I should try. Still, I can’t quite figure out why people like McDonald’s over Burger King. Sure, I get that itch to cheat on my burger bride, but I always feel remorse about it after I do, and if I don’t immediately, I do in a few hours…ugh. I suppose I could see a love for Jack in the Box if I lived nearer one (stupid commercials) or Wendy’s, which I think has the closest taste to a home burger that ever has been grunted out. McDonald’s, though? Just pitiful. Me no likey. It’s hangover food. It’s desperation dinner. It’s chew at your own risk. It’s just not as good.
Yet, what I say here will not sway anyone. My sister will still call it Booger Fling even into her thirties, and I’ll still be hard pressed to have a meal with anyone but me, myself and I at a BK, and instead settle for snacking out with pals at Mickey D’s. For some reason, the Midwest loves not the King of Burgers, mounting some kind of insurrection behind the freaky clown who looks a little too close to Pennywise. Yes, you heard me, I find Ronald creepier than the King. That’s saying something.
But maybe, perhaps, there is a different crux of the problem. Perhaps, in my lifelong bid to not be like the majority (which I do with frightening regularity, as if I’m subconsciously ordering myself around) I’m picking Burger King out of spite, and telling myself it’s wonderful just so I won’t be a sellout. However, thinking like that suddenly turns Whoppers into Tastee Wheat, and I try to keep any kind of Matrix discussion out of my head because it makes my inner Spock cry. So yeah, maybe my love for BK is just a knee-jerk subliminal reaction to the popularity of McDonald’s, but I’m still gonna buy it, eat it, and love it when the question of gruntburgers comes along. If you don’t want an argument, suggest we eat White Castle, or Hardee’s, or Red Robin. I’ll probably not argue with you there…unless Ron’s Place is nearby 😉
Until tomorrow, I tenderly remain,
Eric.

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