Recently, many fast food chains have been changing around their burgers at record speed and few if any of these changes have been for the better. Living in New England, which is widely known as the national dead zone for fast food chains, the pickings are slim. Basically our only burger choices are McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s (Though fortunately Five Guys and Sonic have recently entered the market). The big three have been fiddling around with their products and I’m not 100% sure why. All of the research I’ve conducted has produced different findings. Some say that they’re trying to appease the health nazis, some say they’re trying to appear more upscale, and others say that the changes are just due to the fact that the restaurants just want to continually evolve with time. You know what I say to that? Bullshit.
There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. The first case I’ll bring up is with Wendy’s. Rather than simply introducing a new burger, Wendy’s has recently decided to completely change how ALL of their burgers are made, with the new incarnations bearing the “Dave’s Hot and Juicy” label. I hope Dave Thomas doesn’t know about this, because if he knew they were going to fuck up his burgers and use his name to do it, he’d be rolling in his grave so hard it’d cause an earthquake. One of the changes included in this package is that the corners of the meat patties are now rounded. The whole fucking reason they were square in the first place was because research showed them to fit better on the bun that way. In addition to this, Thomas liked the idea of square meat because it literally showed that they weren’t “cutting corners”. A Wendy’s burger with rounded corners is like a strip club where all of the strippers’ tits are pixelated.
They’ve also changed the toppings on the burgers. Gone are the days of crisp, delicious iceberg lettuce and juicy ripe tomatoes. The vegetables atop the new burgers have the texture of a poorly starched shirt sleeve and taste about half as good. I’d have to say the worst change is how they’ve doubled the amount of cheese on each burger. I don’t know why it is that cheese is being pushed so hard. It tastes like shit and it’s not even good for you, so even the health nazis have no real reason to desire it. I always order my burgers without cheese anyway so this doesn’t affect me, but damn it, I have my principles.
Now I know what you’re all saying right now. You’re saying, “Wait a minute dumbass. The new burgers are ‘butter toasted’, so stop your bitching.” While this is true, it seems to be true only in theory, as a full month after the introduction of the new burgers, every Wendy’s location I’ve visited has been giving me burgers that are neither buttered nor toasted.
Burger King has been striking out pretty badly lately as well. One of their newest menu categories is their “topper” burgers. I was a bit excited when I first learned of these, but bitterly disappointed when I tried them. The Western BBQ topper is no different than the rodeo burger, the Deluxe is nothing but a deluge of cheese, and the Mushroom Swiss contains mushrooms that taste like they’ve spent 10 years enveloped in fat people’s rolls, marinating in sweat.
Another new and disappointing offering from Burger King is the Chef’s Choice burger. The only thing setting it apart from any other burger is the fact that it has double cheese (what the fuck is it with this trend?) and comes on a roll so spongy, thick and flavorless that is manages to almost entirely cancel out the flavor of the actual burger itself.
The greatest indicator of the brain death of Burger King is the fact that they’ve just pulled the greatest burger they’ve ever had from their menu. Of course, I’m talking about the California Whopper. With one bite of a California Whopper with its bacony goodness and guacamole kick, I would forget all about being in shitty-ass New England surrounded by assholes and think I was back in southern California, dining at a boardwalk Carl’s Jr or Jack In The Box and seeing hot girls go by in bikinis and seeing the crystal clear waves crash up against the shore. And homeless people. The California Whopper alone is what got me through the 2 week power failure following Hurricane Irene and now the bastards take it away from me.
The last establishment I’ll touch on in this post is McDonald’s. For a limited time, they’ve once again brought back the McRib, which is nothing less than a gift from God himself. However, three of the past four times I’ve tried to get one, it’s gone horribly wrong. One trip resulted in them putting the McRib on a regular hamburger roll, which is pure blasphemy. Another time they dressed it in cheese (again, with the mother fucking cheese), and a third time there were 2 hairs present in my McRib. My most recent visit was to a newer and cleaner looking McDonald’s whereupon I ordered five delicious McRibs to make up for the prior disappointments. I really do love the McRib. If I ever get married, I hope my wife will wear a McRib thong, complete with McRib sauce on our wedding night.