September 3, 2012
Burger King, Elizabeth NJ
Chicken Parmesan Sandwich
Chicken, Apple & Cranberry Salad Wrap
Italian Basil Chicken Wrap
Tropical Mango Smoothie
Kung Pao Sauce
Sweet & Sour Sauce
I was not particularly keen on leaving New York, but it just made sense to not pay for parking while eating fast food. As Burger King just released a few new menu items, we decided to stray from our usual McDonald’s. Turns out it is also National Chicken Month, which makes it perfect for what we ordered since it was all chicken. This particular Burger King was not in a very nice part of town. The staff was untrained and quite incompetent so we waited a long time.
One of the new items was the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. We got it with crispy chicken thinking a crunch would be nice with the cheese and marinara. However, I found the fried chicken fillet to be slightly overdone in oil that is used way too much; the colour was just a little off and it was not exactly hot. However, I did like the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and the marinara sauce, though I could have used more of the sweet and tangy tomato-based sauce. The artisan-style bun was soft, slightly moist, sticky, and chewy, which I really liked. It was toasted and a little sweet but not dry, which was good.
The new Chicken, Apple & Cranberry Salad Wrap was delicious, even though it was falling apart and horribly wrapped. Inside the warm and soft tortilla were two large strips of tender grilled chicken breast meat. With it were lettuce and two large apple slices, which were crisp and perfectly sweet and tart. The cranberries were also sweet and good, providing a different texture from the crunchy apples. Finally, the blue cheese crumbles were totally different but quite overpowering savoury flavour, though with the apple cider vinaigrette, they blended beautifully into the rest of the wrap.
The Italian Basil Chicken Wrap is also a new feature item. It was wrapped quite messily, but the grilled chicken was tender and came in two large pieces surrounded by lettuce. The tomatoes did not taste much like tomatoes. I also could not really taste the Italian basil sauce. Overall, the wrap seemed to lack. At least the whole wheat tortilla was still soft and warm.
The Tropical Mango Smoothie had a nice mango puree flavour from the real fruit. I could not taste much of the low fat yogurt, which is nice. The slush was nicely blended and refreshing. It was a little sweet to be considered thirst quenching and not quite watery enough. However, it was still icy and sweet – mango is never a bad choice.
The Onion Rings were a little over fried but the outside was still crunchy. The batter was just thick enough not to overwhelm the sweet, soft onions inside. I really wished they would fry their food with better oil because a dark shade of brown is just not going to cut it for me. Otherwise, the taste was decent for fast food.
I got two sauces for dipping. The first was the Kung Pao Sauce. This was incredibly tasty. It was more like a tianmianjiang or sweet bean sauce with some crushed chilies inside. While not exactly authentic kung pao, it had that spicy kick and was delicious nonetheless. No one is expecting authentic Asian flavours from Burger King anyways.
The second was the Sweet & Sour Sauce, which was not as good as the one from McDonald’s. I thought it was not as strong in its flavour and while thickened, tasted like it was slightly watered down. There were spices mixed into it but they were not grounded; I did not quite like the texture. It needed a bolder sweet and sour flavour.
I think Burger King is definitely a good alternative for McDonald’s and other fast food chains. They have reasonably healthy items – at least they provide the nutritional information for you. It is at least more interesting to try some new items rather than sticking with the exact same thing over and over again.