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Rick Bayless and Burger King - Part 1


erica
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http://www.burgerking.com/Food/products/sfcb.aspx

Thats the lowdown on the Bayless sandwich.

BTW in my opinion, the only sandwich worth eating at a BK is either the original Whopper or Double Whopper, sans mayo. It's a perfectly decent fast food burger, provided it doesn't have a ton of that mayo on it. For some reason BK's tend to really overdo it on the mayo. I don't even like it with bacon or cheese or any other crap on it.

Also, ordering it that way pretty much ensures they are going to cook you a fresh specimen.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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As far as I can tell the chicken patty is the same chicken patty they use on the Chicken Whopper. Can anybody confirm that? It certainly looked that way

That's what I was trying to figure out. When RB says it is a step in the right direction, HOW??? Is the chicken free range or something and are the greasy veggies organic? I just do not see what he means. It seems just like the regular BK Broiler with some watered down ketchup and crappy vegetables on top.

FM

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http://www.burgerking.com/Food/products/sfcb.aspx

Thats the lowdown on the Bayless sandwich.

It actually looks from that as though the Chicken Whopper and the Southwest Chicken things may be made with different patties, because the calorie counts are different. I'm now thinking maybe it's the same patty from the Grilled Chicken Caesar Club.

Also, ordering it that way pretty much ensures they are going to cook you a fresh specimen.

That hasn't been the case in ages. They now assemble every burger to order from lukewarm ingredients sitting in drawers, and for the most part they microwave them up to temperature. Holly Moore could give us more details on the current productions systems at McDonald's and Burger King.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That hasn't been the case in ages. They now assemble every burger to order from lukewarm ingredients sitting in drawers, and for the most part they microwave them up to temperature. Holly Moore could give us more details on the current productions systems at McDonald's and Burger King.

Really? Thats too bad. I figured by being more of a pain in the ass and having to customize my order it would end up being fresher.

However, one would think that making them do it the way I mention HAS to result in a better product, because at least the Whopper isnt sitting under a heat lamp for an hour or two with the mayo going rancid on it.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I personally would rather have the product in question (any product for that matter) taste slightly different each time out.

That's an atypical consumer preference, though. Predictability and consistency are hallmarks of pretty much any successful mass-market food product. I certainly wouldn't single Burger King or anyone else out for trying to achieve that widespread goal. Even high-end gourmet products, when they get put in jars and sold on shelves, often need a lot of help from food-science to guarantee that they'll be consistent, fresh, and otherwise up to standard every time.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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However, one would think that making them do it the way I mention HAS to result in a better product, because at least the Whopper isnt sitting under a heat lamp for an hour or two with the mayo going rancid on it.

I'm telling you, go to a BK or McD today and you won't see anything sitting under a heat lamp. They don't use the old system where they'd make 50 Whoppers and put them in the chute and the cashiers would pick them up until they got low, and then they'd make 50 more Whoppers. Now, they have computers and a different assembly system. They make a zillion Whopper patties and they line them all up in a drawer where they sit until needed -- just the patties. When an order comes in, it is transmitted from the POS terminal (aka cash register) to a computer screen in the prep area. A Whopper order comes up, someone grabs a piece of paper wrap, a bun, a patty, and all the other toppings, quickly assembles them, sticks the whole package in a high-power microwave for a few seconds, and drops it in the chute. Holly, can you elaborate on this if you're reading along?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Well what happened was it was pouring rain and my job was to wait outside with the dog in the van while my wife had an appointment in West Haven.

Anyway . . . so I had the sandwich. As far as I can tell the chicken patty is the same chicken patty they use on the Chicken Whopper. Can anybody confirm that? It certainly looked that way. Basically, it seems to be a Chicken Whopper reconfigured on a longer bun and topped with all that faux-Southwestern crap instead of the usual Whopper crap. But, while both are pretty crappy, the standard Whopper crap toppings are a lot better than the toppings on the Southwest Chicken Baguette or whatever they're calling it. The veg and the sauce are just awful -- the sandwich is totally overpowered by the greasy vegetal taste of the green peppers and the sauce is at a very low level even for a commercial barbecue-type sauce. As for the chicken patty itself, it is totally palatable -- certainly better (though also more unholy) than a lot of dry tasteless chicken breasts I've been served in people's homes. The bread, well, it's standard-issue mass-produced fluffy white stuff without any crust or interesting flavor or texture. Nothing out of the ordinary. In other words, everything about the sandwich was okay except the Southwestern parts.

I knew you must have had a good reason! My husband grew up there (he escaped!) and (because most of my in-laws live there still) we only really go for Turk's (great soft shelled crabs!) and Chick's Drive In (yummy fried clams etc.)

I saw the BK TV ad last night-no Rick B in commercial but they SAY the

veggies are fire roasted, not fried and their "baguettes" they actually used that word, are baked fresh everyday "on premises". Yup, teenage kid thaws dough, puts in "Subway-like" rising machine, bakes in "Subway-like" oven.

Yeah it looked tasty enough on TV-it's the miracle of marketing geniuses-that can make a piece of crap look delicious enough for many of us to buy into it. Then the next day to satisfy my craving, I'll unwrap my squashed, overly mayo'd, and catsup'd, leuk warm burger, in a FREEZING COLD restaurant and hit myself in the head and say "you idiot!!"

I also hope that Mr. Bayless regains his sanity.

I went for Pho today, wise gal that I am! haha :laugh:

JANE

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I personally would rather have the product in question (any product for that matter) taste slightly different each time out.

That's an atypical consumer preference, though. Predictability and consistency are hallmarks of pretty much any successful mass-market food product. I certainly wouldn't single Burger King or anyone else out for trying to achieve that widespread goal. Even high-end gourmet products, when they get put in jars and sold on shelves, often need a lot of help from food-science to guarantee that they'll be consistent, fresh, and otherwise up to standard every time.

No, BK is certainly not alone in that regard, not even close.

And, I guess I'm not a typical consumer, although I don't count myself as a food snob either. I'd imagine that, by percentages, eGulleteers (in general) are more atypical in their food preferences than almost any other group one could assemble. This is a pretty discerning crowd and I don't think my palate or preferences are nearly as refined as those of many others here; not even close.

That said, the "char" flavor of BK products has always tasted unnatural and added-on to me. The fact that it is, is incidental. While I don't work in the flavor industry, I work close to it and what I've seen is really not, for the most part, very appetizing. Of course, I do want my diet coke to taste the same everytime out. :wink:

But mass appeal (and the accompanying economic viability) of a product does not necessarily equal good food. I'm not a person who absolutely avoids mass-produced, processed or fast foods...I have my favorites like everyone else. That said, when I see things like flavor and/or hydrogenated oils in the ingredient listing of a product, my default is to avoid it. I've gotten to the point where I instinctively think of foods that contain those items as "fake" foods.

And to bring this back to the original theme of this thread...I've changed my tune slightly. I still feel that RB has every right to do this (he's earned the right) and that we shouldn't be judging him for it. It's really no big deal...for anyone but him. For him, this seems to represent a significant departure from his life's work. And as AB (and others have) posted upthread, knowing what we know about Bayless and BK products, how can he look in the mirror rationalize this endorsement?

=R=

Edited by ronnie_suburban (log)

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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However, one would think that making them do it the way I mention HAS to result in a better product, because at least the Whopper isnt sitting under a heat lamp for an hour or two with the mayo going rancid on it.

I'm telling you, go to a BK or McD today and you won't see anything sitting under a heat lamp. They don't use the old system where they'd make 50 Whoppers and put them in the chute and the cashiers would pick them up until they got low, and then they'd make 50 more Whoppers. Now, they have computers and a different assembly system. They make a zillion Whopper patties and they line them all up in a drawer where they sit until needed -- just the patties. When an order comes in, it is transmitted from the POS terminal (aka cash register) to a computer screen in the prep area. A Whopper order comes up, someone grabs a piece of paper wrap, a bun, a patty, and all the other toppings, quickly assembles them, sticks the whole package in a high-power microwave for a few seconds, and drops it in the chute. Holly, can you elaborate on this if you're reading along?

Prince Castle Dedicated Holding Bin

One more reason Ray Krok is spinning about in his grave. Prince Castle at one point was owned by McD execs. May still be. They invent most of McD's specialized equipment.

That said, the "char" flavor of BK products has always tasted unnatural and added-on to me.

Back when I worked for BK and to some point in, I'm guessing, the 90's, BK's burgers were truly flame broiled, through a conveyor belt broiler. "Have It Your Way," was the greatest fast food marketing positioning of a point of difference, stressed BK's greatest advantage at the time. McDonald's discouraged special orders, calling them "grills" when ordered so customers wouldn't hear that they could change them. At BK, when you ordered a special, the assembler would pull the next patty coming through the broiler and build your sandwich, "your way."

Now it's all changed. I haven't been in a BK kitchen since they changed, but from what I've heard, it's pretty much as FG explained it.

All the national burger chains, with the possible exception of Wendy's have gone down hill, way down hill, since they've over-expanded their menus and since the driving forces such as Ray Krok, have died or been bought out by corporations.

Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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As a native San Diegan, I can tell you it's Ray Kroc with a "c".

Thanks for the pic of the dreaded "bins". From a consumer's point of view, I've seen them in action and it's not a pretty sight. When I order I always wonder how long my burger has been languishing in a drawer/bin and what nasty little elf put it in there in the first place.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

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As a native San Diegan, I can tell you it's Ray Kroc with a "c".

Thanks for the pic of the dreaded "bins".  From a consumer's point of view, I've seen them in action and it's not a pretty sight.  When I order I always wonder how long my burger has been languishing in a drawer/bin and what nasty little elf put it in there in the first place.

Yup. My screwup re spelling.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Re: Wendy's (where I had my first job, back in 1974). If their product hasn't declined, and if their burgers are better, there is one thing they've got that the others don't: chili. That's where all your dead burgers go. They put all the unsellable burgers in a big pot, chop 'em to smithereens, and rinse the fat off. That beef goes into a giant pot and gets turned into chili.

I never liked the chili, but I still like the burgers.

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I saw the BK TV ad last night-no Rick B in commercial but they SAY the

veggies are fire roasted, not fried and their "baguettes" they actually used that word, are baked fresh everyday "on premises". Yup, teenage kid thaws dough, puts in "Subway-like" rising machine, bakes in "Subway-like" oven.

Yeah it looked tasty enough on TV-it's the miracle of marketing geniuses-that can make a piece of crap look delicious enough for many of us to buy into it. Then the next day to satisfy my craving, I'll unwrap my squashed, overly mayo'd, and catsup'd, leuk warm burger, in a FREEZING COLD restaurant and hit myself in the head and say "you idiot!!"

I also hope that Mr. Bayless regains his sanity.

I went for Pho today, wise gal that I am! haha :laugh:

Yup. See above,

jane

JANE

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Jane, I saw your post previously. That's not what I am referring to. I am asking about the ad that RB DOES appear in. My understanding is that he appears in one specifically touting the Sante Fe Chicken Sandwich, but not the other chicken sandwich ads. Anyone seen it? Please describe.

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As a native San Diegan, I can tell you it's Ray Kroc with a "c".

Thanks for the pic of the dreaded "bins".  From a consumer's point of view, I've seen them in action and it's not a pretty sight.  When I order I always wonder how long my burger has been languishing in a drawer/bin and what nasty little elf put it in there in the first place.

I've already ranted about those dreadful little bins on previous threads so I'll opt not to subject you to it again. It wasn't pretty.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Sorry Richard.

Maybe Mr Bayless decided to go with his gut feelings (hoping he still has those!) and decided against it.

I'm surprised that no one from Chef's Coop has responded to egulleters comments/questions...

Maybe they're being somewhat "chicken" about it.

JANE

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So, has anyone seen the TV ad yet?

I went one better. I actually risked having one of these sandwiches today.

The verdict? As fast food sandwiches go, its tolerably good. Good enough for a chef to risk embarassing himself by endorsing it? No freaking way.

Improving the "bread" portion of the sandwich seems to be a big thing at Burger King. I'll admit--the last few new things I've tried there have had marginally better bread. But we are still talking about something a pimply teenager is scooping out of a bin, no matter what.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Jon, your courage is legend. But you should take care of yourself lest your shining example be lost to the world.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page list Chef Ricky as one of their posterboys in their new book The New American Chef. This from their Q&A here.:

The discussion got us both curious to try the Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Burger King, which Rick Bayless is endorsing.

The sandwiches we were served at our local Burger King (on 47th Street, between Third and Lexington Aves. in Manhattan) this afternoon looked nothing like the sandwich pictured in a recent issue of ADWEEK, which depicts the chicken breast as topped with lots of vegetables.

Instead, ours was topped with lots of strikingly vinegary and salty red sauce -- and a few onions and peppers.

For $5.49, the value combo included a sandwich, a salad with Caesar-style dressing, and a bottle of water.

The sandwich was not overly large, which was refreshing given the oversized sandwiches we've come to be used to in NYC/America.

The bread had great texture -- soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. On the other hand, it had absolutely zero flavor.

The chicken breast itself was surprisingly moist -- so much so that it did not appear to be grilled at all (which is emphasized in the sandwich's advertising), but rather grill-marked and poached (or, more likely, microwaved!).

The tomato sauce with onions and peppers definitely struck us both as more Italian than Southwest.

Was it delicious? No. Would we order it again? If we were traveling on an expressway and Burger King were our only option for sustenance, maybe -- but probably not. (We'd like to think we'd both hold out for something with some real character and flavor!)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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