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Jinmyo

Burger King

197 posts in this topic

I always used to order a Mushroom double Swiss when in times of desperation (Normally hungry and waiting for a train - Big train stations nearly always have a BK franchise in the UK). Hardly anyone orders them, so you nearly always get a freshly made one! Of course you could be unlucky, and they decided to make one up that morning, and as I said, hardly anyone orders them...

As someone who used to frequent such establishments, I'd say I find Burger King much better than McDonalds. But that still isn't saying much!


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Actually, according to J. McLamore's autobiography, the original piece-of-crap Insta-burger-broiler was used for some time in the mid-fifties until they became fed-up with it and designed a new one. They then invested lots of money in designing and building the things themselves instead of out-sourcing like McD.

Jim was a great guy to talk to about the early years. My original point was that BK always used some type of broiler, crap or not... The broiler is of BK proprietary design but built by a public equipment company.

What do I need to say to get them to stop microwaving the lettuce? BK would be a little more palatable if they didn't micro all of the toppings with the burger and bun. It's just gross.

We looked at this and determined that there was some merit to keeping the hot components separate from the cold condiments (remember how McD tried that) but speed of service won out. It added too many seconds to prep time to keep the condiments separate. Have you considered that the condiments could be warm because you accepted a prepared uncustomized Whopper from the chute?? If you order off the broiler, there should be no need to microwave the sandwich so I would expect cold lettuce...

NOTE: there is no POS key the BK order taker can punch for eliminating the microwave step if you try to have-it-your-way and the patty used for your sandwich has been in a holding tray for several minutes because you didn't order off the broiler...lol

I may have one more trip to Burger King left in me this year. If I muster up the fortitude, I'll drop a really complex order on them.

Go for it Fat Guy...

AND try the A/B off the broiler and off the chute of a standard Whopper Sandwich

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Wasn't Inspector Clousseau looking for the Lee-SONSE for his Manky?

:biggrin:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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My dad grew up in LA, my mom in SF. My dad has never eaten at BK or McD. My mom only once, when her friend took her as a joke when she was retiring. I never eat fast food. It is expensive, wasteful, and bad for the enviornment. There are so many other choices. The fallacy is that it is cheap. Hell no, you could have roast chicken , turkey, burritos, sandwichs, and save money with better quality. My mom made good burgers.

I see my friends fighting the "suck in the kids early thing". 2-3-4 year olds that are eating that fat and sodium filled food as "building their bodies". It is the toys, the tv, etc... A mother can say,"please, my child does not eat fast food"-the school will take them there as an outing! A birthday party can mean "we are going to McD". People need to ask if that is O.K. Don't start children down the path of high fat/sodium/sugar/ bafore they even have a chance to make a choice.

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What do I need to say to get them to stop microwaving the lettuce?  BK would be a little more palatable if they didn't micro all of the toppings with the burger and bun.  It's just gross.

Actually, this is incorrect.

As friedclams has described, the burgers are cooked on a conveyor type device that flame-broils each patty and then are held in a steamer-type holding area. As each burger is made to order, the burger is then nuked in the microwave (if the burger has cheese and/or bacon, these components are added to the burger before the burger is placed in the microwave). Meanwhile the rest of the sandwich is assembled: the top half is spread with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato are placed. When the heel components are finished cooking in the microwave and taken out, onions, pickles and ketchup are added at the last minute before the sandwich is packed up and placed in the chute.

Now, I haven't worked in a BK in ages...something like 15 years, and operative procedures may have changed during that time. From what friedclams has posted, it sounds as if things haven't really changed much over the years. None of the top half components of ANY sandwich are ever microwaved -- this is the half that has the mayo, the lettuce and tomato.

Oh, one other thing that you may not be aware of, but there is an actual recommended amount of ingredient that gets placed on each sandwich.

Soba

PS. One of the strangest orders we ever got that I remember was an all-veggie whopper. No beef, just a bun, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and ketchup. And she wanted it off the broiler. Her fries were to be HEAVILY salted. I don't mean a couple of shakes of salt. I mean HEAVY salt.

edit: She wanted the bun freshly toasted.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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I need to go back and observe more carefully. I thought I saw the fully assembled and wrapped sandwiches being placed in the microwave. This is why eyewitness testimony is so flawed!


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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I have received microwaved toppings. It's hard to describe how nasty microwaved mayo is. Bleah. Maybe that particular BK is clueless.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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McDonalds hamburgers are steamed beef Twinkies. No, they're the beef Twinkie you left on the dash. They're the beef paste Twinkie from your armpit.

RE: BK, I thought the short lived BK Homestyle was the best chain burger in ages, hold the lettuce and mayo.


"Tis no man. Tis a remorseless eating machine."

-Captain McAllister of The Frying Dutchmen, on Homer Simpson

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????     Meat holding as in how the meat is kept until sold?    or meat holding as in why don't they apply some sort of non-slip coating to keep the patties from plopping out of the buns?

The trademarked Whopper Sandwich is an "experience" which includes your choice of toppings and the associated eating sloppiness...

HOWEVER...

ANOTHER little known fact of "have it your way" Whopper sandwich build is to

ask for your sandwich CUT IN HALF ...

you may have never noticed on an uncut Whopper sandwich that the wrapper is folded in a special way (all BK employees are trained in folding technique...lol) ... when one ASKS for cut in half the special folding forms a non-slip pocket for each half holding in all the sandwich toppings making it possible to cleanly eat a Whopper while driving or any other activity...

So now everyone has re-learned two ordering opportunities associated with BK "have it your way" ....

OFF THE BROILER and CUT IN HALF

I was just looking at the BK website and found these little tidbits, including the option to have "reduced-fat mayo."

  • The WHOPPER JR.® consists of a flame-broiled beef patty served on a sesame seed bun garnished with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and onions — the sandwich was originally sold without onions until 1993.
  • The most popular way to order a WHOPPER® sandwich is "hold the onions" while the favorite topping on a WHOPPER® is cheese.
  • The Company adds reduced-fat mayo to its list of condiments options, increasing the ways to order a Whopper® Sandwich to 1,535.
  • There are 1,535 possible ways for a customer to order a WHOPPER® sandwich
  • There are 1,537 possible ways for a customer to order a WHOPPER® sandwich. (If you cut it in half, the number doubles!)
  • Because IT TAKES TWO HANDS TO HANDLE A WHOPPER®, BURGER KING® drive-thru customers can have their WHOPPER® sandwiches cut in half to facilitate eating this big, juicy burger in the car.
  • On March 31, 1999 Burger King Corporation announced the launch of the "new" Left-Handed WHOPPER® as an April Fool's public relations stunt that garnered significant media attention. In the announcement, BKC claimed to have re-engineered the WHOPPER® to fit more comfortably in the left hand, thereby reducing condiment "spills" for left-handed hamburger lovers.
  • The WHOPPER® sandwich lover is equally split between men and women (50/50).
  • Annually, 2.4 billion hamburgers are sold at BURGER KING® restaurants worldwide. Daily, that's 40 semi-truck loads of beef patties

Inquiring minds want to know if there are in truth 1.535 or 1,537 (or 3070 or 3074) possible ways to order a Whopper sandwich? Which one is it BK?

BTW, if you wanna taste test the new Chicken Baguette (and help prove to BK that using Rick Bayless was marketing genius) the web site offers a one-time coupon for a dollar off a CB value meal.

Burger King

.


Edited by hillbill (log)

Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

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I have received microwaved toppings.  It's hard to describe how nasty microwaved mayo is.  Bleah.  Maybe that particular BK is clueless.

I believe you.

This method is the same, btw, for their chicken and fish sandwiches. Chicken or fish patties are fried in the same fryer as the fries, then held in the steamer. Their corresponding buns are usually freshly toasted (friedclams, correct me if I'm wrong?) and not held.

If the sandwiches have been held in the steamer for a while and the customer does not specify freshly made, they are then nuked in the microwave while the top half is prepped (mayonnaise, lettuce and other toppings for chicken sandwiches; tartar sauce, lettuce and other toppings for the fish sandwiches. As I have not been in a BK for a lengthy amount of time, "other" means whatever toppings that sandwich requires. If the sandwich has cheese in it, the cheese gets laid on top of the chicken or fish, and gets nuked as the top half is prepped.)

It may have been that that server was careless when you received your sandwiches Heather. I would've brought the oversight to the attention of the manager.

Soba

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IIRC, from the 2 days i worked at BK, we were told to never nuke the mayo, as there was this thought that it would kill you. i suppose they've relaxed that rule.

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Never mind not nuking the mayo...

There is a rule which requires preppers to stir the mayo and tartar sauce occasionally, like once every so often (I've forgotten why so maybe someone can clarify). Can't be anything more disgusting than using mayo or tartar sauce that has a skin developed on top (much like the "skin" that forms as milk simmers.)

Soba

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I've just returned from my follow-up visit to Burger King store #11548 on 86th Street between Third and Second Avenues in Manhattan.

I timed my arrival for what I predicted to be the apex of the NYC lunch rush: exactly 1pm. (In the rest of the country, this would seem late, but New Yorkers tend to eat on a later schedule than most Americans, in my experience.) There was a 9-minute line; I think I did indeed hit the place during the rush.

Expecting the worst -- I was operating fully under the Tommy hypothesis -- I nonchalantly stated my order, "Whopper meal, with cheese, large, off the broiler, cut in half, fries, diet."

To which the cashier replied, after unflinchingly pushing several buttons on the POS terminal, "Anything else?"

It took around 10 minutes to process the order. It was somewhat amusing to see a single beef patty emerge out of that massive broiling contraption. There was a bit of discussion of the order in the "kitchen" and the manager did eventually have to participate in the wrapping of the Whopper. To the staff's credit, they held off on assembling the rest of my order until the Whopper was "up."

Well, this Whopper off the broiler was markedly superior to any Whopper I've had in recent memory. Though the meat's characteristics were still rather dull, this was a totally acceptable burger product. Much juicier than the standard Whopper, piping hot, no "steamed" characteristics imparted by the holding trays and microwave, and with a legitimate real burger taste. The lettuce and tomato were crisp and cool.

The burger was indeed cut in half and double-wrapped so each half could easily be consumed while driving or in other situations where only one hand is available.

I was not able to observe any microwaving, because the restaurant was so heavily geared up for lunch production, so I don't have a report on that.

The thing that struck me as particularly ironic, though -- bearing in mind that this whole conversation stems from the Rick Bayless endorsement of the Santa Fe Fire Grilled Chicken Baguette -- is that a properly prepared Whopper is a much better sandwich than any of Burger King's allegedly healthful chicken concoctions. If you leave the mayo off a Whopper, it only runs 200 calories more than a Santa Fe Fire Grilled Chicken Baguette (350 v. 550), and it is needless to say a much bigger sandwich (around 30% larger, I think). As for its composition, there is simply no comparison: we're talking about a beef patty versus this compressed processed chicken thing with smoke flavor etc. Sure, it contains more fat, but it contains less garbage.

Many thanks to Friedclams for sharing all this knowledge.


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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I've done some BK research for the benefit of fellow foodies. This information is current:

- "fire grilled" vs. "flame broiled" ... patties continue to be broiled under flames, the broiler has not been modifed or changed. The reference to fire grilled is a marketing statement to make the customer relate the sandwich experience to an outdoor grill having cooked the meat

- you may be aware of the new santa fe chicken baguette sandwich. The baguette is baked fresh inside the restaurant and has a hold time of 60 minutes before waste. At the restaurant manager's discretion it is possible too special order the Whopper sandwich ON THE BAGETTE vs. the normal bun (not received daily).

A Whopper sandwich assembled with an off the broiler patty on a freshly baked baguette could be a taste experience far superior to the usual Whopper

:smile::biggrin::cool::blink::raz::rolleyes:

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that's a great report FG. i'm looking forward to ordering mine off the broiler. although i may skip the cutting bit.

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Friedclams, just to refine one point there: the baguettes are "finish baked" on premises. As I understand it, that means they are fabricated and partially baked in a central facility and then finished in an oven at the individual store. This procedure has a lot of potential, but it's not realized by Burger King, which has opted for a crust-free cottony bun that isn't all that much of an improvement over the standard Whopper bun. Kind of a waste of effort.

The problem with ordering a Whopper on that bun would be the shape -- it might be a bit awkward to eat. I guess they could cut the patty and arrange it to fit a little better, though.


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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Many thanks to Friedclams for sharing all this knowledge.

You're very welcome... I'm glad you were able to "have it your way"....

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

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that's a great report FG.  i'm looking forward to ordering mine off the broiler.  although i may skip the cutting bit.

You've got to let them do the cutting bit at least once 1) to see the cool way they double-wrap the sandwich, 2) so you can get a really nice visible cross-section, and 3) because I think it earns you respect in the kitchen.


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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FG, from my past experience, the Whopper bun (and the baguette) is a highly engineered baked product. The objective is aways to lower food cost. During my tenure we proved that taking even one penny's worth of cost out of the bun significantly improved profits. Without getting into the food engineering possibilities, one can imagine how the bun/baguette recipe and baking characteristic mix to form a final product capable of holding up to the patty and condiments and holding time without getting soggy.

I suggest that the Whopper bun which isn't finish baked at the restaurant and not delivered fresh baked daily could be outdone slightly in taste by the baguette. For example, there are 6 gms of sugar in the Whopper bun vs. 2grams in the baguette however there are 390gms of salt in the bun vs. 420 gms in the baguette, but the baguette is warmed from an oven perhaps never microvaved.

As for fitting the patty, that could be a problem. The sandwich slicing knife could be used to cut the patty in half and layered on the baguette but this isn't a current ops procedure and would have to be coaxed out of the restaurant manager to do. Otherwise take a plastic knife and do it yourself after delivery.... lol


Edited by friedclams (log)

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If you leave the mayo off a Whopper, it only runs 200 calories more than a Santa Fe Fire Grilled Chicken Baguette (350 v. 550), and it is needless to say a much bigger sandwich (around 30% larger, I think). As for its composition, there is simply no comparison: we're talking about a beef patty versus this compressed processed chicken thing with smoke flavor etc. Sure, it contains more fat, but it contains less garbage.

Now that I know that BK lets you "have it your way" with reduced fat mayo I tried to find the nutritional info for the rf mayo but I couldn't find it on the web site. But here's the ingredient list for the two mayos:

MAYONNAISE

Soybean Oil, Eggs, Water, Distilled Vinegar. Contains 2% or less of the following: Egg Yolks, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural† Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Onion, Paprika or Paprika Oleoresin. †Natural flavors from plant sources Contains Egg.

MAYONNAISE-REDUCED FAT

Water, Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup, Egg Whites, Distilled Vinegar, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Sugar, Spice, Xanthan Gum, Mustard Flour, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate as preservatives, Lemon Juice, Polysorbate 60, Calcium Disodium EDTA to protect flavor, Paprika Oleoresin, Sodium Citrate, Annatto Color, Mono- and Diglycerides. Contains Egg and Wheat.

And here's the regular bun vs. baguette ingredient list (there's no list of ingredients for the chicken in the Chicken Baguette):

4" AND 5" BUNS

Enriched Flour (Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Water, Sugar (Sucrose or High Fructose Corn Syrup), Vegetable Shortening, Yeast, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Sesame Seeds, Natural† and Artificial Butter Flavor, Yeast Food (Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Iodate, and/or Ammonium Sulfate), Dough Conditioners (Polysorbate 60, Calcium Peroxide [Oxidant], Calcium Salts, Sulfates, Phosphates, and Ammonium Salts), Dough Strengtheners (Sodium and/or Calcium-2-Stearoyl Lactylate or Ethoxylated Mono- and Diglycerides), Dough Softeners (Mono- and Diglycerides, and/or Protease Sorbate), Oxidation Reduction Additives (Ascorbic Acid, Potassium/Calcium Iodate, Alpha-amylase, Azodicarbonamide), Leavening Agent (Monocalcium Phosphate). †Natural flavor from plant sources Contains Wheat.

BAGUETTE BUNS

Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Soybean or Canola Oil, Salt. May contain less than 2% of the following: Dextrose, Natural Sourdough, Yeast, DATEM, Malted Barley Flour, Calcium Sulfate, Enzyme, Ascorbic Acid, Mono- and Diglycerides, Sorbitan Monosterate. Contains Wheat.


Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

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Putting the quality issues aside for a moment, one thing has been ignored in a lot of the fast food discussions I've seen here. The convenience aspect.

Sure, a big "real" burger from a steakhouse can be done for a couple of dollars more than the McKing Wendys, but you have to get out of your car and stand in line. In larger cities, (NY, LA Chi, DFW, etc) lines are a part of life. But in the smaller cities (Birmingham, Austin, New Orleans, etc) and towns, getting out of the car becomes a major hassle. Here in Birmingham, I find myself saying "Screw it, let's hit a drive thru", even though I have the money and the time to order something better from somewhere else, a drive thru is quicker. Even for a special order.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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one to eat cold on the way back.

Things sure have changed.

you said it. i can't imagine eating a mcdonald's hamburger cold these days. it starts smelling funky as soon as it gets a little cooler than "hot".


Edited by tryska (log)

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re: The convenience aspect

Nah, we've had that discussion quite a bit. Ask tommy.

Then again it's ALWAYS debatable that "getting out of the car is too much trouble". And as I've timed it, in reality its not often faster. Faster than a real sit-down restaurant sure, but not a counter-order. If the ideal is better quality with counter service, I think there is a three-way equation between waiting time, food quality and money spent.


Edited by jhlurie (log)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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  • On March 31, 1999 Burger King Corporation announced the launch of the "new" Left-Handed WHOPPER® .....In the announcement, BKC claimed to have re-engineered the WHOPPER® to fit more comfortably in the left hand, thereby reducing condiment "spills" for left-handed hamburger lovers.

A stroke of marketing genious if ever there was one. :biggrin:

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