When a fast food restaurant dives into an area it doesn't normally dabble in, it’s good to be wary. Burger King’s burger-burrito mashup, dubbed the “Whopperito,” should be approached with the same level of caution normally reserved for a fried chicken place that decided to start selling sushi.
Having recently been burned by Burger King’s natural gas-flavored hot dogs, I tried to find some other sucker—I mean, “volunteer,” to try the Whopperito. The Houston Press web editor, Cory Garcia, is normally game to try any fast food (even Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos) but flatly turned this down. “I looked that up last night after you mentioned it and it's a whole bunch of ‘not for me,’" he said via email.
“It’s really sad when you see the pictures in the ads and realize that’s the best it’s ever going to be,” observed art director Monica Fuentes.
Freelance restaurant critic Nicholas L. Hall was less than enthusiastic at attempts to recruit him for the hit. He agreed, but the response was a tepid, “why not” (no punctuation, all lowercase). He later called me “a one-woman wrecking crew,” which I found delightful.
Ultimately, I decided to take another one for the team. The burger-burrito has already earned the nickname “Flopperito.” “We have to have an article that includes the word Flopperito. We just have to,” I declared in our weekly staff meeting. What a golden day it is—what a pinnacle of achievement—when a food writer gets to type, “Flopperito” (which is why it has now been used three times in one paragraph).
Two burrito-burger-things were ordered for the test. "You're gonna like that Whopperito. They've been bangin’," said the Burger King cashier. What does he mean by “bangin’?” Have these been consummating a relationship? Is that allowed? Will there be ground beef taquitos as a result? If so, what will they be named? Cruncheritos?
Anyway, these are definitely rolled in-house as one was fat and squatty and the other was longer and thinner. (Run with that on your own.) Inside are essentially the contents of a Whopper if the burger patty had been pulsed in a blender with a bit of cumin. It includes lettuce, tomato and—pickles. Pickles don’t belong in any burrito, not even a burger one.
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There’s a slather of queso inside and by “queso” we mean that stuff that Taco Bell passes off as “nacho cheese.”
It tasted food-like. It was okay—kind of bland, except for the cumin. No other seasoning seemed present. We can’t imagine anyone ever saying, “You know what I’d really like for you to bring me back for lunch? A Whopperito!”
The real problem, though, is like too many gimmicky fast food items released lately, there’s just no reason for it to exist. It’s not as good as a Whopper and it’s certainly not as good as what would come from any place that specializes in burritos. It brings absolutely nothing revelatory, interesting or new to the fast food world.
It just is, for no good reason, and hopefully is just another blip on Burger King’s menu that will fade once they have some ideas that are actually some kind of step forward for fast food.