That Food Guy
Thursday, February 17, 2011
  Burger King – An Unkept Promise
I really do take my bag of burgers to the park.
I admit it! I have a weakness for hamburgers. The best, of course, are the ones that I make at home. But when I am out and about, the local fast food emporiums are usually a good place to get a quick burger and fries. They are usually consistent with their products and you know ahead of time what you are getting. I like MacDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and I just adore Red Robin’s gourmet burgers. The choice can depend on my mood at the time but it usually dictated by what is convenient and near at hand. More often than not, it seemed to be Burger King.

Lake Seminole Park isn’t too far away and it is a good place to amble with the camera. At the edge of Lake Seminole, there are opportunities to see fishing birds like the cormorant and anhinga, raptor birds like the hawk and sometime even an eagle. Though they seem shy what with all the human activity about, there are alligators as well if you know where to look. Hiking paths lead through pine and hardwood groves. In the midst of the bustling city there is a quiet enclave that harkens back to an earlier time.

On the way to the park for a photography session, I pass right by a Burger King; easy in, easy out and just a few blocks from the park. On a hot afternoon I get my order to go. The heavily pine shaded picnic tables are a pleasant place to enjoy a burger and fries. Often a cooling breeze wafts through the grounds rustling the pine needles overhead.

To go burgers - unwrapping the burger for a lunch in the parkThe first time I was in the Burger King near Lake Seminole Park I noticed a small sign that said that store was a company owned store. I didn’t think anything of at the time. Their product has always been of good quality. I don’t mean that the hamburger you get there looks like the advertizing pictures. We all know that the over the counter product and the photographer’s model are of a different breed. Nonetheless, the over the counter product is reasonably close, a deviation that we have all come to accept as normal. The Seminole Burger King routinely provides consistent and acceptable products, even the Value Meal burgers and fries.

In the mail recently there has been a lot of ads for the new Burger King offering, the XT Steak House Burgers. After a busy morning out, “Buy one, get one free!” was too good an offer to pass up for a quick lunch. There is another Burger King just a few blocks from the house. We picked up our burgers at the drive thru window and took them home. It wasn’t until we got home that we examined our treasures.

On a good day the hamburger is reasonably close to the advertised idealI have not noticed a company store sign in the local Burger King. It is probably a franchise. Now I’m wondering if we have to check the ownership credentials of a Burger King before we order. When I opened the wrapper on my XT Steak House burger I was appalled. The bun looked like it had been used as a cushion in a packing crate. The lettuce looked like the scraps left after all the real lettuce had been used in someone else’s hamburger. The onion was missing and just the barest smidgeon of tomato. There was no ketchup, just too much of the white stuff they call mayonnaise but tasted more like that yucky cheap stuff called salad dressing.

The XT Burger as advertised - too far different from what I was served.Yes, I should have wrapped it up and drove back to the Burger King, walked in this time, plopped it down on the counter and demanded my money back. In retrospect I’m sorry I didn’t. I was hungry at the time and begrudgingly ate the burger all the while hoping that the poor product didn’t indicate even deeper problems like sanitation! The issues with the presentation of the burger were so overwhelming that I really don’t remember anything about the meat patty. I couldn’t tell you if it was good, bad or indifferent. Since I didn’t have any issues with that portion of the burger I guess it was alright but I can’t attest to that. For what I paid for that piece-of-junk burger I could have gone to the other Burger King and bought four good $1.00 Whopper Juniors!

The XT Burger as delivered.  What a crock...As I pointed out earlier, I have had good experience at one Burger King and then I have had this experience with the local Burger King. It is sad when one store casts a pall on the others. Since this incident I have not, nor do I think I ever will, gone back to that store. And come to think of it, I haven’t been to any other Burger King either. All I can suggest is that you open the bag and check your food before you leave the store. I missed my chance. Don’t you let them lower the acceptable standards of deviation from what is advertized and what is served.

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