Spring has arrived, and that means it’s time for another round of seasonal Burger King offerings! I love this marketing scheme that they’ve developed: new (or new-ish, or returning) menu items available for a limited time. It keeps things fresh without over-crowding the menu. I would love to see every fast food restaurant adopt this model, although that would result in me drowning in grease and also a backlog of reviews.
BK’s Spring Menu showcases Smooth Roast Coffee, Lattes, Donut Holes, Piña Colada Smoothie, Peach and Unsweetened Iced Teas, Turkey and Veggie Burgers, Chipotle Chicken Sandwiches and Wraps, Chipotle Whopper, Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger and Loaded Tater Tots.
That’s an impressive lineup. Today we’ll be looking at the latter two items, simply because they sounded tasty and vaguely interesting, and I think I’ll tear my hair out if I have to review something chipotle-flavored and type the sentence “this doesn’t really taste like chipotle” one more time.
Who am I kidding, that’s inevitable.
Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger
Burger King describes this as “A Mouthwatering USDA Inspected fire-grilled ground beef patty stuffed with hardwood smoked bacon and savory cheddar cheese, topped with fresh-cut lettuce, juicy tomatoes, ketchup, mayo and crispy onion rings all on a warm, artisan-style bun.”
I’d like to translate this: “We took the stuff that tastes good on top of a hamburger and buried it inside the hamburger, thus ensuring that you do not actually taste them. But hey, it sounds like a good gimmick, right?”
You may call this harsh, since this was my immediate impression of the burger before I even tasted it. It’s just that I’ve had “stuffed” burgers before, and that’s pretty much what happens – all that good cheese and bacon flavor gets buried inside the burger, which is no fun at all. But hey, maybe Burger King will be different!
Burger King is not different. Ignoring the especially lackluster lettuce and “good enough” tomatoes, I was pleased with the amount of onion rings on my Stuffed Burger. While the quantity was good, the quality was not – resting under mayo, ketchup and tomatoes, they were soggy as all get-out.
While I would have liked the added crunch, the onions and the breading did add some flavor to the burger, which was welcome because…
…while I could obviously see the bacon and cheddar stuffed inside the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger, as I predicted, I could not really taste them. Every third bite or so, I’d get some creaminess or a hickory smoke taste, but they paled in comparison to a regular, topped bacon cheeseburger.
The Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger is all gimmick with little taste delivery. You’d be much better off just Having it Your Way and getting a cheeseburger with bacon on top. Burger King has some of the best bacon of all the fast food restaurants, and it’s a shame to bury it inside the patty.
Loaded Tater Tots
It took me a while to realize that Burger King had already introduced the idea of fried cheese potato bites when they introduced their Cheesy Tots on the Winter Menu. That was only a season ago, which is less a testament to the idea that they were so forgettable and more that I have the memory of a goldfish.
Loaded Tater Tots are a somewhat different beast, however. In my review of Cheesy Tots, I mentioned that they were good but that I wanted more out of them. It seems that Burger King has listened to me.
BK describes the Loaded Tots as “A bite-sized snack that is sure to kick your meal up a notch! Enjoy warm fluffy potatoes filled with flavorful bacon and sweet onions on the inside, with a savory and crispy crumb coating on the outside. Available in eight, 10 or 12 piece servings. These LOADED TATER TOTS™ potatoes are great for sharing and are a savory complement to any meal.
With the addition of bacon and onions, these Tots have become Loaded. They’re shaped more like a jalapeño popper than the Cheesy Tots, which had a more rounded shape.
While BK’s description oddly leaves out that there’s cheese inside…well, there’s cheese inside. The potato innards were indeed warm and fluffy, and there was a pleasant amount of creamy cheese that worked well with the potatoes. The crumb coating was nice and crunchy, but a little thinner than I would have liked.
The main problem with Loaded Tater Tots is that it’s hard to taste the Loaded. They had a pleasant hint of onion, but the bacon taste was a little lacking. Even though you can see the little bits of bacon, there’s barely a hint of that smoked bacon flavor, and there’s no real bacon texture.
Burger King’s Loaded Tater Tots are tasty. Getting the potato-to-cheese ratio is half the battle, and they accomplished that. Unfortunately, the Loaded upgrade was lacking. I’m glad that the onion wasn’t overwhelming, but they went too far in the other direction, making it rather underwhelming. My biggest disappointment was obviously with the bacon – bigger, more flavorful chunks would have added that hickory flavor that works great with potato and cheese, and having a little extra crunch from them would have been nice, too.
Burger King’s Spring Menu has a lot of variety in it. I wish I could hit it all, but then I’d probably be reviewing them well into their Fall menu. I chose the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger and Loaded Tater Tots for their uniqueness and possible tastiness.
Unfortunately, the Stuffed Burger made a classic mistake, which is “stuffing a burger”, thus negating the very flavors they were trying to stuff, making it taste mostly like a regular ol’ hamburger.
The Loaded Tater Tots fared a little better and were indeed tasty, but the onion and especially the bacon flavor had a hard time shining through, thus making the Loaded Tater Tots a lot like BK’s Cheesy Tots. I’m achin’ for some bacon, over here.
Burger King Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger
- Score: 2.5 out of 5 stop stuffin’ your burgers it hardly ever works
- Price: $3.99
- Size: 1 burger
- Purchased at: Burger King #17145
- Nutritional Quirks: With 12 grams of saturated fat, I feel like I should be getting more bang for my arteries.
Burger King Loaded Tots
- Score: 3 out of 5 really outdated “Where’s the bacon?” jokes
- Price: $1.99
- Size: 8 tots
- Purchased at: Burger King #17145
- Nutritional Quirks: I just…I just want some bacon…from somewhere…