I was at my in-laws’ house the other night, everyone was hanging out in the living room after dinner, and I saw these coupons sticking out of the stack where they keep the mail. Normally I wouldn’t just start snooping around someone else’s letters, or I’d at least wait until nobody else is in the room, but something about this particular piece of paper caught my eye, it drew me in. I found myself unable to resist the urge to yank it out of from the rest of the pile.
It was from Burger King. There was a picture of a burger. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Well, nobody really pinches themselves, but yeah, you get the point, I took a second to let it sink in, that what I was looking at was real. Because it wasn’t just any burger. It was two burger patties on a sesame seed bun separated by another piece of bread. The whole thing was dressed with cheese, lettuce, pickles, and a sauce that can only really be described as “special.”
Does any of this sound familiar? I thought so. It’s the Big King sandwich from Burger King, and it’s back. I read and reread the coupon at least a dozen times, in fact, I think someone had to snap me out of it, because I was just standing there, drooling on this piece of paper. When I finally regained enough of my sentences to string the words together, I let everyone know, “Guys, the Big King is back! It’s back!”
The Big King is one of the best fast food sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life. I remember when I was a little kid in the 1990s, Burger King introduced the Big King as alternative to McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich. And this is where you hear a lot of criticism, like the Big King is a rip-off, that they’re blatantly copying McDonald’s most popular sandwich.
But why is that a bad thing? It’s not like Burger King is making any secret of its intentions. No, they call it the Big King, so even the name is almost identical. But it’s great, and I love the fact that they’re not bound by such small-minded notions of what’s acceptable for a fast-food restaurant to offer on the menu.
The thing is, food at Burger King has a certain flavor, a unique Burger King taste. I don’t really know how to describe it, I’m sure it has everything to do with ingredients and preparation. But who cares? Burger King tastes like Burger King. McDonald’s tastes like McDonald’s. Yeah, all of the chains might have pretty different menus, but if you set up a blind taste test, if you lined up regular cheeseburgers from all of the different fast-food outlets in America, I guarantee you I’d be able to taste the restaurant of origin of each sandwich.And so why shouldn’t we have a Burger King Big Mac? I love the Big Mac. But I also love Burger King. I think it’s awesome that as a consumer, I have the option to experience Burger King’s interpretation of McDonald’s signature sandwich. And it’s a two-way street. Anybody remember the McDonald’s Big N’ Tasty?
And so why shouldn’t we have a Burger King Big Mac? I love the Big Mac. But I also love Burger King. I think it’s awesome that as a consumer, I have the option to experience Burger King’s interpretation of McDonald’s signature sandwich. And it’s a two-way street. Anybody remember the McDonald’s Big N’ Tasty?
The Big N’ Tasty is a giant burger patty on a bun with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, dressed with mayonnaise and ketchup. Doesn’t that sound exactly like the Whopper? Because that’s the Whopper, that’s exactly what Burger King offers. And I haven’t had a Big N’ Tasty in a while, but it’s great, it’s like the reverse of what I was talking about before.
I wish this type of borrowing of inspiration was acceptable not just in the fast-food world. Like, wouldn’t it be great if you were reading a Batman comic book, and then Batman got bitten by a radioactive spider, resulting in a bunch of cool spider powers? It wouldn’t have to be permanent, but we could see a totally different take on a classic.
Man, I can’t wait any longer, I’m going out to Burger King right now. Do you know what Burger King calls its version of Special Sauce? It’s King Sauce. That’s brilliant. I think I’m even hungrier. Do yourself a favor, go to Burger King for dinner tonight. If you already went to the grocery store because you planning on making something special, shelve it for tomorrow. If your husband or wife has already started chopping or dicing, just throw all of that stuff in the garbage, grab their coat, and tell them that there’s no time to explain. Then go to Burger King and get four Big Kings. I’m telling you, it’s the greatest sandwich in the history of fast food.