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We don’t do this professionally. In fact, there may be actually nothing definably “professional” about this blog. But we do love burgers and we do love writing about them. The View, The NY Post, Rachel Ray, Daily News, Gawker, FOX News, Thrillist and A Hamburger Today, they’re all professionals. So how the hell we got invited along with them to the unveiling of Burger King’s new “secret weapon,” and corresponding tasting party, well that’s the power of passion.
But why they felt we were important enough to send a limo to pick us up, well, that’s because of you, our readers. On this particularly rainy day, we thank you for your readership as it’s warmth and shelter helped guide our mission.
So what was this party all about? The “BK Lounge,” as it’s affectionately called, is launching a new series of burgers known as the “Premium Steakhouse XT™ Burger Line.” The Answer to McDonald’s Angus Third Pounders, these 7-oz. bad boys are the latest maneuver in the fast food burger battle. But more on that later.
The real star of the show is the new state-of-the-art broiler Burger King is launching to enhance their signature flame-broiled flavor. So rather than me regurgitating the press release (in all its glory below) let these guys tell you.
And then the Whoppers started coming … I will admit I lost my focus for a minute and despite BK’s warning so did the rest of the room.
THE BURGER(S), ETC.
And with focus lost, we started to eat. Since they gave us the official professionally shot pictures of the items, I thought it might be fun to juxtapose them side by side with my “unprofessional” photos.
First the Whopper. Exactly as you know it. Didn’t seem any different than it’s tasted in the past. We’ve all eaten one (save Robyn from AHT … WTF!??!?) so you know the deal.
Up next, the “A.1. SteakHouse XT.” This ornately prepared fast food fiend has a 7-oz.beef patty that’s topped with mayo, crispy onions, A.1. Steak Sauce, American cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. We sliced them up (I removed the tomatoes) and dug in. It was good, I won’t lie. There is a whole lot of flavor happening inside of this and yes, as far as Burger King burgers go, this is a thick, juicy patty. I was impressed. I was also starving and rifled through my half-burger in about 17 seconds flat. Later, Jason, from Me So Hungry, and I split a 2nd one!
7 out of 10 ounces
The “A.1. Steakhouse XT” was followed by “BK Fire-Grilled Ribs.” Charred right in the broiler, just like the burger, these Saint Louis-style baby backs come pre-seasoned and with a side of barbecue sauce. They were not bad. They would never stand up against real, slow cooked, open-pit, Texas style ribs from the The Salt Lick, but for fast food – again, I was impressed. The ribs were a little dry with a smoky, almost slight taste of beef jerky. Definitely not something I thought I would ever see at a fast-food joint. And yes, you will soon see these on the menu at a BK Lounge near you! I guess it’s true, anything is possible. (Where’s that winning Lotto ticket already!??!)
It’s all cooked in this fancy piece of steel and innovation. It looks to me like some kind of rock and mineral gathering device designed for NASA’s lunar missions. I guess that’s why I am in the music business and not an engineer.
Not cooked in the broiler but served anyway, French Fries and “BK Fresh Apple Fries.” Neither of which any of us spent any real appetite space on.
That’s when the real fun began. Head BK Chef Jay Sullivan,
just to prove a point, showed us what this broiler is really capable of doing. Don’t let your eyes fool you, these are medium-rare Filet Mignon steaks “served with a Port Demi-glace and braised pearl onions with Baby Portobello mushrooms.” Jackie, Adam, Robyn & Jason dug in with eyes agape. While I can’t say it was the highest quality beef I have ever had, it was without a doubt, no question, cooked to perfection and that really is the point that BK is trying to make.
Not willing to settle on simply broiling up a steak, Chef Jay had a few more tricks up his sleeve. As if to say “Look Ma! Those years in culinary school were not wasted,” he busted out a mixed-grill plate. It had “Argentinean chorizo, rosemary-scented pork tenderloin, red wine-marinated prime rib eye, cilantro pineapple-infused organic chicken. served with romesco sauce and grilled asparagus.” The grilled meats were a little overcooked, but it still made for an impressive display of a machine designed to churn burgers out by the millions. The final move, a rich, thick, smoky tasting “Flame-Kissed” S’more. (Note: no one was willing to share a S’more and in fact, some of us walked out with an extra one!) Don’t expect to see any of these items on the menu at Burger King any time soon. There was even some fancy language on the menu reminding us of this.
All in all, it was a fun event and an honor to be included. While we’ve certainly walked away with some free food, this was the first time ever we got some free swag at a Burger Conquest. Check out Jackie and I in our fly-ass, pimp-style BK bling!
So there, take that Ronald, you silly clown.
– Rev Ciancio
Our thanks to John Schaufelberger, Chef Jay Sullivan, Kevin Houston, Kimberly Bratton and all at Edelman and Burger King for inviting us to share. Special “Yo-what-what” props to Robyn and Jason for helping us to look like we belonged there.
BURGER KING OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
QUALITY AND INNOVATION
MIAMI – Feb. 22, 2010 – Burger King Corporation (NYSE:BKC) today announced that
BURGER KING® restaurants nationwide are cooking with a ground-breaking new broiler that takes product quality and menu innovation to great-tasting new heights. This state-of-the-art equipment is the heart of BURGER KING® restaurant kitchens. The broiler, supplied by two manufacturers, features proprietary technology that allows restaurants to further enhance the brand’s famous flame-fresh taste and provides the flexibility necessary to explore a wider range of innovative, delicious, fire-grilled foods.
“This new broiler is a game-changing piece of equipment and a significant point of differentiation for us,” said John Schaufelberger, senior vice president, global product marketing and innovation, Burger King Corporation. “Not only is the technology revolutionary to our industry, it is proprietary to the BURGER KING® brand. It allows us to up the ante in our product development across the board – from superior quality food and unconventional menu innovations to even more competitive value offerings.”
Burger King Corporation is currently testing a variety of products that can now be made on the new broiler, including fall-off-the-bone BK® Fire-Grilled Ribs, stuffed burgers packed with flavor from the inside out, and an array of one-of-a-kind offerings for breakfast, snacks and even flame-kissed desserts.
Hot Off the Broiler: Steakhouse XT™ Hits the Spot!
The casual dining quality Steakhouse XT™ premium burger line that are flame-broiled to perfection are more than 30 percent larger than McDonald’s® Angus Third Pounders. The extra-thick, juicy steakhouse patty debuts at BURGER KING® restaurants nationwide this month and is among the first menu offerings made possible by the revolutionary new cooking system.
• The Steakhouse XT™ is a steakhouse dining experience from top to bottom. The premium sandwich features 7 ounces of seasoned ground beef topped with crisp lettuce, onions, red-ripe tomatoes, ketchup and mayo all on a corn-dusted bakery bun.
• The A.1.® Steakhouse XT™ features all of the ingredients on the Steakhouse XT™ along with A.1.® steak sauce, American cheese and crispy onions.
• The Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT™ is named for its smoky barbeque sauce, cheddar cheese and bacon.
For a limited time only, the Steakhouse XT™ is available at participating restaurants in the U.S. and Canada for a special introductory retail price of $3.99. The A.1.® Steakhouse XT™ and Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT™ are available for a suggested retail price of $4.49. Both the Steakhouse XT™ and the A.1.® Steakhouse XT™ are permanent additions to the
BURGER KING® menu, and the Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT™ is available for a limited time, while supplies last.
Ranging from a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.49, the Steakhouse XT™ premium burger offerings further increase the variety of high-quality, affordable menu items to
BURGER KING® restaurant guests.
In addition to advancing the entire cooking process, one of the proprietary systems supports energy efficiency by reducing gas consumption in BURGER KING® restaurants by 52 percent and electricity consumption by 90 percent when compared to systems of the past. As of Feb. 1, virtually all BURGER KING® restaurants in the U.S. and Canada have installed the new broiler and the broiler’s rollout to international markets is expected to be completed over the course of 2010.
ABOUT BURGER KING CORPORATION
The BURGER KING® system operates more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and in 73 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. In 2008, Fortune magazine ranked Burger King Corporation (BKC) among America’s 1,000 largest corporations and in 2010, Standard & Poor’s included shares of Burger King Holdings, Inc. in the S&P; MidCap 400 index. Burger King Corporation was recently recognized by Interbrand on its top 100 “Best Global Brands” list and Ad Week has named it one of the top three industry-changing advertisers within the last three decades. To learn more about Burger King Corporation, please visit the company’s Web site at www.bk.com.
Through its BK Positive Steps® corporate responsibility program, the BURGER KING® system is committed to being a socially responsible brand in all areas of its business – food, people, the environment and corporate governance. To learn more about the BK Positive Steps® corporate responsibility program and view the complete fiscal 2009 report, visit www.bk.com/corporateresponsibility. For more information on Burger King Corporation, please visit the company’s Web site at www.bk.com.