11 June, 2010

Burger King Ribs

Although I like most of Burger King's  burgers, over the years I've found that the rest of their menu is kind of subpar.  Their breakfast offerings completely suck, their iced coffee is some kind of coffee-flavored corn syrup bastardization, and their onion rings coat the mouth with sticky lard-like fatty waste.  So when I found out that they had added spare ribs to the menu, my expectations were pretty low.

I wasn't disappointed.

First of all, these are not ribs.  These are half-ribs or maybe even 1/3-ribs.  They're barely two inches long, and they're not even that meaty.  In fact, most of them barely have any meat clinging to them at all.  They're also obviously frozen and reheated, and they've almost certainly been "tenderized" and seasoned as well; some of them - especially the ones cut from the end of the rib with the cartiledge - have a spongy texture, and all of them sport a weird salty "enhanced rib" flavor.  This ingredient cocktail probably has a lot to do with that flavor:
Pork rib pieces, water, seasoning [yeast extract, maltodextrin, onion powder, gum arabic, tomato powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder, smoke flavor, flavors, disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate, artificial flavors, carrot juice solids, modified corn starch, vinegar solids, onion broth, spices, grill flavor (from sunflower oil), and tumeric], salt, rice starch and sodium phosphate.
I bolded the four times "flavor" occurs in that ingredient list, just because it's so damn ridiculous. What's the difference between "flavors" and "artificial flavors," anyway?

My local Burger King didn't have any ribs ready on the line when I went in to order, so the young lady taking orders asked if I minded waiting a few minutes for my batch to be prepared.  That was okay with me but if the same thing happens to you, be aware that it takes 6 minutes to cook your order.  That doesn't sound like a lot of time - and in the real world, it isn't - but when you're waiting on line in a fast-food restaurant, it seems like forever (especially when there are people waiting behind you.)  Also, since everything else on the menu seems to takes thirty seconds to drop down the chute, the staff might push your order to the back of the queue while your ribs are being prepared.  I try to give the kids working at fast food places some slack - it's a crappy job, they have to deal with short-tempered asshats all day, and they go home stinking of old fryer oil every night - but one guy who had ordered ribs just before me was less patient.  "Six minutes??  Why the hell do they call this fast food, anyway?"  Herp derp, asshole, you sure showed that 16-year-old part timer a thing or two.  Bet she never heard that one before, huh?  You're a regular Jay Leno, you are.

Anyway, now let's talk about price.  Six ribs - six tiny little sawed-off two inch ribs - cost me $5.49, or a little over 90 cents per nubbin.  Or, I can convert that side order to a "Value Meal" by adding a soda and fries and paying $7.49.  I don't really see the "value" in that.  The soda and fries would each cost me a buck on the a la carte menu anyway; is there additional "value" in paying $7.49 for something that would otherwise cost me $7.49?

Bottom line:  Skimpy, taste weird, expensive.  Good thing it's a limited time offer. I don't think there's going to be much demand for them anyway.


Andrew said...

They sound like low-rent rib tips....
Which is sad considering that rib tips are just low-rent ribs. Was there no BBQ sauce on them?

Dave said...

The ribs don't come pre-dressed with sauce, but BK gives you a couple of little tubs of sauce if you want. I'm not crazy about their BBQ sauce - it's little more than tangy high-fructose corn syrup - but I wanted to taste the meat anyway, so I didn't use their sauce.

I used some decent BBQ sauce that I had at home, and it improved the ribs' flavor a lot. But it was still cheap-ass ribs with decent BBQ sauce on them. This new menu item is a definite BK Fail.