As reported by Short Order in April, Miami-based fast-food chain Burger King was testing a new menu item at some of its Nashville locations.
The item? A bacon sundae.
Apparently, Nashvillians gave it a collective thumbs-up, because Burger King has now made the sundae available almost chain-wide.
We know what you're thinking, and it's something along the lines of, Mmmm, bacon. We thought the same thing, so we went to try the paradoxical treat for ourselves.
This is what the bacon sundae looks like in Burger King's promotional photo.
Courtesy of Burger King
The idea, and not an original one at that (see Denny's maple bacon sundae), is like communism -- good in theory. Foodies have known for eons how savory the mix of sweet and salty can be. And Burger King's recipe -- soft-serve ice cream, caramel, chocolate fudge, and bacon -- sounds like a winner.
Here is where quality (or lack thereof) rears its pretentious head.
Perhaps if BK used premium ice cream, quality caramel and chocolate, and proper bacon, the bacon sundae would taste as good as it should. But it doesn't. The lack of quality ingredients is the major reason the bacon sundae falls short of expectations -- and yes, this is Burger King we're talking about -- so we know the price will be reasonable but the ingredients won't be Prime One Twelve stuff.
This is what the bacon sundae looks like in real life.
Photo by Star Goyanes
Which begs the question: Why aim that high? It isn't as if the general, fast-food eating public -- i.e. people who regularly patronize McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King -- were clamoring for a trendy, foodie-inspired dessert. Restaurants like these should stick to what they're (moderately) good at -- serving (occasionally) tasty cheap burgers and fries.
You wouldn't go to a fast-food restaurant for macaroons or bacon-studded cupcakes, and you don't ask them to supersize your artisan beer at the drive-thru, so why would Burger King even bother?
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The bacon sundae is somewhat edible, and if the bacon didn't taste like it was microwaved too long and if there had been more caramel and less of the dismal chocolate, "somewhat edible" would be promoted to "edible." But that is where the conga line stops.
Burger King, please come up with a new Whopper recipe or LeBron nuggets and leave the experimentation to those who can pull it off.