Forget nuclear death. Japan has something to smile about this week with the Miami-based Burger King Corp.'s promotion of the new "Meat Monster," a Godzilla-size sandwich available only in the land of the Rising Sun. It starts with a Whopper and piles on three bacon strips, two cheese slices, another beef patty, and a chicken breast. Total calories: 1,160.
But why should Japan have all the fun (and angina)?
This morning, I headed to South Beach's Whopper Bar on Washington Avenue to see if I could really have it my way. Eddie the manager, who didn't want to give his last name, had never heard of the product. Presented with a photo of this creature from halfway around the world, he proclaimed, "I can build this. See? They have a patty, then cheese, then another patty, and the ketchup. Then they add bacon and chicken. Then they put mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes."
Not five minutes later, he presented a beige tower of animal flesh. Then he prepared to dress it.
"Pile it on," I said.
The "monster" was accessorized with onion rings, jalapeños, mayo, ketchup, A1 steak sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. The cost: a whopping $9.36. That might sound crazy expensive for a fast-food item, but its Japanese cousin costs $9.70.
Kevin and Robert, two guys visiting from Chicago, were having a bite on their way to catch a Carnival cruise to the western Caribbean. Robert said of the Monster: "It sounds like a heart attack."
Kevin added that it sounded like a deal: "We could share that. Have you been to Five Guys? They charge $5 for one patty!"
Whopper Bar employee Brandon was sweeping the restaurant as I was about to tame the Meat Monster. He literally did a double take. "Nine dollars for a Whopper? That's more than what I make in an hour."
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At last, when my impromptu show-and-tell was finished, it was time to slay the dragon. I picked it up and took a bite. Though the burger was good, the chicken did nothing to help or hinder the flavor. Would this megameal catch on in South Beach? Maybe not, but I'm sure a story will circulate in certain Miami BK circles about the time the girl came in to tame the Meat Monster.