Burger King's Big King: Does It Stack Up to the Big Mac?

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, Burger King must really be fond of its number one competitor, because the new Big King sandwich looks pretty much like another "big" burger from another chain.

According to Burger King's website, the Big King features "two savory fire-grilled beef patties, topped with melted American cheese, fresh cut iceberg lettuce, crisp onions, crunchy pickles, and featuring a sweet thousand island style dressing, all on a warm, toasted, sesame seed bun."

Hmm, does it sound vaguely like this?

Burger King previously launched a Big King, but the first version didn't have a bun between the beef patties. This one does.

Ahem, in case you're peckish for a different sandwich, you might want to try BK's other new sandwich: the BBQ Rib, which features "a juicy boneless rib patty, freshly cut onions, crisp pickles, a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, and all served on a warm toasted sesame bun."

But don't worry -- these two BK products are completely different from their Mickey D's counterparts. For instance, the Big King has no special sauce. Instead, there's thousand-island-"style" dressing on that bad boy. And the BBQ Rib is round, unlike the McRib, which is a hoagie-shaped sammie. Plus, of course, the Burger King versions are grilled, not griddle-fried.

The nutritional information is different too. According to BK's website, the Big King contains 510 calories, 18 grams of protein, 29 grams of fat, and 780 milligrams of sodium, while McDonald's reports a Big Mac contains 550 calories, 20 grams of fat, and a whopping 970 milligrams of sodium.

So, while BK might be copying the Golden Arches a bit, you'll save on the sodium intake. Plus, McRibs aren't currently available and, according to the McRib Locator Facebook page, fans were disappointed with the last McRib version; they said the quality and taste from previous rollouts were lacking from the the most recent one. That means Burger King has time to create a fan base for its pork sandwich without side-by-side comparisons.

Could this be the catalyst for Burger King to dethrone McDonald's for worldwide dominance? According to the Associated Press, BK said sales slipped 0.3 percent at North American locations open at least a year in the last earnings quarter, while McDonald's figures squeaked up 0.7 percent. With such narrow margins, it just might be the beginning of a royal comeback for the King.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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