The Burger King Knock-Off Special: The Big King and BBQ Rib Sandwich Review

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: generally speaking, I don’t hate on Burger King this much. My usual policy is BK for the sandwiches (Angry Whopper, I need you in my mouth), McDonald’s for the fries. These are usually their strengths.


I’m going to go ahead and call a spade a spade here. The BK Big King and the BBQ Rib Sandwiches are shameless rip offs of McDonald’s creations, the Big Mac and the McRib, respectively. The Big Mac was introduced nationwide in 1968 and the Big King didn’t come along until ’93 (officially dubbed the Big King in 1996). The McRib graced the world with its presence back in 1981, while the BBQ Rib sandwich just rolled up last year in 2013 as part of BK’s Summertime BBQ menu.

And you know what? I get it. That’s just how the free market works. Companies rip off each other’s ideas all the time. But typically when companies do that, they innovate or at least try, in some way, to make their product superior and/or more appealing than the other guys’. This is not the case here. BK’s products are basically the same as their McDonald’s counterparts…except for the rather crucial fact that they’re not nearly as tasty.

Oh, and one more disclaimer…if I’m being real with you, BK may not even be offering these at the moment, because I ate them roughly 19 years ago and am only just now getting around to reviewing them. I’m too lazy to verify their current menu. Let’s get to it.

The Big King

Imagine a Big Mac. Now make it less tasty. That’s about what you can expect when eating the Big King. It’s not a total piece of flame-broiled shit, it’s just remarkably unremarkable.

WP_20131125_004The biggest issue here I think is the sauce. While it seems hard to imagine that BK could have screwed this up — given that McDonald’s “special sauce” is basically just Thousand Island dressing — it somehow manages to be stunningly flavorless. It might as well just be mayonnaise, and that’s gross. If you’re going to make me eat mayonnaise, at least make it taste good enough to help me forget that I’m a eating goopy egg-vinegar-whatever mixture.

Another key factor here are the onions. The big onion ring slices on the sandwich lack the same punch that those precious little minced onion bits that, quite frankly, just MAKE the Big Mac. Remember when Kumar or possibly Harold (I’m pretty sure it was Kumar) said in their film debut that the little onion bits on White Castle burgers are like flavor crystals? The same goes for the Big Mac. And yet on the Big King, all you get are some weak-ass watery onion slices that add absolutely nothing to the equation.

I mean, look at that limp dick burger. Does this look like something you want to be cramming into your face hole at 2 AM? No, it doesn’t. Therefore it doesn’t hold a candle to the Big Mac. Moving on.

The BBQ Rib Sandwich

WP_20131125_002Once again, all the pieces are there, because this sandwich is a shameless knock-off: The onions, the pickles, the BBQ sauce, the rib patty with a texture vaguely resembling a yoga mat because that’s what it’s totally not made out of, we swear. But it fails to come together.

Closer in tastiness to the sandwich that inspired it than the Big King, the BBQ Rib Sandwich is still a bit of a letdown. Once again, the sauce plays a big part in the disappointment here. While you can at least taste this sauce, it doesn’t blend with the rib patty as well because it leans far too much towards the tangy side than it does the sweet or spicy sides.

The onions were once again lacking in flavor — did I just go to BK on a day when they got a lousy onion shipment or something? — I actually didn’t mind that as much here because to tell you the truth, the onions on the McRib are weak as hell too. That’s just kind of the package I’m used to, so the offense wasn’t as egregious.

Credit where credit is due, though: the pickles gave the sandwich that nice acidic bite like they should. Too bad there wasn’t enough sweet there to balance them out.

Moral of the story here: Do you, Burger King! Keep coming up with your own sandwiches and don’t worry about what McDonald’s is doing (and has been doing for decades now…seriously, you’re a little late to the party with that rib sandwich). When you’re more original, we’re blessed with far better products.


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