Fast Food Review: New! French Fries from Burger King
When I first read on BurgerBusiness.com a few weeks ago that Burger King had changed their french fries, I had to do a double-take. It’s not that I knew the fries were unpopular amongst a large group of fast food eater — including many here on GrubGrade — but rather that I hadn’t noticed any advertising campaign to go along with the fries. I mean, with all the attention given to the Chef’s Choice Burger and the new BK Toppers, you’d think the King would also want to rep any fry improvements (especially with those movie-theatre preview commercials they’ve got going).
But that hasn’t been the case, and the only clarification I got when asking about the new fries at Burger King last weekend was a “yes, they’re thicker” explanation from the girl at the counter. Well, more is more, right?
I tend to think of myself as the rare objective reviewer when it comes to Burger King. I don’t love BK, but I don’t hate it either, and that same attitude perfectly sums up my thoughts on the “old” Burger King fries. Distinctive with their potato starch exterior that yields a slightly crunchier crumb, the fries have always struck me as more “artificial” and heavily salted than other fast food french fries. Being artificial has a certain advantage though, and in the case of Burger King’s recipe, I’d argue that the coating makes the fries oddly addictive even without ketchup. At least, that is for those who don’t mind that starchy coating. And I didn’t mind. So while I wouldn’t go out of my way for the fries (as I would for McDonald’s fries or In-N-Out fries) I appreciated them as a change-of-pace, with my only complaint being that they were distinctively lacking in “real” potato flavor, and oftentimes failed to deliver the golden and fluffy interior which all fries should shoot for.
The good news for longtime BK fry-haters is that these french fries have more of that potato flavor and a fluffier interior than the old fries. The bad news is that the flavor remains the same, and probably won’t convert any of the hardcore critics out there.
The fries are, as reported, noticeably thicker. The comparison to Wendy’s old fries is a good one, but unlike the old Wendy’s fries, which were often prone to become soggy and flabby, the Burger King fries maintain their crispy exterior well, and come out remarkably consistent. I received a scant number of “burnt ends” in my value fry purchase, and only one or two fries were too long and soft. The crumb — more crunchy than crispy, and tasting somewhat like a baked potato chip — is still there, but the diameter of the fries themselves allows for more fluff on the interior. I found the interior to be a bit moister than ideal and not as “fluffy” as attempts by fast-casuals like Zaxby’s, but I also appreciated the size of the fries with respect to salting. While on the heavier side, the salt is more spread out over the surface area, giving you the impression that you’re not just munching on a hunk of table salt (an experience, I think, many of us had with the old fries).
I like Burger King’s new french fries, and I think those who didn’t dislike their old fries will find the new fries an improvement. This was only my first try, however, and given that I had the fries in an empty BK at 11 a.m., it remains to be seen whether the french fries can be replicated along the same quality control lines of McDonald’s french fries. Until that time I’ll remain cautiously skeptical, but still a fan nonetheless.
Pros: Better than the old fries... that is, if you liked the old fries. Fluffier on the interior, and holds outside crunch well. Salt dispersion is better given increase in fry surface area. More area to dip ketchup, too. Just say no to soggy fries. Still just a buck for a value order.
Cons: at/calories/sodium in single order? (new nutrition info still pending) No 'wow' factor.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Price: $1.00 for a value size order
Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10
Burger King French Fries (value order, may not reflect changes)
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 330 mg
Total Carbs: 34 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 2 g