Cafe Reviews

Is Burger King's Breakfast a Cereal Killer? Fry Girl Says No

Out of a job? Worried about spending? Fast-food restaurants feel your pain, right in their grease-soaked wallets, and right around breakfast time. At a 26-year high, the current jobless rate and economic stressing-out mean more folks are scarfing down Sugar Puffs at home instead of sausage biscuits on the go. What should the mammoths of morning munchies do? Arm their marketing and product development departments and prepare for a battle over our breakfast bucks, of course.

Jack in the Box added a Grilled Breakfast Sandwich and is testing a Breakfast Pita Pocket in San Diego, Subway's joined the sunrise fun by introducing a breakfast menu (good luck with that, Jared), and Taco Bell is testing breakfast quesadillas and sausage biscuits with gravy. But nowhere has the a.m. ante been upped more than in Burger King's royal realm.

We've seen the ad: The King, clad in a gray hoodie and leather gloves, breaks into McDonald's HQ, steals the Sausage McMuffin with Egg blueprint, eludes security on a motorcycle, and introduces the BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwich for a buck. Fry Girl's got some sad news for the crowned crook: You've been McPunked. I tried your thievery and it ain't McAnything. The tasteless yellow egg square I mistook for cheese and rust-colored sausage on a squashed, dry English muffin doesn't hold a scepter to Mickey Dee's greasy-good hunk o' spicy sausage and fried egg.

Let's move on to your non-heisted offering, the BK Breakfast Bowl.

Still reeling from KFC's crocks of repulsion, I was cautious about this breakfast mash-up. Surprisingly, the sizable meal was damned tasty — it should be, given its $2.99 price. I was most impressed by the eggs, which in most fast-food joints are dry and bland or runny and weird. BK's held their own against the spicy sausage, cheese, and grilled onions and peppers (a nice flavor-add). And while the roasted Southwestern potatoes tasted neither roasted nor Southwestern, they did no damage. The bowl's major malfunction? It's a dining-while-driving disaster, and since most fast-food breakfasts are eaten en route, you're left with hoping it doesn't go cold — or it's sunrise with the seniors at BK Lounge.

What's next for the morning monarch? Prepare to go upscale (ever so slightly) with the Burger King brunch. In limited markets, the menu includes a Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich, non-alcoholic mimosa (yeah, you heard right), and even a pre-lunchtime Whopper.

Burglary? Bowls? Brunch? Seems the King will do just about anything to keep his breakfast castle from crumbling. In the meantime, this Fry Girl's stickin' with cereal.