Guilty Pleasures

Burger King's Red Velvet Oreo Shake and BBQ Bacon Tendercrisp Up the Ante

The Guilty Pleasures: Red Velvet Oreo Shake and BBQ Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich
Where to Get Them: Burger King
Prices: $2.59 (small shake) and $5.49 (sandwich)
What They Really Cost: Significantly more than you’d spend on similar things from value menus

Red velvet is one of those flavors that fast food brands often try to replicate — and fail miserably. There’s a certain creaminess and delicacy to the flavor that apparently isn’t so easy to re-create on a massive scale using the same equipment that goes into making cheap burgers and fries. It's not straight chocolate. It's a sweet vanilla base with a lot of chocolate added in, and it's a fine line to walk.

That said, though Burger King doesn’t totally nail it with the new Red Velvet Oreo Shake, the restaurant does get a whole lot closer than a lot of other fast food attempts.

Let’s talk about the good parts first.

For one, the Red Velvet Oreo Shake has a slight chocolate-y taste but doesn't taste like a typical chocolate shake. Some people view red velvet as chocolate with food dye (and this shake definitely has a lot of food dye), but that’s not really what red velvet is all about. It's all about combining the best aspects of both chocolate and vanilla. Burger King’s shake has enough chocolate flavor to satisfy chocoholics, but it’s subtle enough to not turn off anyone looking for a somewhat authentic red velvet experience.

The other area where the shake excels is texture. Red velvet is always supposed to be creamy, so that works with the milkshake consistency. On top of that, the Oreo crumbles really take the shake's texture to the next level. Even if they get stuck in your straw, being able to chew on the chunks of cookie is a welcome reprieve from the constant smooth, cold texture of the blended shake.

Unfortunately, there’s one glaring flaw in the milkshake that prevents it from truly being a great red velvet experience: a total lack of cream cheese flavor.

Cream cheese is one of those subtle flavors in any red velvet treat that gets overlooked all too often when re-creating the flavor. It's generally used as frosting on a red velvet cake, but in situations where frosting isn't appropriate, it can (and should) be blended into the overall flavor of the dessert  The slight tanginess isn’t necessarily a crucial element to making a decent red velvet treat, but it’s the extra step to go from “acceptable” to “good” or “good” to “great.”

Now for the chicken sandwich.

The BBQ Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich is a fried chicken breast patty with bacon, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce, and mayonnaise on a standard (claiming to be “Brioche-style”) bun. And for $5.49, the BBQ Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich had better be a real good chicken sandwich, since you can get some form of chicken sandwich for a dollar or two at most fast food restaurants. The good news is that it is above average. 

The chicken itself is a much nicer piece of meat than you’d get off the value menu at Wendy’s or other fast-food joints. It’s not dry and the seasoning actually gives it some flavor. The lettuce, tomato, and condiments are all satisfactory, too.

Where the BBQ Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich really stands out is in the bacon. Whereas many restaurants go for thin, greasy, crunchy bacon, this sandwich comes with a bit of a thicker-cut pork product. It still has its nice, crisp edges, but there's some meatiness and chewiness to the bacon that’s not often seen in fast food.

Is it worth the cost of a Dollar Menu feast? That’s for you to decide. But the BBQ Bacon Tendercrisp is definitely one of the better fast food chicken options on the board these days.

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Josh Chesler
Contact: Josh Chesler