Burger King, Anywhere
Breakfast served daily until 11am
by Nelson Griddle
Burger King is a temple of unholy stimulation. As soon as you cross the threshold, everything becomes brighter, louder and shinier than it has any right to be.
If the neon lighting and primary-colour décor scheme weren’t enough, there are big signs everywhere telling you that their hamburgers are 100% beef (what else would they be? Horse?) and urgent exhortations to “Have It Your Way”.
The Big Breakfast Butty Value Meal comprises a hamburger bun filled with cumberland sausage, scrambled egg, a rasher of bacon and a slice of processed cheese, accompanied by a variety of glossy sauces. It comes wrapped, like a guilty secret, in a sheet of anonymous greaseproof paper.
The butty (why do I feel hesitation in using that word?) is less intimidatingly tall in real life than in the huge poster advertising it. The flavours are not exactly subtle (barbeque, ketchup and extreme saltiness feature highly) and the taste of the egg and cheese are undetectable in comparison. Overall, I have to say, I rather enjoy it.
My value meal includes hash browns and coffee. The coffee is good, and as for the hash browns – well, they are literally like no other food on earth. Shaped like plump pound-coins, they are golden brown and praeternaturally crispy on the outside yet oddly wan and slimy on the inside. Oh, and they are very, very salty.
All in all, though, it’s not bad. So why do I feel guilty about eating this stuff? Why, having disposed of the remains of my meal through the chute marked “Thank You” do I feel soiled, as though having engaged in some elaborate yet ultimately unfulfilling sexual act?
Is it the lighting, the slogans, or the fact that I’ve probably consumed my RDA of salt from now until Pentecost? Or perhaps some itch of contrariness the gods of global consumerism have not quite managed to expunge?
Answers on a postcard please.