One might wonder why someone who lives 15 minutes from a three star Michelin restaurant that happens to be rated as the second best in the world would decide one day to eat at America’s #2 burger joint, Burger King. Call it nostalgia or not being able to generally afford Celler de Can Roca or just being curious as to what an American fast food meal tastes like in Europe, but I finally scratched this item off the bucket list yesterday.
What had peeked my curiosity was a Burger King that has its own pedestrian overpass over the AP-7 toll road just south of the Costa Brava airport. Upon parking and crossing this (you can only park directly if going in the direction of Barcelona) I quickly found the interior of the overpass and the stairs down on the other side were the kind of place that even the friendly hookers who work the truck stop near me would not want to spend any time. If hell is tiled and beige with interspersed glass blocks, then this is the entrance to it.
Fumbling my way around to enter this highway Burger King I glanced up at their meal board which was generally lacking in any words except those that were for their products. This makes sense as you want all the Germans rolling through to hold up two fingers for the Double Whopper Meal, pay, and be on their merry fucking way. Of course, I have to admit that I was a bit blown away by the prices. A Double Whopper meal in the US is like $6 or something (it’s been 10 years since I’ve had one so don’t quote me) but there, it was 8.75€. That’s not a particularly good value a I can get a lunch menu in a local restaurant for nearly the same price and I can guarantee that it has a lot more actual food components that went in to making it.
I had committed to this so far and I was hungry given that it was 16:00 and I’d been on the road for two and a half hours, coming back from Priorat. I paid up, got my meal of undoubtedly excellent nutritional value and sat down to eat it.
Let’s note one thing to start. At Burger Kings in Spain, there appear to be no milkshake options. This was a big let down as the main reason to eat one of these shitty meals in the first place is to get the damned milkshake in order to have what is essentially ice cream along with your lunch, but disguised as your “beverage”. In place of this was a Coca Cola from the soda fountain. It had been awhile since I’d had one of these and I remembered why I never do. Compared to what you get in the bottle or even in the can, what slithers out of one of these soda fountains has the general flavor of sucking on stale potatoes.
But, onward to the “food”. The fries were sad. Crispy on the outside with an interior that I can only assume at one point was comprised of mostly potato. They paired well with the Coca Cola from the soda fountain. The slightly damp buns had two grayish, lifeless patties set upon them. I have no idea from where this “beef” emerged, but it left me uninspired probably due to a good portion of it being fecal matter. The lettuce and tomato that adorned these sad flabby wafers of “protein” were so limp and nearly inedible that they must have been shipped up from Tunisia or somewhere else outside the EU because I’ve never had vegetables this bad in Spain, even from the shitty stall with the asshole South Americans working at it in Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona–if you’ve been, you know which one I’m talking about.
Unlike in the US where the salt, phosphates, and random hormones in a Burger King meal feed my desire to eat more of them, this had the completely reverse reaction and now that this need has been filled, I think I can safely avoid the Whopper (or Guapear as it’s pronounced in Spain) for the rest of my life. Such indulgences shall only be filled when in the US and in the vicinity of an In & Out Burger.