So soon after pummeling us with the Nightmare King, Burger King now announces the Philly Cheese King burger, the chain’s riff on a cheesesteak. It offers “a flame-grilled half-pound of beef topped with caramelized onions and American cheese,” as well as a cheese sauce, describes The Philadelphia Inquirer. But look at the picture below: Is this even in the realm of a Philly Cheesesteak? Much of the joys of an authentic cheesesteak is the chopped beef—the more surface there is, the more “browned” flavor it imparts. And then there’s the texture, which seem confusing when it’s a whole beef patty.
Not everyone is on board, as the Inquirer reports on the BK branch in Philly’s Center City: “The location at 15 S. Eighth St. has opted out of selling the new burger, in respect to the ‘traditional recipe’ that calls for grilled rib-eye, a griddle, a crusty roll, and love.” You’d think that that branch really had strong moral convictions about Philly cheesesteak, until the Inquirer points out that the new about the holdout branch is contained in a press release by BK itself. Marketing ploy cloaked in regional food loyalty? Seems like a possibility.
This isn’t not Burger King’s first stab at a cheesesteak burger, at any rate; PI recalls that a BK Philly cheeseburger a few years ago placed its two cheese-and-onion-topped patties “on a long, seeded hamburger bun,” more like the traditional hoagie roll. Center City Philadelphians jonesing for the current Philly Cheese King fortunately at least have three other Burger King branches to choose from.