“In order to eat one of those, I'd have to be … “
So trailed off my co-worker, who was unable to furnish the appropriate metaphorical conditions under which he would eat a Burger King hot dog.
[jump] This is almost certainly one of those things that, five years from now, we’ll look back on and wonder how we ever got along with out. Burger King, America’s no. 2 fast-food chain, seems to have looked at how all-day breakfast lifted McDonald’s out of a multi-year sales slump, and thought, “Why not us?”
After what I can only imagine was a lot of boardroom head scratching, the unincorporated-Miami-Dade-County-based fast food giant did the obvious: It started selling all-beef hot dogs. Technically, they’re called Grilled Dogs, but you just don’t get any more all-American than that — even if The King looks like a cross between Cyrano de Bergerac and Mugatu from Zoolander.
While the price has been quoted as hovering around the $2 mark, there’s always an urban price increase, and the startlingly contemporary Burger King on Powell Street just above the cable-car turnaround sold regular hot dogs for $2.19 and chili cheese dogs for $2.69. The standard hot dogs are just that: standard. From the over-fluffy bun to the perfectly adequate mustard, they taste like the Memorial Day parade in everyone’s hometown. The chili cheese dog was better, but mostly by virtue of having more stuff on it. The thin, homogenous chili looked like what’s left in the pot after everyone’s ladled out their helping, and the shredded cheese was barely melting into it.
I’ve really managed to tone down my anti-fast-food elitism in the decade since I was a vocal grad school Marxist, but these dogs aren’t going to put a dent in, say, Rosamunde’s knockwurst sales.
Cheap thought they are by comparison, it’s not as if Burger King won’t be undersold. Costco famously hasn’t changed the price of its $1.50 hot-dog-and-soda combo in 30 years, and even enlarged the size of its cup from 12 to 20 ounces a few years ago — but then again, you needn’t shell out for a Burger King membership just to eat there.
But Costco, it should be noted, doesn’t give you a crown.