Is everything really better with bacon? That's the question I sought to answer when I sidled sheepishly up to the counter at Burger King. I was there for one reason and one reason only: to eat their new Bacon Sundae ($2.49) — available this summer for a limited time only—and, frankly, I was terrified.
The first thing you should know, before ordering yourself a Bacon Sundae, is that your request will be met with a reaction that ranges from bemusement to amusement to barely disguised horror to outright revulsion. Burger King employees, it seems, are by and large not an impartial lot. I'd visited a few different BKs before finally gathering up the nerve to actually sit down and eat the damn thing, a behemoth of dessert that's achieved almost mythical status among some, at once so plainly brilliant and grossly unnecessary is its concept. The first server I talked to asked me if I'd lost a bet, the second just laughed (sort of archly, I thought), and another merely said, "Really?" The sundae isn't listed on the big, garish plastic menu board along with the rest of the dessert options – you have to just know it exists – which lends to the mystique of it all. I almost expected the final, bored cashier I approached to ask me for a password and then lead me through a series of underground tunnels, to a man with a horse, who would take me to the sundae.
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Instead, he looked at me with a mixture of disgust and, I'd like to think, grudging admiration, and got to work on my special treat. Bacon Sundae construction is a process! My dining companions and I watched in breathless silence as he moved efficiently from station to station, filling a clear plastic dish full of creamy vanilla soft serve, adding drizzles of chocolate and caramel syrup here, flourishes of bacon bits there, and, finally, the crowing jewel — three enormous slabs of bacon, jutting triumphantly from the top of the whole salty, sweet mess. It looked delicious, and not a little obscene. But how does one go about eating this beast?
Headfirst, would be my advice. I dug right in, scooping myself a heaping plastic spoonful of ice cream, syrup, bacon bits, and, for good measure, a big shard of bacon, and shoved it down my gullet like a kid forcing down his medicine. And then I waited for . . . something to happen. To my surprise, this thing wasn't that bad. It wasn't that good either, but, as far as fast-food gimmicks cashing in on the "let's slam together a couple of foods people already like separately and see if these fatties gobble this monster hybrid up" a la the KFC Double Down go, the Bacon Sundae is the lesser of many such evils. But its execution is sort of disappointingly bland, the cloying, sugary sweetness of the soft serve almost completely masking the taste of the bacon. What should have mixed in one's mouth in savory sweet harmony amounted to more of a slow bacon burn. After the ice cream melts away, you're left with a mouthful of cold, hard, slightly sticky bacon. I'm personally not a huge fan of cold, hard, slightly sticky bacon.