Long story short: I'm a human toilet, and VICE knows this, so they asked me to go eat a Whopperito.
All photos by Julian Master
Rome has crumbled, and we're all shuffling around in the rubble, clawing at the hope that a bright golden age might still be ahead of us. The renaissance that I once thought we were looking forward to has turned out to just be a cheap ren faire full of fat jerks saying "thee" and "thine." What I mean to say is: The Whopperito is here. I'm VICE's art editor, but I also woke up covered in my own puke at the Delancey Street McDonald's the other morning, so I think that makes me the most qualified to discuss fast food on a real level with you.
Let me start by saying that I'm not sure why the Whopperito exists, but I don't think it was created to sate a deep desire that the United States has for burgers that are pretending to be burritos. There is no hole in the marketplace being filled here. I like Burger King's Whopper just fine. It didn't need the sandwich to reconstitute itself as international ethnic food in order to make me like it. Someone needs to tell the Whoppers, "Just be yourself."
It is my belief that this Whopperito was made to cater to the Jackass generation who want to do gross things on Instagram to show off. I don't think this was an earnest food invention. I think this is stunt-burgerism created to get press and hashtags. Friends dare one another to eat it and then photograph one another eating the stupid food. A bunch of college kids will head to Burger King to double-dog-dare one another to eat the ridiculous new Burger King food item. Online media outlets are desperate for any kind of novelty. Websites need content, and Burger King needs advertising. Dumbass millennials and dumbass Nick Gazin put on their fedoras with our press cards sticking out of the band and head down to Burger King to make jokes about the ridiculous thing, but the joke's on us—the Whopperito is the setup, and the payoff is that a bunch of drunk youths give their money to Burger King instead of some other purveyor of delicious salt, sugar, and fat.
Wake up sheeple, you're just a jester for the Burger King to laugh at!
About me: I think In-N-Out Burger is the best hamburger chain, but I'm aware that this might just be because it's a special West Coast treat and its restaurants are pristine and aesthetically perfect. I believe with everything that I am that Wendy's is either the first- or second-best hamburger franchise. (Dave Thomas was a Freemason, and I think secret societies are cool.)
Coming in at either second or third for me is Burger King. It has become comfortable with being the second-most successful burger franchise and explored this identity admirably. I would then place White Castle as the next-best hamburger fast-food shop. That place invented the modern concept of a fast-food hamburger-peddling restaurant, and it doesn't get its due respect. Give respect to White Castle. Coming in last is McDonald's, whose burgers least resemble or taste like "food," but are the most ubiquitous of this type of foodery. There are other burgerers, but they're either too regional or too beneath my palate.
Burger King created the first signature sandwich for a hamburger fast-food establishment. McDonald's and Burger Chef (RIP) imitated them with their signature burgers. The Whopper's invention preceded the Big Mac by a whole ten years. Burger King has rebranded the Whopper frequently. In Japan, there was a Windows 7-themed Whopper. I think it tasted like computers.
Long story short: I'm a human toilet, and VICE knows this, so they asked me to go eat a Whopperito. I've been dropping the ball at work lately, so in order to try to get some extra credit, I ate three to try to impress the higher-ups.
After my first bite, I was a little disappointed, because it tasted exactly like a Whopper with spicy taco meat instead of normal Whopper meat. At this point, I realized I really had nothing to say about the Whopperito, and I was going to be in a lot of trouble when I tried to write about this familiar and un-new experience. Once inside, I bought all my Whopperitos and took them to the second floor, so I could be photographed eating my first meal of the day without annoying the restaurant's waitstaff.
While worrying about this, I noticed a nearby family gawking at me. I told them I was a food critic, and they invited me to come sit with them. I figured that maybe if I asked them what they thought of the Whopperito that they might unwittingly help me have something to say about this unremarkable publicity stunt by Burger King.
The beef is spicy. Were I an ad man I might advertise it as "spizay." I recorded myself eating these and making comments. I described the food as "beefy meat." I suppose this is a good Whopper for people who want to eat Whoppers but don't want it to be obvious that they're eating Whoppers. I support this food-in-disguise movement. I think Burger King's next major product should be the "Whoppster." It's a Whopper shaped like a lobster.
I gave one of my Whopperitos to my new friends from East Orange, New Jersey, Chantoie, Zoe, Tameeka, and the rest. They said it was good and spicier than a normal Whopper. They didn't really help write the article for me, but it was nice to dine with company. Burger King is a place for family and sharing of food.
The only boy in the family and I started talking about anime, and he told me about Prison School, which I'd never heard of before. I googled it when I got home, and it was a lot more about masochistic teenage boys and BDSM than I expected. I thought it would be like Ninja High School. Anyway.
Here's a Whopperito disassembled. I didn't like doing this. It made me think of when they dissect a Facehugger in Alien. There were no surprises. It was a tortilla, with spicy beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, and probably thousand-island salad dressing. I haven't read Newsweek's review of the Whopperito yet. Was it more insightful than mine?
I had a nice time making friends at Burger King, but I still had one more Whopperito to eat and the VICE photographer made me wander around with him and take photos. Here I am being fat from eating three Whopperitos.
The Whopperitos were created; I have consumed and then written about them. The circle is complete. It is done. Content: created. Whopperito desire: sated.
I give the Whopperito about a C. I give the regular Whopper about a B.
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