I tried the Black Whopper so you don’t have to

. October 14, 2015.

If you’ve heard of the Black Whopper, you probably made the same face as many other Americans when you learned of this culinary atrocity. Billed as a Halloween tribute, Burger King turned its signature Whopper’s bun black, purportedly flavoring it with A.1. Steak Sauce. The thought gave me chills, but, in the name of journalism, I sacrificed my integrity to get the scoop on this blacked out burger. I tried it so others don’t have to. Not that you wanted to.

I walked into the Burger King off of S. State Street in Ann Arbor and stood in front of the register. I stared up at the video screen menu showing a picture of the Black Whopper, which captured the steam mid-rise off the surface of its supernatural black bun. The photo’s ominous night time background cracked with lightning. In that moment, I felt a particular type of fear, an emotion only ever evoked by the prospect of ordering this Franken-Burger.

After ordering, I asked the cashier and presumable cook to “make it pretty” in the vain belief that my request would better lend itself to a photograph to which the cook replied, “all of my food is pretty” in her cigarette-scratched voice. The presentation was about as good as it gets from BK. Upon unwrapping the burger, the white sesame-flecked top of the black bun bun slid off to one side as the lettuce escaped out the other.

I could taste the A.1. Steak Sauce used in the bun right away, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Looking at the burger after taking a bite was off putting, as the black, porous texture of the bread seemed to stare back at me. I told myself at the outset that I would not eat this entire burger, but, I was hungry and once you get past the black bun it really just tastes like any other Whopper. The post-meal self-hatred feels similar anyway.  

My girlfriend sat across from me during the meal. I had long considered her a keeper because she stuck around through some trying times before my bout with this abomination of a burger. Then I entertained the idea that, if she really loved me, why would she have let me go through with it?

I’m honestly quite ashamed when I trace the entire experience. I’m usually one to take the moral high ground when it comes to fast-food. I held out on the KFC Double-Down, resisted Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco and restrained myself when Papa John’s began its Frito Chili Cheese pizza campaign. Well, Burger King, you won. But I didn’t write this for you.

Readers beware of the Black Whopper.

Trending

To Be Generous, Musically… | Interview with Lily Talmers

Lily Talmers writes her music with vulnerability and openness. We spoke with her about her creative process and her upcoming album, ‘Remember Me as Holy’.

Theatre NOVA Presents ‘4 Genres’ as Next Play in Play of the Month Series

As part of their Play of the Month series, Theatre NOVA is excited to announce ‘4 Genres’ by Ron Reikki. Here’s how to check out the upcoming play and more!

Theatre NOVA’s “Whatcha Doin?” Raises Thoughtful Questions About Fame, Beauty, and Post-Pandemic Life

‘Whatcha Doin’?’ is the first play Theatre NOVA’s Play of the Month Series. Check out our review of the performance and how you can catch a replay of the show.

Michigan Folk Musicians Honor John Prine with Heartwarming Tribute

We lost folk music legend John Prine in 2020. As part of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, some of Michigan’s most celebrated artists came together virtually to pay tribute.