A Burger with Little Stuffing, No Steakhouse Vibe

BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger

BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger

I Paid: $3.99 (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 2 stars

Marketing: 3 stars

Burger King's new Stuffed Steakhouse Burger is neither properly stuffed (for that, please see the Jucy Lucy, among others), nor even vaguely steakhouse-esque. Instead, jamming cubes of cheese and chunks of jalapeños directly into your patty evokes an image of your friendly local bartender at 3 a.m. after he's had a few too many of his own products, not a place with linen napkins and dry-aged meat.

Still, the overall effect of this burger's many whistles and bells (chunks of stuff in the patty! crisp lettuce and tomato! a mild but creamy poblano sauce that tastes not very strongly of poblanos!) is a positive impact on what would otherwise be a low-grade hamburger. The jalapeños provide a low but palpable spicy burn, the cheese has some cheesy texture and (very) mild cheddar bite, and the saucy veggies help carry some of the flavor sensations over into California-style hamburgerland.

The confusing thing about this overproduced-to-underwhelming-effect burger is the price point. For $2, most people are willing to suck down a mediocre fast-food burger. For $6 to $7, most people know a place where they can get a high-quality, relatively substantial burger. But $4 is right in the middle there, in a no man's land of medium-priced, medium-impact fast-food meals. At $2, the Stuffed Steakhouse would be a home run; at $6, it would be a transparent ripoff. At $4, it is what it is: a not great/not terrible redecorating job on a made-for-the-masses burger entrée.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.