[8/30/ Update: BK is teing a Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed XT burger. Details here.]
Burger King Chairman-CEO John Chidsey this week told analysts that the chain is considering putting stuffed burgers alongside the Whoppers on its menu. That would truly be something new for QSR burger chains, which lately have been reviving patty melts as they try to deliver something different and enticing.
But what sort of stuffed burgers should Burger King add? Stuffed with Cheddar or Swiss isn’t very daring. So here are 10 stuffed burgers on independent-restaurant menus that Burger King Corporate Chef J Sullivan should go taste, enjoy and consider.
Ξ Bam’s Roadhouse Grill in Lago Vista, Texas, claims to be the “Home of the Stuffed Burger,” so it’s only right to start here. Try the Popeye’s, a half-pound of hickory-smoked beef stuffed with spinach, artichokes and Parmesan, Romano and mozzarella cheeses.
Ξ Not far from Burger King’s HQ in Miami is the fabulously named Burger & Beer Joint in South Beach, Fla. Slap down $12, J, and have the Fly Like an Eagle. It’s two 5-oz. ground-turkey patties around house-made stuffing with brown gravy, cranberry sauce. Sweet-potato fries and a pickle come with. Put THAT on BK’s menu and watch McDonald’s panic. Carl’s Jr. will come out with a cheaper version.
Ξ If Burger King wants to go fancy, there’s the Stuffed Barolo Braised Short Rib Burger at Blue Dahlia Café & Wine Bar in Los Angeles. Toppings? Arugula, caramelized onions, smoked Gouda and house-made chipotle mayo. OK, $12 is a bit premium, but BK can think of it as extending the barbell price strategy.
Ξ Brickhouse Burger Company in Indianapolis has a combo has a great pairing: the Jalapeño Cream Cheese Stuffed Burger. It’s topped with pepper-Jack cheese and served on a brioche bun for only $9.99.
Ξ The Ultimate Stuffed Burger is served only on Thursdays at Burger Burger in New York City. Takes that long to put together 6 oz. of ground Angus beef stuffed with bacon bits, Cheddar and pepper-Jack cheese, and BBQ sauce.
Ξ Across town in Manhattan is Question Mark Café, where a half-pound stuffed burger with provolone cheese and bacon is just $7.50. Go to $9.25, though, and you get a soda, fries and choice of burger spreads. Could you refuse “Avjar,” described as traditional Balkan red-pepper spread? Go get it, Chef J.
Ξ Stay in New York and visit Rare Bar & Grill for its vegetarian version of a stuffed burger. It’s two Portobello mushroom caps enveloping goat cheese, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes for $14.
Ξ American Burger Bar in St. Paul, Minn., menus the Juicy Klucy, its version of the Americn-chees-stuffed Juicy Lucy burger. The Burger Bar’s take has Kobe beef and Wisconsin Cheddar “covered with a crown of Monterey Jack.” And only $12.95.
Ξ OK, Chef J, on the way back to BK, stop in Philly at Good Dog Bar. A mere $11 gets a Good Dog Burger that’s a half-pound of house-ground sirloin stuffed with Roquefort cheese and topped with caramelized onions. It’s served on a toasted brioche bun. Yes.
Ξ Finally (perhaps literally) there’s the $10.99 Heart Attack on a Plate at Mother’s Federal Grille in Baltimore. That’s an 8-oz. beer-battered burger stuffed with cheese and then deep-fried. It’s served with lettuce, onion and chipotle mayo to cut the fat.
OK, Chef J. Leave the test kitchen and go looking for the Next Burger King Winner. Have ‘em your way.