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September 23, 2016

Bad For You: Burger King’s Cheetos Chicken Fries

Again. We made him go to Burger King again.

Bad For You Fast Food
Carroll - Bad For You Burger King Cheetos Chicken Fries Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Our photographer paid $7.77 for eight Cheetos Chicken Fries, a handful of regular fries and a fountain soda, all of which were served cold, he says. Not sure what he's complaining about, as he was not going to eat it anyway.

This is perhaps the most controversial Bad For You in our history.

See, some food critics feel it is only fair and just to tell an establishment that they are coming so that extra care may be taken with the preparation of the food. By forewarning the chef, the reviewers will get to eat the food the way it was meant to be eaten and can, therefore, come to a more perfect conclusion.

  • Price: $2.99
  • Available at: Participating Burger Kings
  • Through: Limited time

To me, that’s bullplop.

My obligation is to you, the readers — to eat what you would eat if, for some reason, you wanted to eat what I ate. We sit in the same plastic seats. We drive through the same drive-thrus. We bite the same ketchup packet corners.

In the comment sections, we often get employees of whatever fast-food joint Bad For You is at on a given week telling us that the food shouldn’t look that, and that it wasn’t prepared correctly. Most of the time I am sure they are right, but this is the “rule” that I have made for myself. I’m just a regular old sane person ordering a Whopperito or a Brown Sugar Bacon Half Pound Club or what have you.

I would love, of course, for Burger King to specially prepare my meal. So far, all attempts at playing the food reviewer card have gone like this:

“It is I, Bryan Bierman of Bad For You! I have graced my presence in your hopefully delightful establishment!”

“Sir, are you going to buy something?” 

[Ends in pepper-spraying.]

NoneThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Our reviewer wanted more Cheetos flavor, though he hates Cheetos. We are the sum of our contradictions.

Recently, I went to Burger King with my dad to get their new Cheetos Chicken Fries. It’s a spinoff of the Mac N’ Cheetos, which is the worst thing I’ve eaten for Bad For You so far. (I have a weird thing with Cheetos. They look too much like Styrofoam. Yes, I know that’s insane.) Obviously, with this new BK product, I would have to stare into the eye of a Cheeto once again. Though, as it turns out, I had no problem eating them as none of the gross texture was there.

My previous BK experiences led to much discussion about food prep — “you just went to a bad Burger King, is all” — so I made sure to go to an entirely new location that I’d never been to before.

BK’s regular Chicken Fries are basically nine pieces of slightly skinnier chicken tenders that fit into a nice little box. They have been on and off the permanent menu since debuting in 2005; currently they’re back on. The Cheetos Chicken Fries are a limited-time item, though with the King’s current see-what-sticks business model — this is the fourth new item from the chain that we’ve covered in five months — if they sell well, they will probably be here to stay.

If I had to guess, I would say they probably will be gone soon.

The Cheetos Chicken Fries I got were brown, super dry and very crunchy. Although already small, these were cooked so long that they were even skinnier than usual, with none of the delicious chicken juices that were promised.

Other than that, it wasn’t all that different from a regular Chicken Fry. The Cheetos coating was present, but the cheese flavor, its supposed calling card, was barely perceptible. Certainly not enough to make it worthy of its own product.

I didn’t think it was right to keep buying a product until it tastes good.

I expressed all of this to my dad. He said I should give them a second chance since they were not cooked correctly. I gave him the same speech I gave you. He said it wouldn’t be a fair review. I disagreed. I didn’t think it was right to keep buying a product until it tastes good.

However, after a couple of sleepless days and nights, I decided to take his advice. I would give the Cheetos Chicken Fries another chance. Bad For You is for the children, you know.

This time, I went to another completely new Burger King to try them, and I will say that they were better prepared this time around. The fries were bigger, more orange and full of the scrumptious chicken juices that were missing from the first batch.

But I still had the same complaint about the cheesiness factor. It was barely there, which will no doubt disappoint many of the Cheetos fans this product is marketed to.

As for my rule, I will continue to review food as I have in the past unless my dad says otherwise.

Verdict: As Chicken Fries, they can be decent if prepared correctly. However, the Cheetos flavor is too subtle. Also, listen to your parents.

NoneThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

'Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters.' ― Stephen King, 'The Shining'