Most days, I stick with Thai food for my meals. Not only is it much less expensive and generally healthier than the farang food that I enjoy but I actually find it much more satisfying. Yes, I still crave proper Mexican food but as that is so rare in my part of Phuket the Thai fare fulfills my need for spices.
Once or twice a week, however, I splurge a bit and hit Western food eateries. Usually that involves walking to the Indy Market held in my neighborhood on Thursday and Friday evenings where I can count on chile cheeseburgers from the less-than-one-year-old Tuk Tuk Diner cart.
Recently, a few of the newer female teachers at work have invited me out on Thursday evenings to explore the Western food eateries in Phuket Town. Thus far, I’ve introduced them to the CalMex food at Roxy Bar on Phang Nga Road (the tacos are to die for and the fajitas are pretty special as well) and Tuk Tuk Diner. We’ve also discovered Jeffer’s Grill tucked behind Ocean Shopping Center and I’m looking forward to taking these women to The Cottage and The Cook.
Due to the Songkran (Thai New Year’s) holiday and the departure of one of our number to become an au pair in the Czech Republic (miss you already, Ann!), we skipped the most recent Thursday outing. I decided to replace this week’s splurge with a rare visit to the Burger King at Central Festival Mall.
I tend to stay away from this particular Burger King and not only due to the astronomical prices. The sad fact is that they do not have a grill or an oven-top! Thus, all burger patties arrive pre-cooked and are then MICROWAVED to order! I believe they may actually be cooked at the Burger King in Junkceylon (Patong) and then shipped to the center of the island frozen but who really knows. As a result, the Central Festival Whoppers pale in comparison to those sold at Junkceylon. At 200 baht or so per burger, I’d much rather take the bus trip over Suicide Hill for something that tastes right.
But the above sign caught my attention last week. Pulled Pork in Phuket? As a former residence of the Kansas City area and a BIG fan of barbecue beef I just had to try this. Thus, this week’s splurge.
The Burger King at Central Festival has two varieties of pulled pork sandwiches: the Memphis style has mayonnaise and sliced white onion in addition to the pulled pork on a egg roll bun. A set (combination meal with medium fries and medium soft drink) costs 149 baht (about USD $4.90). The “regular” BBQ pulled pork sandwich has mayonnaise, crispy onion (bits of onion rings), pickle, and pulled pork on a bed of lettuce with the egg roll bun. That set runs 169 baht (USD $5.55); you can “king size” the set for an additional 30 baht which is kind of a rip-off at almost a dollar. A “hidden” aspect of the BK menu here is that you can substitute either tater-tots (hash brown potato discs) or onion rings for an additional 10-baht charge. Highly recommend as Burger King fries are nowhere near as good as those at McDonald’s.
On this particular day I ordered the “regular” style pulled pork sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of the tater-tots so I succumbed to the french fries. They actually weren’t that bad but the ketchup certainly was. I need to start carrying leftover packets from McDonald’s in my pocket!
The sandwich looked very good upon unwrapping. However, they used way too much mayonnaise and the lettuce wasn’t as fresh as it could have been. There were at least three pickle slices and plenty of the “crispy onions”. However, none of these condiments distracted from the pleasing taste of the pulled pork. It was nicely chewy and the barbecue sauce wasn’t too overpowering. I was happy and it did (almost) take me back to the days of eating similar sandwiches at such KC establishments as Gates & Sons, Arthur Bryant’s, and B.B.’s Lawn Side. I was so involved in my sandwich that I came close to neglecting the “autopsy shot” seen below:
My only real complaint with Burger King’s BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich is that is wasn’t messy enough! I miss the old greasy joints on the east side of the Missouri state line with the butcher paper on the tables and a mound of BBQ on your plate that fell out of your sandwich. Perhaps an extra squirt of sauce on top of the pulled pork would help…
I’m already planning to return for a stab at the Memphis style sandwich (probably minus the combo). For full authenticity, the would have to use a vinegar-based sauce which I highly doubt. It’s probably the same as the “regular” version with less toppings but that won’t stop me a bit! Perhaps I’ll ask them to leave the mayo off.
At the Central Festival BK, you can sub tater-tots or onion rings for your fries (if they have them in stock!)