Reality Check

Reviews of fast food burgers and a look at how the real life version compares to the advertised beauty shot.

Reality Check: Star Wars Burgers from Quick in France

Editor's Note: Back in March, Belgian and French burger chain Quick was home to three limited-edition Star Wars-themed burgers. AHT reader Philip Lamb—whom you may recognize for his Quick's Suprême Foie Gras review—tried some of the Star Wars burgers for us. Thanks, Philip!

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[Images: mintinbox.net]

When I was a kid, watching the Star Wars trilogy (which did not include those other three films which shall remain nameless) was a special occasion, to be enjoyed only on Christmas Day after the presents had been opened and we had finished our biscuits and gravy and, oh, was I supposed to save that chocolate for after dinner, oops. Nostalgia for what we perceived things to be like when we were kids is an important part of having been born in the '80s. George Lucas, the mother(f***er) of all marketing placement gurus, knows this, and he knows that we have perhaps a tendency to share this nostalgia with our kids. "Look, Billy, this is called a 'Laserdisc,' we used it to watch E.T."

So before he apparently released a new something or other related to 3D-ifying and otherwise continuing to reduce to ruin what was once an epic story, he must have thought to himself, "What will impel French children in the 'whine-until-parents-buy-the-way-too-expensive-toy-du-jour' demographic to want to go out and see in the theatre a movie they already watch at home on DVD three times a day?"

"Ah, yes, I know, I'll do something with Quick." Because apparently McDo's standards are higher (or they wanted too much money).

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[Photographs: Philip Lamb]

From that line of thought were born the Star Wars-themed burgers: Dark Vador (that's Darth Vador for those of you who can pronounce words that end in "th"), Dark, and Jedi. For the sake of brevity I'll assume you already know about the light and dark sides of the force. The Dark burger was a lead-up to the Dark Vador, and featured a "spicy" sauce on top of a regular Quick double cheeseburger, except they somehow included "tomatoes" to make the bun red, because the bad guys are red. Since I wanted to get all of my Quick-burger-eating done in one go, I skipped this one and waited until the special weekend in the beginning of March when Quick were making the Dark Vador in its place. I also ordered the Jedi burger.

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The Dark Vador burger's bun has been dyed black, because Dark Vador is dark (get it? Or would you like more metaphor-induced head trauma?). Taste-wise, I got nothing burnt or roasted, just regular bun. It came with "dark sauce," which is slightly red, and supposedly spicy. I saw some of what looked like red pepper flakes in there, but it wasn't really spicy. Other condiments included shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, sharp cheddar chee-OMG I FOUND A JALAPEÑO I FOUND A JALAPEÑO! This never happens in France. I was so excited, but all was for naught, because apparently these are the non-spicy jalapeños. I'm pretty sure, thinking back, that it was probably just a baby green pepper.

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Presentation-wise, this burger looked fresh, and appropriately so, because they were making them to-order only. But just like the new Star Wars films, while they looked great on the outside, the final product had no taste or depth. Cardboard acting, er, hamburger; waxy plot lines, er cheese; overwhelming kitsch, er, mayonnaise. I felt pretty horrible after eating this.

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Now, on to the Jedi burger, because why have one disgusting sandwich when you can have two for twice the price? The bun is what I think was ciabatta. A bit too dry and floury for my taste. Cheese seemed to be factory Cantal, a disappointment to Auvergnate cows everywhere. (Aside: did you know that in France, nearly all of the beef in the butcher shops comes from dairy cows? To think, this burger might have had cheese made by the same cow that eventually became its patty...) Holy cholesterol Batman, this burger has a ton of sauce. I mean, really. Look at the cross-section. At what point does the sauce stop and the bun start? I have no idea. It was actually spicier than the Vador, and had a pretty strong horseradish thing going on. But like I said, way, way, way too much sauce, and the burger got overpowered.

Overall, what did I think? Yoda once said, "Do or Do Not. There is no try." I would say these are definitely a DO NOT.

About the author: Philip Lamb is a Drupal developer working in Paris, previously of New York City and Chicago, and originally of Arkansas. Since moving to France, whenever he gets homesick for something he figures out a way to make it.

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