Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Of whoppers and Whoppers

I happened to use the word, whopper, in a comment just a little while ago. It had to do with the expected storm on the east coast, which is projected to be a whopper. I also opined that I am almost sad to be missing this whopper as we haven't had a whopper yet this year.

Can you guess where I am going with this?

Yes, I began to think of Whoppers — as in capitalized whoppers.

It has been a long time since I had one: at least ten years and possibly more. There was a Burger King in Sarnia, and it was our habit to bring home a Whopper near Christmas on the day that we cooked the turkey (always a day or two before Christmas). We have let the burger trad slip a bit here where there are no Whoppers to be had. There are burgers to be sure, but they don't always call my name the way that a Whopper did.

Here, I don't know where the nearest BK might be located. There was one in the next town, about a half hour up the road from us, but it was torn down several years past. And I have also heard through the grapevine that the BK restaurant in Sarnia has been closed.

I don't know what happened to BK and why they have seemingly fallen on hard times, but I do have great memories.

When we first moved to Sarnia, there was a BK across the river in Port Huron. We could cross over for a mere 25¢ toll and only 15¢ if we purchased a book of tickets — which we did. Going across the border was easy in those days, but it became fraught with difficulty and lineups over the years and especially after 911 (the terrorists did not cross from Canada, people!) as well as pricey, so we avoided the trip in later years.

Ah, but back in those early seventies both the crossings and Whoppers were good. There was a gas war over in Port Huron, and I could often get gas for 20¢ or nearabouts. Then, with our savings, we could mosey on up the road and indulge ourselves in a grand and glorious Whopper for 99¢ or less if memory serves.

And they were good back then: hot, juicy, fresh toppings, good quality meat. I don't know why BK slipped into such mediocrity. It worries me slightly because BK or their parent has now purchased Tim Hortons, the Canadian donut and coffee icon. The franchise works well at present, so I hope they know what they have and don't begin tinkering too much with a successful operation.

Before I go, I must tell you as a bit of an addendum about Heather and the Whopper. She had been been in training all fall as part of the University of Toronto gymnastics team. Training involved strict dieting. There was a big meet in London, and we drove down to watch and took her back to our place for a few days. We took her across the river for a Whoppers, and after months of strict eating, she felt like she had been transported to paradise.

14 comments:

Linda Kay said...

John, here in Texas we love the Whataburger franchise. They are really meaty and so good....but I don't dare get one very often. I do remember the Whopper.

Judy said...

I have been to the same BK in Port Huron, to get our sustenance BEFORE we crossed the Bridge into Sarnia. You do not want a Whopper now--it would ruin your memories of how wonderful they used to be. A lot smaller, yet cost way more. A bit drier and the meat is not very tasty. I hadn't had one in years and started remembering and decided to run into the nearby town to get one. Wanted to bring it home because I remember how difficult they used to be to eat in the car--so big and juicy. Got home, unwrapped it and....big disappointment.

Anvilcloud said...

Oh Judy. My spirit is wounded. What will they do to Tims?

Mara said...

Unfortunately no BK in my area either. And I do love their Whoppers, so much better than the burgers of the other one!

I want a Whopper now!

TexWisGirl said...

i never liked burger king - didn't like that charcoal flavor. :)

Tabor said...

BK whoppers are not at all what they used to be. Must be the preservatives, but they are more like memory of a burger.

Country Gal said...

When I was younger I worked for BK and now cant stand fast food lol but I am glad you enjoyed it after all that time . I hope Timmies is kept as is it would be a shame if they changed anything of it ! Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

Mage said...

Here, they have fixed up our local BK, but we haven't been in to try the burgers.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and caring notes throughout this photo series of mine.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

It's been years since we have eaten at a fast food burger place for either a Whopper or Bid Mac or the like. The only BK in our small VA town closed down years ago, but the building is still there. The McDonald's and Wendy's are still doing great business in the same small town, most likely due to their highway location and the fact that there are not many dining out choices in the aea. Yes, the quality has gone down hill and prices have gone up. Hope TH is not changed much by the acquisition.

Lorna Cunningham-Rushton said...

Whopper-schmopper, I say. I don't know why, but a Teenburger (no onions) was always the thing I yearned for when I was burger-searching.

Donuts, except on a long trip, aren't my thing but ordinary at-home requires Timmy coffee on a regular basis.

You kind of hit a nerve with this post. When does A & W open?

EG CameraGirl said...

I think Burger King now relies on ketchup and pickles to give their burgers taste. :)

Pearl said...

believe it or not, I might never have had one but I have similar memories of those few encounters with Arby's stacked meat sandwiches.

Jimmie Earl said...

I prefer the Big Mac. Our town has every "fast-food" place you can imagine. The service at our BK is deplorable so I rarely eat there. I used to go there frequently when I was still working (it was sort of on the way) for the cini-minis. Now they don't have those and have some other iced treat with too much cinnamon for me.
So, McDonald's is my go-to place for fast food. Or Taco Bell!

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