Dairy Queen‘s latest offering is the 1/4 lb. Sweet Apple BBQ GrillBurger.
Along with the riDQulously long name (12 syllables by my count), the other odd thing about this burger is clearly the inclusion of apples. I’ve never heard of a fast-food type restaurant utilizing such an ingredient on a burger; the closest thing I can think of is pineapple on Hawaiian- or teriyaki-style burgers. Personally I’m not sure I’m in favor of fruit and beef coming together in general, but I try to keep an open mind. It suffices to say, I was certainly curious (read: skeptical) about this combination.
You might still be wondering how exactly Dairy Queen has incorporated apples into this burger. Well, it’s like this:
It’s 100% beef, drenched in a smoky BBQ sauce that is mixed with tangy apples, and smothered with spicy pepper jack cheese and hickory smoked bacon. Then we piled it high with sweet onions, fresh lettuce and thick-cut tomatoes.
As you may know, DQ was the winner of the Fast Food Bracket a few years back. I was actually quite shocked by this; my feeling about DQ was that while they certainly are at the top of the list as far as frozen treats (Blizzards are the shizz…ard?), their food was sort of an afterthought and was generally lacking. I had no idea so many people enjoyed their food offerings. My feeling has changed somewhat since then; I have tried a couple of their GrillBurgers and found them to be serviceable. I still almost never go there, but when I do, I’m not so apprehensive about the food.
Some may be confused by the different types of Dairy Queen restaurants; some don’t even serve food, while others just have a partial dining menu. Here’s a breakdown of the store brands. I still feel that every DQ I’ve ever been to looks just as it did when it was built probably 40 years ago, and has had super slow service. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, DQ.
But enough with my vicious vilification of this soft-serve stalwart. We’re here to talk about the 1/4 lb. Sweet Apple BBQ GrillBurger, which will henceforth be referred to as the SABBQGB, because that’s much shorter.
I set out to my local DQ to get me one of these bad boys. I found that the SABBQGB goes for $2.99, which I believe to be a fair price for a burger of this size; I was actually expecting to pay around 4 bucks. I also went for a Butterfinger Blizzard, because that shit is delicious.
We’ll start where every burger does, the beef. It wasn’t bad, I liked its grilled/charred flavor, although it was a bit on the dry side. Then we have the produce; it was unremarkable. The tomato looked sad. The lettuce was average, but at least it wasn’t Iceberg. As for the rings of raw onion, they did add flavor to the burger, but it was that bitter raw onion flavor and I could’ve done without it. Then there’s the bacon. There were two good-sized strips; unfortunately, they were somewhat limp. But hey, even when bacon is bad, it’s kinda good. Next is pepper jack cheese. It didn’t provide much flavor, but there was a hint of spiciness which I presume to be from the cheese. We shan’t forget the bun, which was quite nice; toasted but also very soft.
Finally we have the Sweet Apple BBQ sauce. It was a smoky, sweet, tangy BBQ sauce with diced apples. Before I ate the burger, I tasted the sauce on its own. I thought it was…weird. It tasted like – you guessed it – BBQ sauce with apples. And not in a good way. I just didn’t feel like the two flavors went together at all. On the plus side, the apple flavor was hardly present when eating the burger.
So when you put all of that together, you get what I found to be a pretty average burger. There were some good components, but it was done in by the apple BBQ sauce. I will give DQ credit for being creative, thinking outside the box. I like a place that’s not afraid to be different. The SABBQGB just didn’t work for me. I would only give it 5/10, but at least for $2.99 I didn’t feel like I wasted my money.