Burger King's unveiling of Mac N' Cheetos was a siren song to fast foodies everywhere. Here was one of the most promising junk food hybrids since the advent of the Doritos Locos Taco at Taco Bell: Cheetos filled with macaroni and cheese. What times we are living in (on a related note: Taco Bell is close to releasing a taco shell made of fried chicken—this truly is the Age of Enlightenment for fast food creation).
With such hype and fanfare, this fast food columnist intended to investigate the new phenomenon as early as possible, and Tuesday, I discovered the Burger King on East Fayette Street was selling the snacks. I had to have them. Unfortunately, they did not live up to expectations, because Mac N' Cheetos are not really what they say they are.
Coming as part of a five pack ($2.49), each Cheeto is a little bit bigger than a cheese curl and resembles the color of a sweet potato. Take a bite, and the ooey-gooey goodness of mac-n-cheese familiar to anyone who grew up eating Kraft will immediately hit the palate, and it's as tasty as you remember. But what of the outer shell? Sadly, it is a Cheeto in name only. This is likely due to the absence of the infamous cheese dust on Cheetos that always sticks on your fingertips after you eat them. The container warns diners that these are "Dangerously Cheesy," but they're not at all. This is your standard fried mac-n-cheese, which is plenty good in its own right and is great to have as a fast food option, but it does not rise to the level of mac-n-cheese encased in a Cheeto.
There was also some disappointment in the lack of options with the Mac N' Cheetos, i.e. they could not be substituted for fries or onion rings in any of Burger King's combo meals. One of the pillars of fast food is economizing through combining, so why make these a stand-alone? I supplemented my order with Chicken Fries ($2.89) and a small Coke ($1.79) and couldn't help but think Burger King could have rolled out these Mac N' Cheetos in a more impressive, cost-saving manner.
As I discarded my trash in the trash can near the door, a woman who was leaving the restaurant saw the bright orange container and asked for my opinion. After I told her of the letdown, she remarked: "That's not good. I'm glad I didn't get them." You won't be missing out on much, either.
But I do hope the chefs at Burger King follow through with what is a truly great idea by tinkering with the current iteration. Some magic dust should do the trick.