2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
Better known for serious-minded explorations of the new, multicultural Europe, like his 2007 international award-winner “The Edge of Heaven,” Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin tunes his instrument to a higher, more farcical pitch here. “Soul Kitchen” is the title of the movie (in German as well as English) and the name of the ragtag restaurant in a scruffy neighborhood of Hamburg whose anguished proprietor, Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos), can’t decide whether to stay and fight for his business or chase his wayward girlfriend to Shanghai. His ne’er-do-well brother, Illias (the terrific German actor Moritz Bleibtreu) — a mess of tics, gangster mannerisms and failed schemes — is just out of prison, and Zinos’ temperamental, haute-cuisine chef seems poorly matched to the customer base.
This sort of slam-bang Marx Brothers comedy, where the coincidences pile atop each other and almost every scene ends in chaos, isn’t necessarily Akin’s strong suit. His portrait of Hamburg as a multicultural hothouse where real estate tycoons, rock musicians, hipster entrepreneurs and grizzled German seamen collide in the same restaurant is undeniably appealing. Indeed, the clear subtext of “Soul Kitchen” is the fact that in Hamburg a Turkish-German like Akin and a Greek-German like Bousdoukos (who co-wrote the screenplay) can make a silly comedy together, while their cousins back home have a considerably more fraught relationship. (IFC Films will release “Soul Kitchen” later in the year.)
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.