A big boo-ford to Rally’s “improved” Big Buford

Aw, man, come on.

I love Rally’s burgers. Especially the Big Buford. And now they’ve changed it for what they’d like me to think is the better.

First, some background.

One of my favorite college courses was the advertising class I took with Dr. Vijay Krishna. At the time, Rally’s had a television campaign going where they’d show close-ups of their burgers lasciviously dripping condiments. When Dr. Krishna told us one day that he didn’t like those commercials because he thought they were gross, a girl in the class and I explained to him that the commercials were very effective because they made your mouth water. And they did. Every time I saw one of those commercials, I wanted a Rally’s hamburger.

(And why did I never ask that girl out? She stood up for hamburgers!)

Dr. Krishna had never been to Rally’s, so he had us all meet at the one in Clarksville for our next class. We all ate burgers and fries while taking notes at the tables outside, and I think he was newly convinced by the burgers and the commercials.

And that’s what I’ve always loved about Rally’s (in addition to their amazing fries) — the toppings are so juicy and fresh without being sloppy. My favorite burger there is the double-decker Big Buford, which has lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, and cheese.

I always get mine without pickles and mustard, because I don’t like those things. At all.

So anyway, Rally’s has decided to “improve” the Big Buford, and I’m more than a little crestfallen after trying the results.

The big offender is the new giant “gourmet bun,” which totally overpowers everything else because it’s just too much bun.

When I tried one today, the first thing I tasted was … pickles! Even though I’d ordered it without them. So I took them off and tried another bite, only to find that all of the flavors I usually get from a Buford were muted by all that bread. Even the trademark crunch of the onions was lessened.

Oh, Rally’s. Why did you have to ruin a good thing?

Maybe the next time I go, I’ll see if I can order it without pickles, without mustard, and on a regular, normal bun. Do you think they’d do that? If not, I’m afraid the Buford and I will have to go our separate ways … forever.

It’s been almost two hours, and I swear I still taste all that bread in my mouth.


  1. Harmony says:

    John…..I just love it when you write about your food experiences. So much of your heartfelt passion comes out. And I hate when they screw up a good thing with their perceived “improvements”. They never really are. Maybe Rally’s will take a cue from BK and let you have Big Buford your way next time

  2. Grady says:

    Well John all good things…anyway; I truly love a good burger. There was this small shop down in El Paso called Gordo’s (means fat in spanish) that had a great burger (till the tax office shut them down for not paying)…anyway they had a burger that was about 24″ in diameter had about six pounds of patty, a couple large tomatoes sliced up, about half a head of lettuce, and options on jalapenos, green chile, bacon and any topping you desired. It was to die for. It would take me, along with two friends, about an hour to eat one. If you could eat it by yourself in 30 minutes it was free. Wife said she would leave me over that big an act of gluttony. Oh those were the days

    Okay, now I have to have a burger.


  3. John says:

    Melody and Grady! Two of my all-time favorite people talking about one of my all-time favorite subjects. :) And let it be known that these two are heroes for bringing amazing ribs — in complicated, airline-friendly packaging, no less — to the Great Bar-B-Con/Highlander Cookout of 2000. How is it possible that it was 10 years ago? Anyway, thanks so much for the comments. Love you guys.

  4. Ceece says:

    wait, when did you take advertising?! Vijay was one of my favorite professors.

    Also, your blog tagline is swoon-worthy for this xfiles nerd. (david d and I have the same birthday! ;-)

  5. John says:

    That’s a good question … I think it would have been 1998, maybe? Right around there. Once, after we did a really ridiculous radio commercial for a mythical pizza restaurant in which I played Fred Montfort from Gold’s Gym, Vijay said, “That was very good. Sometimes you have to not be afraid to make a fool of yourself.” I took that as a high compliment, and we got an A, so, rock on!

    I loved, loved, loved The X-Files. Even — and especially — the second movie, for all the reasons everyone else seemed to hate it. (Because it was about Mulder and Scully, and how even though the truth is out there, it dealt more with the truths within.) I interviewed David Duchovny on the phone several years ago and he was very kind, hilarious, and charming.

  6. John says:

    In fact, the interview is here on the website — just click Interviews under the Categories drop-down to the right.

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