The Crazy Story of the Fake Burger King In Pittsburgh

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Every city has its own fast food urban legend. All of Toronto still mourns the now-closed Parkdale McDonald’s, a location so famously weird that the guy who brought in a full desktop computer to watch porn was actually considered one of the better customers. In Long Beach, they swear by Sweet Dixie Kitchen, which was notoriously exposed for buying Popeye’s fried chicken, smuggling it in the back door, and reselling it at a slightly higher price. And nobody in Chamblee, Georgia can order Domino’s without remembering the time a deranged gunman named Kenneth Noid took two employees hostage, believing that the chain’s nationwide “Avoid the Noid” advertising campaign was aimed at him specifically.


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But there’s a new champion on the scene. A story so hilariously insane that you simply would not believe it, unless we added that it took place in Pittsburgh. Everything is true in Pittsburgh, the only town where children’s stories about a guy with no face wandering around at night turned out to literally be a guy with no face who enjoyed late-night walks (his name was Raymond and he was reportedly a lovely man). This particular tale was sinking into the mists of local folklore until it was recently highlighted by Twitter user ohip13, who has something of a specialty in bizarre Pittsburgh legends. We’re talking, of course, about the South Side Fake Burger King.

At least McDowell's had a little pizzazz.Google MapsAt least McDowell’s had a little pizzazz.


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The first thing to note is that this particular Burger King was never exactly going to win awards. It’s drive-thru facility can only be described as a terrifying murder tunnel, while online reviews include phrases like “some shady guy charged me a dollar to use the bathroom,” “a homeless guy stole another homeless guy’s shoes” and “If you’ve ever said to yourself ‘Hey I want to eat lunch in a dirty bus station…this place is for you!'” There was a McDonald’s a couple miles away that was selling Happy Meal toys stuffed full of heroin and it still got better reviews. But around the start of 2014, things went even further downhill, to the point that people started asking “Is this even a real Burger King at all?”


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The epic saga began when customers noticed that their food didn’t seem to taste like Burger King. That’s usually a compliment, but if you specifically choose to go to Burger King, it’s because you want that special experience of having your tastebuds beaten with a used sock full of nickels. The situation deteriorated as food began to be served in plain brown paper bags, without the famous BK logo. Fries came in dixie cups, drinks were in plain styrofoam cups, the burgers were wrapped in tin foil or sandwich paper. Some expert soda connoisseurs claimed that the Coke machine appeared to be dispensing Pepsi. Rumors spread that employees had been sighted loading up on burger buns in a nearby Giant Eagle supermarket.

There's that classic Borger Krang packaging.Dehehn/RedditThere’s that classic Borger Krang packaging.

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