Al-Burger Qing

That’s right, even Iraqis can now enjoy the flame broiled goodness of a Whopper:

Deep inside Baghdad International Airport, past a vehicle search, a body search and four checkpoints, soldiers are lined up for burgers and fries. They have come by plane from Mosul, 220 miles north, for onion rings. They have picked up Chicken Royale sandwiches while picking up buddies flying back from a two-week home leave. They have begged and borrowed Humvees, making up any excuse for a trip to the airport and a reminder of what the pink mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise oozing from a fresh Whopper tastes like.

“It tastes like home, yes it does,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Williams, 50, from Pittsburgh, after tearing off a chunk of his Whopper with cheese.

The former Saddam International Airport now houses Iraq’s first Burger King. Part creature comfort, part therapy for homesick troops, its sales have reached the top 10 among all Burger King franchises on Earth in the five months since it opened. The shiny metal broiler spits out 5,000 patties a day.

Now what I like is the cardboard quarters, plus some of the cool gear you can pick up at the PX:

Prices at the Burger King range from 75 cents for a soda to $3 for a Double Whopper with cheese. Of course, only U.S. bills are accepted. Instead of giving coins as change, the restaurant gives out cardboard chips worth 25 cents each, redeemable at the post exchange. The PX sells snack food, CDs, DVDs and magazines with busty women on the cover. On one clothing rack, T-shirts for sale read, “Who’s Your Baghdaddy?”

I want one of those T-shirts!

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