Jan 6, 2015

Review: Carl's Jr. - All-Natural Burger

Carl's Jr.'s All-Natural Burger features a grass-fed beef patty, a slice of cheddar cheese (the non-processed kind), vine-ripened tomatoes, red onion, lettuce, bread-and-butter pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise on one of their Fresh Baked Buns.

It's normally $5.39 at my local Carl's Jr., but I received this one courtesy of Carl's Jr.

For the most part, the All-Natural Burger features a fairly standard list of ingredients for your basic cheeseburger.

The key difference is the grass-fed patty, which was pretty enjoyable. It had a good bit of char crust with the accompanying smokiness. It was moist with a decent grind that offered a nice texture and a solid beefy taste. I'm not sure without a direct comparison, but it might be a little beefier than their regular beef patty (I might try and compare the patties later on but we'll see...). The thing is, I was only able to pick out the patty's finer qualities when I pulled off pieces of it to taste; it gets a bit lost when you eat it as part of the burger.

Carl's Jr.'s Fresh Baked Bun is excellent but also excellently massive compared to the rest of the fast food space. It pairs well with the third-pound Black Angus patty but dwarfs the single patty, which is about the same size as the All-Natural's grass-fed patty. I did notice that they made the patty very wide to fit the giant bun, but it's also painfully thin. And, because of the thinness, it lost out to the rest of the burger.

The cheddar cheese was tasty but rather mild. I'd like a sharper slice, but I understand that might not be what the average customer wants.

The produce was all fresh and plentiful (maybe too plentiful, given the size of the patty). I particularly liked the bread-and-butter pickles, which add a relish-type, sweet-and-sour combo.

The saucing was just a bit heavy, but I was surprised I could actually taste mustard--a plus for me.

Overall, Carl's Jr.'s All-Natural Burger goes with a nice combination and combines quality ingredients, but the patty is just too small to match the burger's large size. They do have a double patty version that would work much better but would also cost a fair bit more. While I love Carl's Jr.'s Fresh Baked Bun, I think the grass-fed beef patty would be better showcased on their smaller, regular bun with proportionally less ingredients for a better balance.

Nutritional Info - Carl's Jr. All-Natural Burger - Single (315g)
Calories - 760 (Calories from Fat - 400)
Fat - 44g (Saturated Fat - 13g)
Sodium - 1040mg
Carbs - 61g (Sugar - 19g)
Protein - 31g

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