Review of Carl’s Jr. 1/3lb. Thickburger® El Diablo
What they say:
A Charbroiled 1/3-lb 100% Black Angus Thickburger with Jalapeno Poppers, Pepper-Jack Cheese, Fiery Habanero Sauce, Bacon Strips and Sliced Jalapenos on a Fresh Baked Bun.
Price: $9.70 as part of a combo.
Calories: 1,050 kcal.
Next stop in Arizona is Carl’s Jr (which operates in the eastern part of this massive country as Hardee’s). I must say that the name doesn’t roll off the tongue easily and seems clunky. I’ve no idea what the story is behind the name. What I do know is that the selling point here is that the meat is charbroiled. The definition of this being “the process used when an item is cooked on a grated surface to sear in the flavours and impart a degree of charring which gives the product a light charcoal smoke flavour.”
|I mean it. I really do…|
Stepping inside, my first impression is that Carl’s Jr seems a bit more upmarket in the burger joint hierarchy. The decor seems above average and the prices are a little higher than other places.
My Thickburger combo (combo just being what we’d call “meal”, i.e. with fries and a drink) with the tax of course, came to $9.70 which is at the higher end of the fast food stuff I’ve had here.
Salt and pepper shakers, a napkin box on each table, with better lighting and furniture than some other fast food burger places. Comfortable surroundings, nice people, it slowed the pace down a bit. I felt like I could stay a while.
The burger I’d chosen is a Thickburger which looks chuffing huge in the pictures. I placed my order, took a number and sat down. My burger was brought to my table and it was indeed chuffing huge. The box was massive. I’m certainly glad I didn’t choose the 1/2lb.
|My tongue is hanging out too…|
I opened the box and was instantly hit with a strong savoury smell. Even before I give you the juicy details, I’m going to say I absolutely loved this burger.
The look, the smell, and every single ingredient worked so well to create a magnificent beauty.
The bun had a shiny glaze to it, it was dark and delicious, and strong enough to hold in the extremely generous contents.
|The El Diablo Thickburger…|
The Diablo-ness of the toppings was provided by significant amounts of jalapeños under the patty and four jalapeño poppers on top of it.
The poppers, also available as a side dish, are like little croquettes, but instead of being filled with potato, they are filled with melted jalapeño cheese. We are talking serious feel-good factor here!
|Generous jalapeño poppers…|
I’m not going to beat about the bush, this was a hot burger. Burger Lad® might find it rather mild but he has a palette forged in the depths of Hell, and I don’t. I wouldn’t want this one without a drink.
It wasn’t stupidly hot though, like some food challenges (not looking at anyone in particular, Miss Milkshake) but it definitely clears the sinuses. The heat was brilliant, but the brilliance didn’t end there.
There’s bacon on this too. Americans seem to prefer the streaky type, which isn’t my favourite, but on this it was great. Meaty and salty, it gave an excellent accompaniment to the lava.
And the cheese was delicious too. That and the sauce kept this very moist and juicy, and I suspect the charbroiling of the beef had something to do with the tasty experience too.
|Near Fast Food perfection…|
Clearly the method of cooking retained the juice of the beef, because this was downright tasty. The patty itself was considerably thick (well, this is a Thickburger after all).
Despite articles about four years ago of the company planning to open several franchises throughout the UK, this doesn’t seem to have happened, and it looks like the nearest one is in Denmark. Shame, because Five Guys have shown it is possible for US burger chains to still have success here, and Shake Shack too, although confined within the London bubble.
The El Diablo Thickburger is as close to fast food perfection as is humanly possible. I’m not going to be able to have it again, because I don’t live in America, but my goodness I will be thinking about it.
|Inside the Thickburger – jalapeños on the bottom…|