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This Week in Self-Loathing

The Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr. Hates You

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Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 5:00 AM
click to enlarge The Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr. - MALCOLM BEDELL
  • Malcolm Bedell
  • The Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr.
Unless your idea of fine dining includes eating a room-temperature slab of grey beef from a warming tray at a highway rest stop while sitting in the stuffy sleeping compartment of your semi, the cold sweat prickling your skin as you pray to come down smoothly from the benzadrine you've been taking to stay awake for three days to make your next pick-up, you probably haven't had occasion to eat at Carl's Jr.

While the "Breakfast Burger" may not be a new menu item, it's often overlooked in the avalanche of biscuit-based breakfast options at the chain, each overflowing with double portions of meat, double portions of sausage, or double portions of bacon and sausage. All those biscuits are distracting. You can get an omelet on your biscuit. You can get guacamole on your biscuit. You can get strawberry jam on your biscuit. You can get gravy, ham, or another biscuit on your biscuit.

But tucked away among all these insipid biscuits lay another option, a quiet bit of gut-thunder peeking out between the orange juice and the hash brown nuggets, a breakfast item that answers the question no one has been asking since the dawn of time: "How can cheeseburgers be eaten for breakfast?"

click to enlarge The Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr. - CARL'S JR.
  • Carl's Jr.
  • The Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr.
Name: Carl's Jr. "The Breakfast Burger"
The Pitch: Charbroiled All-Beef Patty, Egg, Bacon, American Cheese, Hash Brown Nuggets and Ketchup on a seeded bun.
Price: $3.99
Available: Now

The first thing you notice about the Carl's Jr. Breakfast Burger is the weight. It lays heavy in its paper sack, the full weight of a beef hamburger patty augmented by a full additional portion of scrambled egg, bacon and hash browns smooshed right into the bun. Before you even unwrap the package, you can almost see all of the plans you had for the day leaving you, your ambitions swirling the drain with the self-respect that you already lost last week.

After unwrapping the burger, the second thing you notice is that it seems to have been prepared in the lavatory of a moving Greyhound bus to Minneapolis. Everything is the same temperature as the air you're already breathing, and the dried-out husk of the blistered burger patty sits uncomfortably dry against the mush of greasy hash browns that were applied by the fistful by a hormonal teenager. The bacon is so thin as to be nearly transparent, and the egg is a lifeless standard-issue fast food scramble packet.

The only beacon of hope in the entire sad affair is the melted river of bright yellow processed cheese smeared on top of the whole mess, gluing all of the disparate components together in a haunting reflection of your own slipping ability to hold your life together for one more day.

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