The Junkie: Hardee’s “The Most American Thickburger”

My fellow Americans,

It’s time we, as a people of this great nation, stop and re-examine what it means to claim citizenship within these United States. It’s time we ask ourselves what exactly it means to be “American.”

The collective brainwaves behind menu development at Hardee’s have attempted to answer that question for you. They have unabashedly dubbed their latest monstrosity “The Most American Burger.” Not just “an” American burger, not “an American-ish” burger. This, in the mind of the Hardee’s crew, represents the pinnacle of the American experience. Ford trucks? Apple pies? Bald eagles? No…let Hardee’s show you how it’s done.

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So what’s in a name? With this cringe-worthy creation, the creative confederacy at Hardee’s (also known as Carl’s Jr. in other parts of the country) attempts to extract the most vital parts of the American dining experience, cramming them all in between two buns. No doubt they hope to conjure up sweet memories of Memorial Days past, of backyard  cook-outs, of fire works and water balloons, sunshine and smiles, and evenings at the ballpark. Here, they’ve inserted their standard “100% Black Angus Thickburger” and crowned it with a whole hot dog (split down the center lengthwise, and plopped on top of the beef), American cheese slices, and plain Lay’s potato chips, finishing with the standard array of ketchup, mustard, lettuce, pickle, and tomato.

This “Most American Burger” was recently unleashed upon the public…and of course, curiosity got the better of me, and I had to sample this charbroiled freak of nature.

The results? Not unexpectedly, the burger was a disaster. There’s something simply unnatural about combining the taste of cheap hot dogs and dry, lifeless burger meat. I’m genuinely shocked this thing ever slipped through the taste test panels and focus groups that help determine what makes its way onto Hardee’s menus. But beyond the outright grotesqueness of the burger concept, each element itself was dreadful. The hot dog limp and rubbery, appearing as if it had been left to dry in the summer sun for the last 12 hours. The burger was a pale gray, dry and flavorless. The chips were fine, but buried under a mountain of mess, sloppily thrown together, and almost painful to look at.

Is this the “most American” of meals? Perhaps…but only if you see America as nothing more than a steaming pile of sadness, a nation of excess and low quality living. But in my mind, this is not the burger our founding fathers envisioned for us when they declared our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So thank you, Hardee’s…Canada is laughing at us right now.

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The Junkie: Hardee’s “The Most American Thickburger”