When McDonald’s started selling Angus One-Third Pound Burgers, it took a page from West Coast burger chain, Carl’s Jr, which introduced sit-down restaurant style burgers a few years ago under the name “The Six Dollar Burger” which they were selling for $3.99. So in response to McDonald’s introduction of similar premium burgers, Carl’s Jr decided to take on McDonald’s head on by introducing their own version of the Big Mac called “The Big Carl.”
The Big Carl takes on the Big Mac, blatantly with a lot of the advertising for it offering side by side comparisons to the Big Mac, some done humorously as if the burgers were talking to each other (think the Apple commercials with Mac vs. Windows except instead of two actors, it’s just closeups of the burgers with voiceovers.) And others use Carl’s Jr.’s more signature sarcastically toned humor as seen in the commercial below which compares the burgers with a take on the old Big Mac song. I particularly like Carl’s more sarcastically toned commercials ever since they introduced a campaign showcasing a guy looking clueless in a supermarket with the slogan, “Without us, some guys would starve.”
One of the nice things about Carl’s Jr for me on Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure, is that since Carl’s Jr. introduced the “Low Carb” version of their Six Dollar Burger, which essentially wraps the burger in lettuce instead of a bun, it’s become very easy to get any of their burgers in a low carb version. And to order a lettuce wrapped burger at Carl’s Jr. doesn’t require having to explain how to construct a lettuce wrapped burger like it does at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, and most of the other major chains. It’s a craps shoot as to what’s going to come out. I’ve seen everything from the patty thrown into a bowl and covered in shredded lettuce, to a burger patty sitting on top of the thinnest single piece of lettuce that was obviously sized to be on the burger, not wrapping it. It’s been interesting, but Carl’s Jr and In-N-Out Burger are the only chains that consistently offer a quality lettuce wrapped burger and do them well.
Carl’s Jr. is also very good about customizing requests too, in order to make the Big Carl more Belly Fat Cure compliant, I have them leave off the “Classic Sauce” (Thousand Island Dressing), replace it with mayonnaise and mustard, or sometimes just mustard. This converts the burger into a 0/0 S/C Value on the Belly Fat Cure program and is a good deal at $2.49 plus tax. These are the only changes I make if I’m ordering from a clerk behind the counter or through the drive-thru because too many changes run the risk of being screwed up completely. However, a couple of the Carl’s Jr. locations I visit offer a kiosk to order from which allow you to customize pretty much anything and everything about a burger and when I use the kiosk, I will make the above changes, but also have them add a couple rings of raw onion and some dill pickles. The onion adds a tiny bit of sugar to the burger for the S/C count, but it’s a nice addition.
Granted the customizations really make it a completely different burger than a variation of McDonald’s Big Mac, but the folks at Carl’s Jr. don’t bat an eye at customizing the burgers and I appreciate it. It does allow me to take advantage of some of their discounted burger deals as the also from time to time offer deals on their Western Bacon Cheeseburger and getting it as is makes it a forbidden item on the Belly Fat Cure, but replacing the barbecue sauce with mayonnaise and/or mustard significantly cuts down the sugar content and again getting it in a low-carb lettuce wrapped style removes almost all of the rest of the sugar. The only sugar there is from the onion that’s inside the onion rings, which I will admit that I will sometimes let those stay in the burger.
McDonald’s I’ve not quite had the same level of success with customizing. I’ve had some success getting decent lettuce wrapped versions of their Angus burgers, but really those are the only ones they have worth trying to get lettuce wrapped since the beef patties on the other burgers (outside of the quarter pounder) are so skinny they don’t offer enough meat to be worth trying to wrap. Although one of the more glowing failures I’ve had at McDonald’s was the location across the street from the entrance to the Empire State Building in New York. My order was for one of their Angus burgers wrapped in lettuce, and no ketchup. Not only did I have to explain the concept of a lettuce wrapped burger to the clerk, what I got was a burger patty in a bowl with all the “toppings” including extra ketchup on the bottom of a bowl, with the burger patty on top of it and then shredded lettuce thrown on top. It didn’t remotely resemble a lettuce wrapped burger. At that moment I wished I had access to a Carl’s Jr. or an In-N-Out, but neither one are in New York City.
Carl’s Jr has been a big part of my success on the Belly Fat Cure with their low carb offerings and ability to customize any of their burgers to suit my needs on the program. Not only do the burgers taste good, they’re quick and easy, especially since I’m not much of a cook.