All that and a slab of fried cheese: Is the Hardee’s BFC a BFD?

Illustration for article titled All that and a slab of fried cheese: Is the Hardee’s BFC a BFD?
Photo: Allison Robicelli

As I sit down to write this review, I am wondering if I should have done this an hour ago while I was still sitting at Hardee’s, where the only thing on my mind was focusing on was the quality of its new BFC Angus Thickburger. Sixty minutes after consuming a 1/3 lb. grilled beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, something called Boom Boom Sauce, and a thick slab of fried cheese, my mind is feeling exactly how you might imagine, given the above description of this burger. Could I stand to benefit from your thoughts and prayers right now? Yes. Dear god, yes.

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Critiquing fast food items requires taking detailed notes while I’m in the moment, as my opinions of fast food grow worse and worse the longer they sit in my body. I know good and well what I’m getting into when I begin working on a review, but I always approach them with the optimism and excitement of the average fast food enthusiast. And 90 minutes ago, I was very excited to eat the BFC Thickburger, because seriously, how could I resist the siren song of a slab of fried cheese? Not even 24 hours had passed since Pizza Hut broke my heart with its pathetic Mozzarella Poppers Pizza, and yet I still drove to Hardee’s with a stomach full of hope, because I can never stay mad at fried cheese for long.

After the first few bites, the notes begin normally enough:

“For a fast food burger, this is pretty good!”

“Good crunch from the cheese patty. Great textural contrast.”

“Juicy Lucy-esque, but with an oily, crispy component.”

I poke and prod the burger, examining its many parts to see if they each live up to my expectations. Hardee’s delivered everything it promised, including the ever important “cheese pull”:

Cheese strings!
Cheese strings!
Photo: Allison Robicelli
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That right there is a thing of beauty. Hardee’s seems to have put a lot of time and money into developing this fried cheese patty; it’s also being used in a new breakfast sandwich, and it can be added to any sandwich on the menu for an additional $3. Everyone involved in bringing this concept to market should be very proud of the good work they’ve done.

My notes continue, now getting more granular as I evaluate each ingredient to see how it relates to the burger as a whole:

“The burger is very dry; the cheese saves it.”

“This might be the only fast food iceberg lettuce with any flavor, and that flavor is ruining the burger. Omit when ordering.”

“Red onion and pickle are essential flavor contrasts, not filler.”

“Wouldn’t know this had tomato on it if I hadn’t looked.”

“Boom Boom Sauce is too sweet and overwhelms everything. Still don’t know how anyone says ‘Boom Boom Sauce’ with dignity.”

I come to the conclusion that the burger has good bones, and if it’s ordered with no lettuce or tomato, double the red onion and pickles, and light on the Boom Boom Sauce, it could be a pretty good one. If the burger patty weren’t so dry (this is only my second time eating at Hardee’s so I’m unsure if this is an anomaly), the BFC Angus Thickburger would be one of the better fast food burgers I’ve ever tasted.

Normally, this is where my review notes end. This time, they continue, and they take a dramatic turn.

“I don’t know if I can finish this.”

“Is it okay to take a nap on the table?”

“Oh my god, I’m going to be found dead in a Hardee’s bathroom.”

I’m happy to say that nothing, shall we say, tragic happened to me after eating this burger, but it sure as hell felt like it could at any moment. I drove home using all my strength to fight the urge to pull over and take a nap while slumped over the steering wheel. I live 10 minutes away from Hardee’s.

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I am honestly unsure how to review this burger. If I had the vitality and metabolism of an 18-year-old boy, I would probably say that Hardee’s BFC patty is a fast food gamechanger on par with the Popeyes chicken sandwich. But, sadly, I am a woman in her 30s whose body is very angry at her right now. The Hardee’s BFC Angus Thickburger is a young man’s game. For anyone over the age of 30, it’s a grease-soaked reminder that death is coming for us all.

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Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

bigjojobongo
bigjojobongo

2nd thought: What would I do if there was a Hardees next to a Popeyes? Would the laws of nature allow it?

3rd thought: Allison, you need to come up north of the Cheddar Curtain and do some fried food training.