I first encountered Carl’s Jr on a trip to the US. After a night out in San Francisco, we wandered in to Carl’s Jr in Tenderloin for a feed. I ordered a Portabello Mushroom burger, sat down and started dominating it before realising we were the only non-homeless people in the restaurant.
Since launching in New Zealand, Carl’s Jr and it’s ex-All Black investor, Michael Jones seem set on targeting lower socio-economic areas, setting up shop in Takanini and Glen Innes. As much as I would love to rip into Michael Jones for profiteering off the lower rungs of society and adding to health issues in these areas, this review will focus on the burgers from a corporate lunch perspective.
The first problem with Carl’s Jr is accessibility – it’s difficult for the CBD-based gastronaut to get to Takanini or GI.
The second problem is price – it’s pretty expensive considering the quality. But it makes up for lack of quality in quantity.
In terms of burgers, Carl’s Jr doesn’t do things by halves. Their burgers are huge! I’ve found a favourite in the Bacon guacamole Thickburger, which features a large char-broiled beef patty - great bun to beef ratio.
While the patty is formidable in size, it’s lacking in flavour and the other ingredients were forced to pick up the slack.
The bacon was decent, but not great. The guacamole is a nice touch and adds flavour, but the rest of the ingredients were lacking in freshness and flavour. Upon finishing I immediately regretted filling my stomach with such a monstrosity.
Carl’s Jr feels as unhealthy as it sounds, and I was mindful that future Bill would probably regret the Bacon guacamole Thickburger.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to fries – curly, criss-cut, chilli cheese or natural. Carl’s Jr customers also have the privilege of free soft drink refills so they can drink themselves into a diabetic coma.
I’m not going to be too critical, because I actually enjoyed the experience in the same way I enjoyed KFC’s Double Down. I felt challenged by the big bad burgers, so not finishing wasn’t an option.
Carl’s Jr is great if you’re feeling like some back to basics binge eating and is possibly the food equivalent of downing a dozen Double Browns in one sitting. It’s a classic example of unhealthy, oversized meal, from the people that introduced the foot-long cheeseburger to America.
Overall rating: 4/10
- Location: 2
- Value: 5
- Service: 5
- Quality: 3
- Environment: 4
- X-Factor: 6
Carl’s Jr – 113 Felton Mathew Ave, Glen Innes