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» Angus Burger Battle: McDonald’s vs. Hardee’s
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Angus Burger Battle: McDonald’s vs. Hardee’s

By • Sep 15th, 2009 • Category: Burger Blog

When McDonald’s announced the debut of their new Angus Third Pounders in July, who knew it would lead to an all-out cheeseburger street fight?  Hardee’s (or Carl’s Jr., depending on where you live) has rolled out a new ad campaign that has Mickey D’s new sandwich squarely in their crosshairs.

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The spot features an actor as an ad exec and President/CEO Andy Puzder as, well, himself.  While the ad is worth a watch (here it is on YouTube), it basically tells viewers straight up that Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. have been doing their 1/3-pound Angus Thickburgers longer, cheaper, and better than McDonald’s.  After listing the differences, the adman asks, “What should we do?”  Puzder simply returns to his paperwork and shrugs nonchalantly, “Nothing.”

Well, not me. I couldn’t just do nothing.  This was screaming for a taste test.  After hitting some nearby drive-thrus, I took my two challengers home for a side-by-side comparison.  Let’s get it on!!

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In this corner, the McDonald’s Mushroom & Swiss Angus Third Pounder, weighing in at 283 grams.  770 calories, 135 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1170 milligrams of sodium.  Price after tax: $4.23.

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In this corner, the Hardee’s 1/3 lb. Mushroom ‘N’ Swiss Thickburger, tipping the scales at 276 grams.  720 calories, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1570 milligrams of sodium.  Price after tax: $3.81.

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At first glance, Mickey D’s offering actually looked better to the naked eye.  It was less compressed; it stood up better.  Hardee’s burger looked a little smashed, messy, and not as photogenic.  The Thickburger, though, felt heavier in my hand than the Angus Third, despite actually weighing less.  More substantial.  Both came half-wrapped in wax paper in their little cardboard boxes, which I found interesting.  That’s a classic trademark of a real burger joint, which Puzder unabashedly says he set out to mimic.

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So Hardee’s Thickburger is a hair lighter (both in weight and in calories) and forty-two cents cheaper than McDonald’s Angus Third Pounder.  But it was saltier according to the official tally, and felt beefier to me.

What about taste, you ask? Well, do you remember when Mike Tyson was in his prime as a heavyweight boxer?  There’d be these weeks and weeks of hype and buildup about his latest opponent and how well he matches up to Iron Mike.  And then the night of the fight would roll around, and everybody would get together at the house of the guy who forked out for the pay-per-view.  And the bell would ring, and before the keg in the next room was even tapped, the fight was over.  This was just like a Mike Tyson fight: over in one bite.

McDonald’s Angus Third tasted decent enough.  Certainly better than my Big Mac experience.  Perhaps a little dry, but a marked improvement over what I’ve come to expect from the Golden Arches.  Then I bit into the Thickburger.  Holy crap, this thing exploded with flavor. The mushroom gravy is what really hit me at first: not overwhelming, but the perfect rush of juice for the burger to chase down.  I actually had to use a napkin after the very first bite to mop up the corners of my mouth.  I devoured the rest of the Thickburger.  I boxed up the Angus Third and tossed it.

I wish Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. the best in their burger battle with the big clown.  Their Angus burger is not only a few cents cheaper, but tastier by far.  They unquestionably deserve to win this war. Do your own taste test and tell me I’m wrong.

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7 Responses to “Angus Burger Battle: McDonald’s vs. Hardee’s”

  1. 1
    Jeff Says:

    Definitely agree with you. That Hardee’s burger is tasty. The McDonald’s burger is, shall we say, a stomach exploder.

  2. 2
    CC Says:

    Definitely agree with you. That Hardee’s burger is tasty. The McDonald’s burger is, shall we say, a stomach exploder.

  3. 3
    The Owner Of This Page Says:

    The owner of this site SURE is FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    jason Says:

    hardees by far! but the hardees i eat at puts theres on a sourdough bun

  5. 5
    Natalie Says:

    Hardees has always impressed me with their low cost and high flavor options as opposed to Mcdonnalds. My favorite burger in the world has always been the Hardees mushroom & swiss burger and I decided to give Mcdonnalds a run for their money and try it… Boy was it horrible. They use a thick mayo w/ mushroom sauce instead of a gravy and I think that is their real downfall. The meat in the Hardees burger also seems a better quality to me, but that may be my imagination.

  6. 6
    Mackman67 Says:

    Yo sure the Carl jr. Shroon burger is hittin but u haven’t even mention the bacon and cheese angus burger from mc.donalds all it needs is some ranch and your good to go. U can’t say the put down my homie the angus burger before meeting his homie bacon and cheese

  7. 7
    Guy_from_Rhinelander_WI Says:

    Yeah, I had a coupon for a buy-one-get-one free at McDonalds for an Angus Burger. What a load of crap! I could hardly finish the second one. Hardee’s thickburgers win hands down. I will never eat another McDonald’s Angus Burger as long as I live. 2 burgers were more than enough. Hardee’s literally tastes real, juicy, flavorful. McDonalds is a dry flavorless piece of rubbish.
    While I’m on the subject, Hardee’s chicken tenders (hand-breaded) beat any chicken offering at McDonalds – on flavor not price – but well worth the extra buck. Just talking about them makes me hungry!

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