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» Carl’s Jr. Whips Out Its Footlong… Cheeseburger
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Carl’s Jr. Whips Out Its Footlong… Cheeseburger

By • Jul 21st, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

In perhaps the splashiest fast-food rollout since KFC’s Double Down, Carl’s Jr. this week has unveiled its new burger behemoth.  Currently testing in a few California stores is the new Footlong Cheeseburger:

But as close inspection of the super-sized sammie proves, that name is a bit misleading.  The bun may be 12 inches long, but the burger buried beneath is really a trio of 4-inchers laid side-by-side-by-side.  So true cheeseburger chowhounds will undoubtedly be somewhat disappointed.  (A beef patty measuring a foot long would be way cooler and a far more impressive feat of culinary innovation.)  But as this store-window ad announces, at least the price tag is pretty darn tasty.  Four bucks for three burgs and one monster bun isn’t a bad deal.  Apparently you can upgrade to a “deluxe” by adding onions, lettuce and tomatoes for another 50 cents.

As we’ve seen before, fast food buzz is all about perception.  Carl’s Jr. has grabbed hefty headlines with this new sandwich, with everyone lamenting this latest example of Gluttons Gone Wild.  But break it down and the Footlong Cheeseburger is nothing special.  Three single burgers.  A triple cheeseburger with some bonus bun.  Whoop.  Dee.  Doo. Even the all-in-a-row presentation is nothing revolutionary; cheeseburger subs are an interesting subgenre that have been around for years.  But put it on a fast-food menu and give it an oh-my-god-can-you-believe-that name, and thanks to a recent lull in the world of the Shock Value Menu, everyone’s suddenly talking about Carl’s Jr. for the first time in a long time.  Just an honest coincidence, says Beth Mansfield, PR director at parent company CKE.  She told the Wall Street Journal, “It’s one of our normal tests that we do throughout the year, and [food bloggers] noticed it, and it went insanely viral…  We don’t go for outlandish, we just go for delicious.

Of course, reality is often a bit of a downer.  Compare that slick Photoshopped menu picture above with the actual Footlong that The Orange County Register’s always-excellent Fast Food Maven bought from a SoCal shop:

Yawn.  And most early testers are about that excited about how the Footlong Cheeseburger tastes.

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