Carl’s Jr. is going HAM on bacon. While the rest of the players in the fast food world are busy tripping all over themselves trying to top Popeyes in the chicken sandwich game, Carl’s Jr. decided to pivot and go with the old classic move of just putting bacon on everything and calling it a day, giving us the new Bacon Beast menu. It’s a timeworn move but also… never a bad call.
The Bacon Beast menu consists of three new bacon-loaded products including the Bacon Beast Burger, the Bacon Beast Burrito, and the Bacon Beast Biscuit. The Carl’s Jr. marketing team is surely nerding out over the amount of alliteration they got away with during this campaign. Good on them.
So is the new menu beastly or just bad? We found out by eating the whole Bacon Beast menu to see whether it was full of bangers or just a redundant cash grab of artery-clogging garbage. Let’s eat, beginning with the worst of the trio, the….
Bacon Beast Burrito
Fast food has a burrito problem, a problem that is completely of its own making. America loves burritos, it’s pretty hard to not love burritos, so you’d think putting a burrito on your menu, like the chicken sandwich and cheeseburger, is an easy money maker. The problem is there isn’t a single fast food chain out there that seems to be even trying to make a delicious burrito. I know this because most of them don’t warm their tortillas before rolling them up, and that’s the case here with the Bacon Beast Breakfast Burrito.
Before I can get to the build we have to talk about this tortilla. I don’t know for a fact that Carl’s Jr. doesn’t throw their tortilla on the flattop girl, but the tortilla of this burrito is very gummy, chalky, and flavorless, and that’s a dead giveaway that some frozen-then-clumsily-thawed package was merely opened and slapped on the assembly line. Always heat your tortillas people, it makes them more pliable, it awakens the flavors, and it helps the contents inside to melt.
If the tortilla wasn’t bad enough, we have the insides which… also aren’t great. Carl’s Jr’s bacon is incredibly thin, so while this burrito should have a crunchy mouthfeel it’s mostly mushy thanks to the tortilla, layers of egg, and double dose of cheese. It’s loaded with hash rounds to provide some much-needed crunch, but they’re only crispy on the outside, and once they start combining with all the other ingredients that crunch is hardly noticeable.
Also American cheese in a burrito? I mean, I know this is a breakfast burrito but at the very least, use cheddar.
Bacon Beast Biscuit
Everything gets better with the Bacon Beast Biscuit. The biscuit, despite being smaller than a burrito, is loaded up with six strips of bacon, a folded egg, and two slices of American cheese (American is acceptable on a biscuit). It has none of the mushy mouthfeel problems that the Bacon Beast Burrito has, instead offering a satisfying crunch against a flakey, crumbly, and buttery biscuit.
It provides the sensation of eating an entire breakfast platter in a single bite and is one of Carl’s Jr’s best breakfast offerings to date.
Bacon Beast Cheeseburger
Here we are at the star of the show, the Bacon Beast Cheeseburger. The cheeseburger consists of a single, double, or triple 3.5 oz serving of meat topped with American cheese (the one food American cheese is made for), tomato, pickles, lettuce, mayo, and special sauce served on a sesame seed bun. If you’re scratching your head because that sounds like a pretty standard bacon cheeseburger, you’re right!
Until the Bacon Beast, Carl’s Jr’s only official bacon burger was the Western Bacon cheeseburger, which featured a layer of fried onion rings as well as BBQ sauce in-place of special sauce. It’s delicious, decadent, and sweet-yet-salty, but it’s a bit extra if you want a simple bacon cheeseburger. The Bacon Beast gives you a direct and simple bacon burger fix. I mentioned before that Carl’s Jr’s bacon was thin, and that’s still a major criticism here, but the thin bacon at least tastes good, and that’s all that really matters.
The burger mixes Carl’s Jr’s savory charbroiled flavors with the smokiness of Applewood bacon, providing a cheeseburger that is both crunchy and savory, and full of charred-smokey flavors. If you like the taste of campfire, you’re going to love Carl’s Jr’s first proper bacon cheeseburger.
The Bottom Line:
Skip the burrito, grab the biscuit for breakfast and the burger for lunch. Carl’s Jr’s Bacon Beast Cheeseburger isn’t a game-changing bacon cheeseburger that you absolutely need to order next time you’re picking up lunch, but if you find yourself at Carl’s Jr it’s definitely worth trying, especially if the Western Bacon Cheeseburger has always been a bit too much for you.
If you’re pulling up at breakfast, definitely do order the Bacon Beast Biscuit. It’s the perfect small one-handed drive-thru treat that’ll give you the energy you need to get the day going.
Find your nearest Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s here.