Fast Food Review: Double Angus Cheeseburger and Sweet Potato Fries from Arctic Circle

When I’m craving a really good double cheeseburger – as I often am – my thoughts immediately drift to In-N-Out’s Double Double. As the epitome of everything a cheeseburger should be – the fatty, juicy, salty yet subtly sweet flavors of meat meeting heat –  In-N-Out’s trademark is scarcely matched in the fast food industry. Yet not everyone has access to an In-N-Out, and needing my double cheeseburger fix, I recently turned to Arctic Circle’s Double Cheeseburger to see how it matches up against my favorite burger of all time.

A tall order, no doubt, but AC was running  a $2.99 combo meal during February with the Double Cheeseburger, which made giving it a try all the more worth it. I chose to upgrade my combo for an additional .79 cents and get a large order of sweet potato fries. AC is one of the few chains to offer sweet potato fries, and like any chain that does, it’s game over when faced between the option to upgrade: sweet potato fries are just too good to pass up.  The burger itself is made-to-order and features two black Angus beef patties, two slices of American cheese, ketchup, mustard, white sauce, lettuce and pickles. I chose to ditch the white sauce and added onions.

The patties aren’t huge, but like the single hamburger patties served up on the AC hamburger, they are flavorful and admirably juicy despite their small size. Hockey puck-like they are not, and they don’t have that overly tenderized meat seasoning a McDonald’s hamburger patty has either. They have a solid browned crust from the griddle, and a sweet and meaty taste. Compared to In-N-Out, the beef itself does not lag far behind, and even though I enjoy chargrilled burgers offered by the likes of Carl’s Jr. and Burger King, I find AC’s meat far superior to that of many fast food chains, including McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

The cheese, however, was unremarkable. It was incredibly stubborn in melting, and mild and dull in taste. Fortunately it was – in all it’s American glory – very salty, a characteristic which paired very well with the sweet ketchup and tang of the pickles and mustard. I just wish it could have been more gooey, with the cheese given more exposure to the meat while still on the griddle. Construction was orderly and utilitarian, while the produce was fair looking and the bun comparable to pretty much any normal sandwich bun. Yet like in the case of the regular Angus burger, the quality and taste of the meat made this a fine product, and a good value at $2.99 for a combo meal.

The fries were, well, a disappointment. The sweet potato fries AC uses are frozen, just like I like them. Frozen sweet potato fries hold their texture extremely well and tend to carry a great level of sweetness without a ton of surface oil, and these were no exception. That being said, they had a weird and unpleasant metallic aftertaste which more than one person in our party detected. I had to take them back, but was told I could only “exchange them” at first. I was a little suspicious of this, especially since when I insisted that I wasn’t making it up and asked the employee to try one, she said that she didn’t “do” sweet potato fries. Fo realz? Anyways, I don’t like “exchange” policies. People, including me, make orders because they want something, and in many cases that something is very specific. If I pay more for sweet potato fries, it’s because I want sweet potato fries; not because I want regular fries or tots. Thankfully, my AC location handled the situation very well and refunded me for the side order, which only confirmed what I already knew about the quality of their customer service.

Arctic Circle’s Double Cheeseburger may not be In-N-Out’s Double Double, but it’s probably one of the better griddled cheeseburgers you’ll find a chain producing, and definitely better than similar products from McDonald’s and Wendy’s. I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse than Burger King’s Double Cheeseburger (or, the Buck Double plus one more cheese slice), but it is different, mostly on account of the meat preparation. If you can find it at your local AC for $2.99 in a combo it’s a great deal, just as long as you stick with their regular fries (which I like).

Pros: Solid beef flavor that actually makes you think "Angus" isn't just a clever marketing term. Attentive cooking and preparation yield juicy, albeit small patties. Crisp veggies. Good construction. Good value. Getting a double cheeseburger fix for under 500 calories.

Cons: Cheese isn't melted upon arrival. Not gooey-delicious like In-N-Out. Extra charge for ketchup. Sweet potato fries tasted like metal. Yes I have tasted metal before so don't be a smart alec and ask me 'how would you know, have you ever tasted metal?' Horrible protein to fat ratio.

Taste: 7.75/10
Value: 8.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Price: $2.99 for small combo

Overall GrubGrade: 7.50 (Good)

More Info: ACBurger.com
Nutrition Facts:
Arctic Circle Double Cheeseburger
Calories: 457
Total Fat: 30 g
Sat Fat: N/A
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Sodium: 1028 mg
Carbs: 23 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 19 g

13 comments on “Fast Food Review: Double Angus Cheeseburger and Sweet Potato Fries from Arctic Circle

  1. skippymom says:

    Have to agree – those fries look suspect. [Happy Adam? – I agreed with you! 🙂 Don’t fall over but I am about to do it again] And you are right – the cheese definitely needs a little more melty goodness – but overall a tasty looking burger. [Was that a hat trick?]

    We don’t have Arctic Circle here tho’ – never heard of them.

  2. Keith says:

    Wait a second… white sauce? What is your deal with white sauces, Adam? What did they do to you? Was it bad?

    And… do you mean “mayo” or do you just refer to any sauce that is white as “white sauce?”

    Now there’s nothing I want more than some of this white sauce, where in the hell can I find an Arctic Circle??

    • Adam says:

      Keith, it’s a mayo/ranch combo. You’re free to go out of your way to try it, but it adds very little other than buttload of extra calories. And yes, I’m one of those weird people who grew up NEVER putting mayo on their burgers, so it just goes against my ketchup and mustard nature.

      • Keith says:

        Mayo and ranch? TOGETHER AT LAST!

      • Keith says:

        I grew up never using mayo too. Something about white sauces doesn’t jive well with kids, especially when there’s ketchup, which is essentially high fructose corn syrup laden tomato candy. Yeah, I get that white sauces are traditionally fatty, but they do complement burgers perfectly.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is… I grew out of that. And as I got older, I ate ketchup less and more savory sauces more.

  3. James says:

    I wish we had Arctic circle down here. They sound like a great chain.

  4. Billy says:

    Looks like the same as when I went there last year: Steak n Shake meat with Rally’s toppings. Good, but nothing special. I know this blog is VERY writer-oriented (constant complaints about local pricing, local outlets, etc.) but couldn’t you review things that most people can actually purchase? Don’t get me wrong, I DO appreciate knowing about things outside of my area, but to focus so much on one tiny chain doesn’t make sense. It’s like you’re writing for yourself, not your readers.

  5. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    There is nothing wrong with reviewing a regional chain along with the national ones. I had only heard of ac in passing before these reviews and if I ever find myself in Utah(I really hope that never happens lol. They have to water down beer by law. Ugh) I know where I’m headed. Plus reading about new places creates a fun change of pace. If grubgrade was to only review food that is available nationally, we would only get a few reviews every couple months of whatever the newest snakwrap is and whatever bk decided to shove inside or outside of their mediocre burgers that week. There would be no talk of CFA or five guys. The grubgrade hall of fame would look pretty drab.

    The only complaint I have is that there just aren’t enough reviews. Though with adam’s odd sense of taste(ketchup on a fillet-o-fish?) and murry just reviewing hot dogs(please don’t stop), that would leave ryan to fill the gap by eating fast food three meals a day and after about a month he would only be able to review hospital food. Then all the reviews we would get would be about caffateria orange juice.

    I guess this reply just boils down to there is just no pleasing some people. =P

    • mitchery says:

      I laughed really hard at this comment. Especially when talking about how ryan would only be reviewing hospital food. I’m still laughing…nice.

  6. Keith says:

    Adam should probably stick to cereal and the kids menu. Murray needs to post more often. Ryan’s reviews are great but we don’t want to give him a heart attack…

    Personally, I do like the regional chain reviews if only to see what kind of stuff I’m missing – and where I can get it if I’m ever in that area.

  7. Steve says:

    I need to plan a trip out west just for the fast food. I need something more than the usual. We had a Whattaburger here for about a month and of course I didnt head down. So I’m forever stuck with McDonalds and BK.

  8. ChrisLad says:

    So much hate in the comments. Some people need to chill.

    I enjoy the regional chain stuff and when I’m traveling I’m always on the lookout for those items. And wasn’t there a McDonalds review like a week ago? Adam especially makes a point about comparing the smaller chain items to the largest national chains so everyone can appreciate his insights.

    Complaining about the regional chains reveals you as quite the provincial. Ever heard of / been to Carl Jr’s? Chick Fil A? Hardee’s? Jack-in-the-Box? White Castle? Nearly all Americans access to one of these chains, but no American has all of them near by. It’s the reality of living in a large, regional, diverse country. Learn to enjoy that instead of grumbling.

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