Review: Southwest Patty Melt from Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.
Enter the Southwest Patty Melt from Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr., featuring a 1/4 pound, charbroiled beef patty sandwiched between two thick slices of toasted sourdough bread with pepper-Jack cheese, grilled onions, sliced jalapenos and what the company calls “…a spicy Santa Fe sauce”. They also have a 1/3 pound and Six-Dollar version of this new fare. As a long time aficionado of the Thickburger, I felt more than qualified to take on this bad boy and free that little voice inside all of us that goes “Om nom nom” while chowing down on something delicious.
$6.89 plus sales tax will get you a medium combo with your choice of fries and drink. I, of course, chose curly fries. It will also get you 620 calories and 39 grams of fat, but on to the good stuff. The very first bite seemed a little chewy, as if the sourdough could have benefited from a longer toasting. The burger was thoroughly cooked, however, and was right in line with the expectation of Thickburgery goodness. While the meat itself was flavorful and well done, I found the Santa Fe sauce lacking. To be perfectly honest, and to expose a little bit of my own ignorance, I thought it was mayonnaise at first. There was not a whole lot of flavor there and the sauce definitely did not have any kick to it despite the clear implication advertised by its producer. The sauce seemed a rather half-hearted attempt to keep the burger from being too dry, which it did admittedly accomplish.
The pepper-Jack was adequate to be fair. Not overwhelming or disappointing in any way, but it did make its subtle presence known and held the sourdough together well. Thankfully, there were other toppings to remedy the somewhat bland sauce and lackluster cheese. A modest spread of jalapenos on top of the burger gave everything a small kick of much-needed heat, warming up the palate slightly but not enough to be painful or for there to be any lingering spiciness once the entire thing had been consumed. Lastly, between the underside of the patty and the bottom slice of cheese we have the grilled onions. What I consider this burger’s saving grace, by adding grilled onions rather than rings of the raw vegetable Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. went a long way towards living up to the name Southwest. They gave the burger an understated but bold flavor and rescued the whole presentation from sub-par taste that is all too common in fast food nowadays.
All in all, I would say this was a good buy. Not a culinary masterpiece by any means, but it was filling and did not leave any bad impressions behind. I was only slightly disappointed and all of that being the lack of flavor and spice in the Santa Fe sauce. Go out and try it, but I recommend extra jalapenos if you are looking for something to make your eyes water. There is even a Hardee’s coupon for $1.00 off to entice you to go for the combo.
Pros: Tasty Thickburger quality, jalapenos.
Cons: Bland sauce, forgettable cheese quality, mild spice.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.75/10
Price: $3.19/Burger, $6.89/Medium combo (purchased at Hardee's for this review)
Overall GrubGrade: 6.00/10
More Info: Hardees.com, CarlsJr.com
Southwest Patty Melt
Calories - 620
Total Fat -350 Calories/39 grams
Saturated Fat - 13 grams
Cholesterol - 90 milligrams
Sodium - 1640 milligrams
Carbs - 43 grams
Sugars - 7 grams
Dietary Fiber - 4 grams
Protein - 30 grams