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.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Price: $2.99 for small combo
Overall GrubGrade: 7.50 (Good)
More Info: ACBurger.com
Arctic Circle Double Cheeseburger
Total Fat: 30 g
Sat Fat: N/A
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Sodium: 1028 mg
Carbs: 23 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 19 g