Review: Midnight Moonshine Thickburger from Hardee’s

The worst thing about trying new things is giving up a sure thing and replacing it with the opportunity (or risk) for something different. This is widely referred to as an ‘opportunity cost.’ You can’t have your old standby or go-to item if you get the latest and greatest. In doing so, you open yourself up to either crushing disappointment or a whole new world like Aladdin promised Princess Jasmine. And sometimes you just get an overpriced burger. Today my opportunity cost was pizza, as I was feeling a Thickburger and Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. has a new contender. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Midnight Moonshine Thickburger.Midnight Moonshine ThickburgerHardee’s describes their concoction like this:

Sweet and smoky Moonshine sauce, crispy onion straws & applewood smoked bacon strips on a 100% Black Angus beef patty all served on a fresh baked bun.

When I hear “Thickburger”, my ears perk up. When I hear the word moonshine, well, I listen. Perked ears and all. I grabbed the burger from my local Hardee’s and sat down to enjoy. The bun, lettuce, tomato, and beef are all standard Thickburger fare. All quality ingredients with the beef cooked perfectly without being dry or tough. The bacon was thick-cut with all the glorious smoked flavor one would expect. Not at all like its microwaved counterparts at some other chains.

All the standard components were there and well, standard except for one thing. There was too much lettuce which I am holding responsible for the poor photography. This thing came apart the instant it was sliced in half, bun, meat, and veggies sliding this way and that, making it near impossible to get a photo that actually looked like a burger and not a salad. It also made it more difficult to eat than your average burger. You’ll need napkins and a flat surface, so no scarfing this one down as you cruise the interstate.Midnight MoonshineNow, for the stars of the show. The crispy onion straws and the moonshine glaze. I purposely didn’t read anything about the burger before taking this assignment as I wanted the flavors and textures to speak for themselves. So far this is a standard Thickburger, but here is where things get interesting. I loved the crispy onion straws. They added an interesting bit of texture, with a burst of tangy flavor and just the right amount of greasy crunch. A solid addition, one I would suggest implementing as a standard add-on item that could be paired with any burger. The Moonshine sauce was thick and sweet. It did have a bit of an odd flavor though that I didn’t notice at first. The burger comes with pepperjack cheese, but the sauce made it taste more like bleu cheese, giving the burger an unexpectedly bitter flavor that cut down the richness of the other ingredients and just didn’t work well with the rest of the sandwich.Midnight MoonshineIn short, I wouldn’t get this one again. The price of the burger ($8.19 for the ⅓ pound version) just isn’t substantiated by the size of the burger and flavors which actively work against one another, bringing the overall profile down and bring the burger from delicious to merely edible. It seems like somewhat of a lame offering despite the buzzwords and hype in their marketing. They only real innovation was the Moonshine sauce which was the least appetizing part of the sandwich. Don’t skip Hardee’s altogether. Their Thickburgers are normally fantastic and I’ve had few complaints. This latest item just fell short of my expectation.

Pros: Crispy onion straws. Applewood smoked bacon.

Cons: Odd-flavored Moonshine sauce. Pricey.

Taste: 4.75/10
Value: 5.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.50/10
Price: $8.19 for the 1/3 pounder

Overall GrubGrade: 4.75/10

More Info: hardees.com
Nutrition Facts:
1/3 pound size: 890 calories, 49 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1870 milligrams of sodium, 76 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 42 grams of protein

13 comments on “Review: Midnight Moonshine Thickburger from Hardee’s

  1. Liv says:

    Wow way too expensive! Thanks for the review awesome as always!

  2. M-Logan says:

    I’ve been meaning to try this one, but from the start I felt like replacing the pepperjack with swiss (plus extra swiss) would be the way to go.

    I assume the $8.19 you quote is for a COMBO (full meal)…..otherwise that is insane.

  3. Price_checker_1,2,1,2 says:

    Hey hey, that may be the price of the COMBO after tax, but it’s not the price of the burger.

    Combo is $7.79 (before tax). Burger solo is much less.

    Thanks!

  4. Verity says:

    The 1/2 pound Moonshine combo cost me almost $14.00 here in SoCal. :/

  5. M-Logan says:

    OK so I got one over the weekend – 1/3 pound, no tomato, sub pepper cheese for swiss, 2 slices, replaced fries with jalapeno poppers. That combo with small soda was 11 bucks and change. Getting up there for fast food, but at least it was filling. Honestly I really liked it, and will order again.

  6. Jonathan Wayne says:

    That looks good but over $8 for it, damn, that price can’t be right, can it?

  7. BigBelly says:

    $4.79 for the 1/4lb version at CJ’s here
    No bleu cheese taste on either of the two we had, the predominant flavor was sweet, but not to much, they didn’t sauce it to heavy.

    I don’t think it’s really fair to cut it in half and ding it for falling apart, who cuts their burger in half and goes driving around?

    It was a good burger, we’ll be going again with the bogo they sent us

    • BigBelly says:

      We had these again, she accidentally rang up the 1/3lb version, it was $6.19 by itself. This was at CJ’s, some had speculated that the nutritional differences between Hardee’s and CJ’s might be due to different meat suppliers, perhaps that could explain the price discrepancy to

  8. PT says:

    Whoa, I’m not sure what’s going on with the pricing at some of your restaurants, but I got the 1/3lb combo and the combo was near $8. I think the burger itself was $5-something.

  9. BigDumy says:

    Interesting how the only problem you had was with the sauce. Lets think about it for a second. Moonshine is basically pure alcohol. Bourbon or whiskey used in other sauces is aged in charred barrels which flavors them. So when you add them to sauces and cook out most of the alcohol, they leave behind distinct flavors. But moonshine? When added to a sauce and most of the alcohol is cooked out, whats left? Traces of alcohol and the water used to dillute it, not really flavors that would improve any sauce. Probably the same reason you don’t find Vodka sauces. So not surprised the sauce waswas the worst part of this burger. Basically just a marketing failure trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of legal moonshine.
    Thank you for a very informitive review

  10. Ron Farnsworth says:

    I paid $9.36 for the large combo moonshine burger at hardees and was let down by the sauce and taste. To me it was just tangy BBQ sauce. Over priced and you get a plastic moonshine mug. The burger, onions, bacon and bun were all good. I won’t be getting this one again.

  11. I had a BOGO coupon for the sandwhich and tried it. I loved it. It was wondeful. The sauce and onion straws made it perfect for me. I am sure glad that I didn’t read the review until after I ate it. I could not see the cheese on the 1/3 pound burger which was 4.79. I did not get the combo as I wanted to try the loaded fries. No one else in the household likes Hardees, so I rarely go. 4.79 for a large burger is par for the course around here. For a BOGO 4.79 for two of the burgers was a great price. Too bad Dustin’s taste buds need educating. Does he like moonshine?

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