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.Hardee’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.Now, 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.In 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.
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.50/10
Price: $8.19 for the 1/3 pounder
Overall GrubGrade: 4.75/10
More Info: hardees.com
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