Reality Check »

Reviews of fast food burgers and a look at how the real life version compares to the advertised beauty shot.

Reality Check: Carl's Jr. Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger

Note: In our Reality Check series, we take a look at fast food in the news and show you what it looks like in all its unstylized glory.

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[Photograph: Carl's Jr.]

We can't be certain that our very own Adam Kuban inspired a new burger on the Carl's Jr. menu, but their recent addition of a Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger does seem suspiciously reminiscent of his internet sensation: the Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt. We have seen restaurants borrow (ahem) Adam's inspiration before; Max Burger in Boston added one to their menu.

Carl's hasn't quite gone all the way into the depths of Fatty Melt-edness with their version as they don't actually serve their burgers between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Rather, they serve a bacon cheeseburger between two grilled slices of bread. They advertise it as a "grilled cheese for grown-ups." I didn't realize it was so childish of me to like grilled cheese sandwiches as much as I do, but, to be fair, those ad execs wouldn't be doing their jobs if they didn't try to make me feel bad about myself.

How's it look in real life? Find out, after the jump.

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[Photographs: Damon Gambuto]

I never expect these real life fast food burgers to measure up to their food-styled beauty shots, but this one was a particular, um, dose of reality. The bread looked nicely grilled, but the patty, cheese, and bacon were about as unappetizing as could be.

Of course, I tried it anyway. The bacon and cheese flavor overwhelmed the patty, but that wasn't all bad considering the dry, hockey pucks this place serves. That said, the bacon was intensely salty and not at all crispy. The bread had a chew that was really reminiscent of a good grilled cheese, but that texture (which I love on grilled cheese) doesn't work as well with a burger.

I certainly don't recommend you try the Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger, but if your curiosity compels you to head to Carl's Jr. for one of your own, then at least take advantage of this coupon good through April 7.

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