Reality Check

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

Reality Check: BLT Cheeseburger at Jack in the Box

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[Photographs: Above, Jack in the Box; all others, Adam Lindsley]

Fast-food establishments are always looking for ways to repurpose items in their arsenal of preformed menu components into something they can market as brand new. As part of the company's "Love Bacon? Marry It." advertising campaign, Jack in the Box recently released the BLT Bacon Cheeseburger in conjunction with its thoroughly heinous Bacon Shake. The result? Exactly what you would expect a burger from Jack in the Box to taste like.

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The "street" version of the BLT Cheeseburger.

As I said, there's nothing new whatsoever about Jack in the Box's BLT Cheeseburger, as it is barely different from the chain's Jumbo Jack with Cheese. It just swaps out the Jumbo Jack's ketchup and onions for hickory-smoked bacon, which of course you can already add to any sandwich. Everything else is the same: one beef patty, shredded iceberg lettuce, two slices of tomato, two slices of (unmelted) American cheese, and mayo-onion sauce.

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Unlike the aforementioned bacon shake, the BLT Cheeseburger is at least edible (by no means anything for Jack in the Box to brag about). That doesn't make it something to recommend. Both the patty and the sesame bun on the burger we ordered were incredibly dry, with the thick breadiness of the two halves of the bun disproportionate to the total mass of the items held between them.

As you might expect, the burger is also very, very salty, so have a beverage close at hand. In terms of what hits the palate, the saltiness and smokiness of the bacon come through strongest, followed by the salt on the beef patty and the salt in the mayo-onion sauce. The wan tomato and lettuce may as well not even be there, as they're devoid of flavor and form a sort of green, red, and white mush between the top bun and the first slice of cheese.

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So how's the bacon? It's...well, it's salty. And crisp. And it does have that generic "bacon" flavor about it, even if it is indistinguishable from precooked frozen microwave bacon (which, it must be said, is still pretty addictive). On the upside, they do give you quite a lot of it on this sandwich. I happen to think it's the best-tasting component of the burger, so kudos to Jack in the Box for piling it on.

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Sure, the smooshed "street" version of the BLT Cheeseburger can't cash the checks the advertisements are writing, but ignoring that, it's very much on par with the rest of Jack in the Box's menu. 36 grams of fat and 1,658 milligrams of sodium might seem a small price to pay for this generous allotment of bacon. Whether or not it's something you want to subject yourself to is between you and your pride.

About the author: Adam Lindsley is a Pacific Northwest-based writer, musician, and the author of the pizza blog, This Is Pizza. You can follow him at @ThisIsPizza on Twitter. As a contributor for both Slice and A Hamburger Today, he is contractually obligated to say he loves pizza and burgers in equal amounts. Which is to say he is a polygamist.

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