Burgers and Kate Upton. I love them both. So much so that Ms. Upton recently replaced In-N-Out Burger as the background on my phone. But what does this bodacious babe have in common with a cheeseburger, other than the fact that they’re both juicy and delicious and they make my mouth water? Behold:
(For behind the scenes footage, click here. I highly recommend it.)
Yes, there is a burger in that commercial. Watch it again, fellas. I watched it again. And again. And again. For research.
It’s obvious who Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s is targeting with their commercials: young males. It’s also obvious that I am one of those targets. If you’d asked me after the first time I saw this ad what kind of burger it was advertising, I would not have had an answer. But the more I watched it, the more I wanted to eat the Southwest Patty Melt. It’s not the sort of product I would normally get excited about, so it’s clear that I’ve now been trained to think about the burger every time I think about Kate Upton, and vice versa. Touché, Carl’s Jr. Touché.
So what is the Southwest Patty Melt? From the Carl’s Jr. website:
A charbroiled beef patty, with sliced jalapeños, grilled onions, pepper-Jack cheese and spicy Santa Fe sauce, all on grilled sourdough bread.
Carl’s Jr. offers a 1/4 lb. single for $2.89, 1/2 lb. double for $3.89 and Six Dollar for $4.89. Hardee’s has 1/4 lb, 1/3 lb. and Six Dollar versions. They’re also offering a coupon for $1 off a Southwest Patty Melt combo (Hardee’s coupon here). It’s not much, but it only takes a minute. A dollar is way better than a minute.
As I mentioned, it didn’t sound all that appealing to me, because I don’t usually eat hot stuff. But I would eat things far hotter than jalapeños for Kate Upton. I would probably eat jalapeños that she chewed up and spit out on the floor of a gas station bathroom. Probably.
The first thing I noticed about the Southwest Patty Melt was the size. The thing is huge, and I only got the single. Definitely worth $2.89. I wouldn’t have complained if it was $4.
Next was the amount of jalapeños. I counted 17 slices. I was afraid I was going to burn my mouth and not be able to taste anything for a week.
But that didn’t stop the Southwest Patty Melt from being delicious. It’s like a flavor explosion, with the jalapeños being the dominant, but not overpowering flavor. This burger is hot, but not so much that you’re reaching for a drink after every bite. Except for the bite where I got about 3 jalapeño slices and it made my eye twitch. I needed Coke after that one. The heat did linger a bit, but an Oreo ice cream sandwich quelled that perfectly.
The sourdough bread was nice and buttery, but a little disappointing because despite the fact that it was toasted, it was not crispy at all. The pepper jack cheese and Santa Fe sauce were a good, creamy counter to the heat of the jalapeños. The flavor of the sauce didn’t really stand up to the other, more powerful flavors, but I scraped a bit off the bread and it’s quite good. ‘Zesty’ is the best word I can come up with for it. The grilled onions were nice as well, although they look nothing like the promotional pictures. Their caramelization gives the burger a pleasant hint of sweetness.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention the beef; that’s because there were so many other flavors going on, it sort of got lost in the mix. I generally like their burgers because of the good charbroiled taste, but it barely showed up in the Southwest Patty Melt. Maybe next time I’ll give the Six Dollar version a try. A half-pound of Angus beef surely will provide some flavor.
If Kate Upton is a 10 (which she is, although that doesn’t even do her justice), the Southwest Patty Melt is an 8. Would I eat it again? Absolutely. The fact that I have a BOGO coupon helps, but I would probably eat it again anyway. I might take a few of the jalapeños off, though. It’s a bargain at $2.89, and it’s got a ton of flavor. You’d be hard-pressed to find another fast-food burger with this much flavor at that price.
If you like a little heat, give this one a try. Kate Upton will love you for it. OK maybe not, but it couldn’t hurt.