Last week in this space, I tackled Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza, which I termed "catnip for awful food connoisseurs." But if that monstrosity, with its pizza and its "hot dogs," was catnip for being awful, the Most American Thickburger I recently got from Hardee's (and also available at Carl's Jr.) just feels like a plot for patriotic paeans to picnic.
It wouldn't have been out of place on a Fourth of July plate, really: It's a burger with a split beef frank on top of the bun and potato chips below it, the sort of thing your dad or uncle or Cousin Rick or he's-really-just-a-summer-fling-Mom-I-promise boyfriend would put together while bored and equipped with a knife at a summer shindig. The potato chips are just a mediocre version of what you'd grab from a Lay's bag; the frank isn't anything special.
The end result, though, is better than I expected. The chips really aren't necessary, and on my first bite, I swear I thought they were just crispy, flavorless strips of bacon. Apart from a bite to ensure they were, yes, chips, I don't recall actually tasting them for the rest of my eating experience. I'd confidently hold the chips on a second go. (There won't be a second go.)
The star is the frank, which has the snap and beefy texture of a perfectly grilled hot dog. Any bite with the frank, the burger, a bit of the cheese that comes standard, and the lettuce was a good one, and the tomatoes and pickles, despite being far from the point of the sandwich, were fine.
The one major issue is that there's just too much food for the flimsy bottom bun to handle. I flipped over my sandwich halfway through to avoid spillage, and probably a third of the bottom bun, soggy with grease despite being separated from the burger patty by lettuce, tomatoes, and chips, still remained. If you try this, you're going to want to take some bites from the upright position for the purposes of getting the desired order of textures, but you will probably have to invert to finish without making a mess.
I wasn't really displeased with the Most American Thickburger, and I would definitely get another hot dog from Hardee's — at a non-insane price, anyway. But I came to the same conclusion Brand Eating did: Why pay handsomely ($5.39 for the 1/3-pound version of the Most American Thickburger) for a novelty of a hamburger with a hot dog and chips when you could pay the same price (or, well, less) for all three component parts? Some great tastes don't go great together — and some that do go just fine together don't really have to be Frankensteined into one concept.
As mentioned briefly on Twitter: I went to the "new" Burrito Brothers — it now has indoor seating, more obvious parking, and faces north and east on 14th Street, rather than west on, er, an alley. Had a chorizo and chicken burrito (excellent as ever; should've gone primo) and guacamole and chips (smooth and buttery, but still not enough for the price) and felt as home at the schmancy digs as I did at the old one, which is really the most important part. ... Did you know: If you bring a Sonic slush home and throw it in your freezer, it will, in fact, freeze solid? I learned that this week. (Thawing tip: An hour out on the counter, then back to the fridge. Good as new!) ... Went back to Miller's Ale House this week with a gift card and a coupon in hand, and tried the Zinger Mountain Melt for the first time. It will also be the last time: There's just too much food (and way too much cheese) there. ... I've really enjoyed the new Extra Toasty Cheez-Its I've been snacking on lately: There's juuust a bit more crunch to them, which doesn't change the flavor profile at all, but does make them a slightly better handful than the original Cheez-Its. Highly recommended. ... I believe the Hot Dog Bites Pizza is now gone for good — it briefly went from being advertised as a limited time offer to being available "while supplies last"; I know from previous quixotic efforts to find the Stuffed Crust Pan variety that Pizza Huts get a set number of specialty crusts, and when they run out, they run out — but the chain is now advertising its Cheesy Bites Pizza again.