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Fast Food

Carl’s Jr. Launches Western Bacon Cheeseburger-Inspired Beyond Burger

Carls-Jr-Beyond-BBQ-Cheeseburger

The plant-based burger battle is heating up once again. Looking to build on the success of its Beyond Famous Star, Carl’s Jr. is expanding its partnership with Beyond Meat to launch the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger.

Drawing on the success of its Beyond Famous Star, the fast food chain developed a new burger build meant to complement the Beyond Burger patty, while drawing on the flavors of its famed Western Bacon Cheeseburger. The result features a Beyond Burger patty topped with Carl’s Jr. original BBQ sauce, American cheese, and crispy onion rings, on a sesame seed bun.

“With one Western Bacon Cheeseburger sold every second, we saw this as the perfect flavor inspiration – and so the new Carl’s Jr. Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger was born,” shared Patty Trevino, SVP of Carl’s Jr. Brand Marketing.

Carl’s Jr. was among the first major fast food chains to introduce a plant-based option to its menu last December. To date, more than 4.5 million Beyond Famous Star burgers have been sold, making it the most successful burger launch for the brand in the past two years.

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Cravings Fast Food What's New

Is Carl’s Jr’s New ‘Beyond Burger’ Actually Healthy?

[Editor’s Note: A previous iteration of this article stated that that the “Beyond Burger” had 0 grams of saturated fat, but the patty itself has 5 grams. A Carl’s Jr. representative reached out to Foodbeast and added that the Beyond Famous Star is higher in calories, protein, and sodium because the patty is larger than a standard Carl’s Jr. beef patty.]

Plant-based foods are usually associated with being “healthy,” but just as being a vegan doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in good health, eating Carl’s Jr’s new Beyond Famous Star Burger doesn’t mean you can suddenly binge on plant-based cheeseburgers.

Beyond Meat makes a veggie-based burger that looks, and almost tastes like beef, quickly becoming popular with the vegan and vegetarian community. When carefully compared to a classic beef Famous Star with cheese, however, the Beyond Famous Star doesn’t really wow you in the nutritional department.

In fact, the plant-based burger is actually higher in calories, fat, carbohydrates, and has the same amount of sugar content.

To be fair, a lot of it comes from the bread, cheese, and sauce, not the patty itself, but the same could be said for its beefy counterpart.

When put side-by-side, with the patty being the only difference between the two burgers, the numbers stack up like so:

Calories:

Beyond- (710)
Beef- (690)

Fat:

Beyond- (40 grams)
Beef- (37 grams)

Carbohydrates:

Beyond- (61 grams)
Beef- (57 grams)

Protein:

Beyond- (30 grams)
Beef- (28 grams)

Cholesterol:

Beyond- (30 mg)
Beef- (75 mg)

Sodium:

Beyond- (1,550 mg) 
Beef- (1,210 mg)

Sugars:

Beyond- (12 g)
Beef- (12 g)

Fiber:

Beyond- (5g)
Beef- (3g)

__________

Perhaps the key difference, while subtle, lies in the cholesterol.

Beyond Famous Star pictured to the left, Beef Famous Star on right.

With 40 fewer milligrams, zero coming from the patty itself, the new veggie burger is a tad bit more heart friendly than its beefy uncle, however, the sodium content is less than ideal. With a whopping 1,550 mg of sodium, the Beyond Burger has 340 more milligrams than the standard Famous Star, and surpasses The American Heart Association’s ideal daily recommendation of 1,500 mg.

You’re probably reading this and telling yourself, “Well, that’s because it has a bunch of fast food ingredients attached to it. The Beyond Burger patty itself probably isn’t that bad on its own.”

That is also not necessarily true.

When comparing the Beyond Burger patty, stripped down, with no cheese, bread, or sauce to blow up its nutritional numbers, a typical standard beef patty still has a bit of a nutritional edge.

For example, the Beyond patty is still higher in calories (270), fat (20g), sodium (380 mg), and carbohydrates (5g). It also has a little bit more protein (20 grams) for you meatheads trying to bulk up.

Even with all this data, you could argue that it is a win for Beyond Meat. If the goal is to make plant-based food that resembles its meaty predecessors, then plant-based junk food, in theory, should be, well, junk.

Regardless of nutrition, Beyond Meat’s ultimate goal is sustainability, and not necessarily trying to pander to PETA and vegans in the process. If slapping dairy products on their plant-based burger means that more people will eat it over beef, it’s still more eco-friendly over the alternative.

To ask Carl’s Jr. to make a healthy burger is unfair, anyway. We don’t go to Carl’s Jr. to revive our diets, we go for comfort food that’s cheap and fast. This collaboration still provides that convenience.

At the end of the day, the Beyond Famous Star is not a “healthy” new burger. It’s a fatty, cheesy, salty, carb-y burger that just happens to be made without beef.

Keep those expectations realistic when making your way to the drive-thru, and you won’t be disappointed when that burger goes straight to your hips, as junk food should.

Categories
Fast Food Health What's New

Carl’s Jr. Adds Beyond Burger, Confirms Plant-Based Burgers Have Gone Mainstream

2019 is kicking off with a historic moment in fast food: Plant-based burger alternatives, like the Impossible Burger and Beyond burger, have finally become mainstream.

Photo: Elie Ayrouth // Foodbeast

This moment is coming courtesy of Carl’s Jr., who has added the vegan Beyond Burger as an option to its menu nationwide. They’ve worked with purveyor Beyond Meat to create a patty that cooks just like their standard burgers and mimics the the taste and appearance as well.

Right now, the go-to way to order Carl’s newest addition is the Beyond Famous Star, which is the meat-free homage to the burger chain’s signature sandwich. It does come with mayo and cheese, but these can removed for those looking for a 100% vegan burger experience.

Photo courtesy of Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. is selling the Beyond Famous Star starting at $6.29, putting it on par with the prices of its standard charbroiled burgers. You can also change the burger on any other Carl’s Jr. offering to a Beyond patty for a $2 upcharge.

This marks the largest plant-based burger partnership in the nation to date, as Carl’s 1,100-plus locations carrying the Beyond patty easily surpasses the 400-plus White Castle locations selling Impossible Burger sliders. With their combined reach, it’s paved the way to get a plant-based fast food burger across the entire country.

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Fast Food

WTF: Carl’s Jr.’s Has A Blueberry Muffin Burger

Elie arrived at the office early this morning and mentioned that he passed by a Carl’s Jr. somewhere near Costa Mesa that had a burger made with blueberry muffins. We dug around a little and discovered that Carl’s was testing both blueberry muffin and cornbread buns for the breakfast sandwiches.

Whenever Carl’s Jr. tests a new product, we’re always down to try it.

Unfortunately, the two items were at separate Carl’s locations so we had to make two different stops. If only part of our job description was to drive around and try new fast foods.

The first spot was in Santa Ana. Here’s the live stream.

Carls-Cornbread-02 Carls-Cornbread-01

Luckily, our second Carl’s location was only a few miles away in Costa Mesa. We gassed up Elie’s car and headed over.

Another one.

Carls-BB-Sign Carls-BB-Breakfast

Carl’s serves their breakfast sandwiches with three meats: ham, bacon, or sausage. We asked them to throw all three into on for convenience.

Carls-BB-Famous

We also decided to get a Famous Star with blueberry buns just for kicks. Here’s what it looks like.

While the new bun options are only in its testing stages, it’ll probably make a wider release this week to more Carl’s spots. Each sandwich, minus the upgrades, costs $2.99.

Categories
Deals

Carl’s Jr. Celebrates Birthday With 70-Cent Famous Star

Believe it, folks! Carl’s Jr. is celebrating 70 long years of success by offering their Famous Star for only 70-cents on Sunday, July 17 with a coupon. The only way to claim your own is by signing up to their email list by Thursday, July 14. Need more incentive? If you’ve never signed up before, you’ll even get a coupon for a free small fries & a drink with the purchase of any Six Dollar Burger.

Better hurry, the sign-ups ends tomorrow!

Categories
News

Carl's Jr: 2 Famous Star Sandwiches for $3.00

I remember the good old days when Famous Stars were $0.99 at certain locations. As of today, it has come across our desks that Carl’s Jr. will be maintaining a 2 for $3.00 deal for their Famous Star hamburgers. Our sources don’t relay how widespread the deal reaches (so far, it is in effect at certain Southern California locations), but we will make sure to keep you up to speed as the news rolls in. McDonald’s, watch out!

EDIT: Carl’s JR spokesperson has confirmed with us that this deal is indeed going on at all company-owned locations, for a limited time. Some, but not all franchised units are participating in this offer.