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Carl's Jr. opens 1000th restaurant


Fat Guy
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Had I known that such an amazing place was opening so close I would have visited already.

For those of us from the Northeast, someone please explain Carl Jr.'s--the food, the ads, the niche, the neighborhoods its in.

Oh yeah... and the color scheme.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Suffice it to say that after their most recent ugly, jingoist, french-bashing ad it is even less likely that I'll be visiting this (or any other) Carl's Jr.

fanatic...

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Isn't it the same thing as Hardee's?

I hear Carl's Junior was Ruth's Chris's English teacher.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Years ago, when he was actually popular, I remember a comedy album Billy Crystal released. Long story made short, there was one skit where a really dumb teenaged guy is horny and knocking on his girlfriend's door (knocking in an unusual fashion--don't ask--it was a crappy joke) and (in a dumb, but desperate voice) he says "its meeee.... Cahhhhhhl." In a vacuum of information on Carl Jr., I'm imagining that he is that dumb guy grown up.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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ok since you guys won't let this thread die and the new store is all of 10 minutes away from here...  I'll be back with photos and a report in half an hour.

You rule.

Jhlurie, you've got to read the chapter on Carl Karcher in Fast Food Nation. If you ignore all the commie propaganda in the book, you can learn some really interesting stuff about the evolution of junk food.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Jhlurie, you've got to read the chapter on Carl Karcher in Fast Food Nation. If you ignore all the commie propaganda in the book, you can learn some really interesting stuff about the evolution of junk food.

I was going to ask "Is that Carl Sr." but that's a silly question, especially after about 10 seconds of web surfing to verify. Carl Jr., if not Karcher himself, is probably his version of Dave Thomas' daughter "Wendy", right? A name.

Okay, I checked and yes... I recall his name somehow connected with "Hardees"--a chain which used to have some penetration around here, but I rarely see it anymore. So are the Hardee's stores part of this 1000 or no?

EDIT: apparently not.

http://www.carlsjr.com/home/

The CKE system includes more than 3,400 locations in 45 states and

15 foreign countries and an employee base of approximately 33,200.

And Hardees is a recent buy for CKE. That spotty memory of mine didn't provide that. Carl was long gone, no doubt. VERY long gone, right?

Hey... Look at this (click here).

Edited by jhlurie (log)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I think Carl might still be around. He was doing the ads a couple of years ago. The weird thing is he started by selling hot dogs and they never promote dogs.

Edited by hollywood (log)

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Out the door I go, drive for a few miles, and take the exit and here we are:

1.jpg

Neon... I suppose I should have expected that from Fat Guy's picture of the place, regardless it's not a good sign.

3.jpg

Now things are looking up, we not only have neon - we also have a gas station! The first thing that I think of when I think fine dinning is where is the nearest Chevron... Rather than find parking in the strangely crowded lot I make a major mistake and choose the drive through:

2.jpg

40, count them FORTY minutes pass from the time I drive past that sign and the time that I receive my food, isn't the drive thru supposed to be faster? Would I still be at Carl's Jr. if I instead opted to go inside? Not having any idea what to order I go with Hollywood’s recommendation of the six dollar burger ($3.95) and their waffle cut (CrissCut) fries. $6.07 plus forty minutes of breathing the exhaust from the smoking pile of shit minivan in front of me.

4.jpg5.jpg

So here's the famous six dollar burger, a reasonably fresh bun, some mayo with pickles on the bottom, a piece of charred grey meat possibly from a mule, some limp red onions, a tomato that could be mistaken for iceberg lettuce, some iceberg lettuce core, more mayo, some mustard and the top bun. It's not that this burger is bad when you compare it to the other options you have while driving down the freeway, at least you can tell that this cartilage laced piece of donkey meat was at one point a living breathing creature, at McDonalds your lucky to tell which part of the sandwich is supposed to be the meat. In and Out is much much better (aside from their creepy bible verses on their drink cups).

On to my backup plan for dinner:

6.jpg

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You're right about the ribeye. You're right about In N Out. But something's wrong with that Carl's. No way that order should have taken more than about 5-10 minutes. They just don't have those sorts of waiting times. You're also right about the onions. Generally, the onions on fast food sandwiches seem devoid of any onionness. Maybe you'd have liked one of the bacon cheese burgers better, but I doubt it given the waiting time and their anemic bacon. Here's some recent P.R. about Karcher (who's no longer in charge as I get it). Note that they have had over 1,000 total stores for some time. It's just the Carl's they are counting at this point. http://www.phoenix.med.va.gov/public_affai..._bio_w_logo.pdf

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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But something's wrong with that Carl's.  No way that order should have taken more than about 5-10 minutes.  They just don't have those sorts of waiting times.

It wasn't my order that took so long, they were just running really slowly. There were maybe ten cars in front of me when I got there, they just were running really slowly.

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Oh my it AIN'T no In-n-Out, GOD knows, but Carl's ain't so bad, in the world of fast food. I know more than one Southern Californian who can wax pretty fondly over the steak sandwich which was on the menu until pretty recently. Also the famed Ortega Burger, a nod an homage an acknowledgement of our Spanish Land Grant history.

PLUS, wasn't Carl Karcher the main benefactor of the fake but brick-by-brick true-to-scale Independence Hall built at Knott's Berry Farm?

Also, additionally, too, once a friend of mine attended a wedding wherein Carl Karcher was also a guest and he Carl Karcher handed out Free Burger business cards to the guests as he circulated at the reception. Huh like to see OTHER burger/similar magnates doing that uh huh.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Oh my it AIN'T no In-n-Out, GOD knows, but Carl's ain't so bad, in the world of fast food.  I know more than one Southern Californian who can wax pretty fondly over the steak sandwich which was on the menu until pretty recently.

I remember the steak sandwich, and their fries used to be pretty good. Of course, this was back in the 70's, who knows what they're like now. When I was a kid Carl's Jr was the fast food place of choice on long road trips up Rt 5 from LA to the SF area.

PLUS, wasn't Carl Karcher the main benefactor of the fake but brick-by-brick true-to-scale Independence Hall built at Knott's Berry Farm?

Holy cow! I have a picture of me and my siblings in front of that building. I haven't thought about Knott's Berry Farm in 15-20 years. Does it still exist?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Yes, it exists, though lately they've been getting away from the "berry farm" branding concept and moving towards "Knott's Southern California Resort."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That burger actually looks exceptionally nice for a fast-food burger.

Frightening.

I've been in Carl's drive thru lines with a number of cars ahead of me, and it's never taken more than 10 minutes. Something was wrong at the store you visited.

With regard to the Ortega burger, I think you can still pay 10-15 cents more and get an Ortega added to any of their sandwiches. The Ortegas retain a little more of their true flavor than the onions but still aren't up to the real thing.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Jhlurie, you've got to read the chapter on Carl Karcher in Fast Food Nation. If you ignore all the commie propaganda in the book, you can learn some really interesting stuff about the evolution of junk food.

Well, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who had to filter through the "leftist screed" (my phrase) aspects of that tome. Aside from the politics, FFN gave a pretty good portrait of Karcher.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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