Monday, November 24, 2008
TBG Eats: The Big Country Breakfast Burrito from Carl's Jr.
Current Weight: 165.6 lbs.
About a year ago, Hardee's introduced the Country Breakfast Burrito. It was famously labeled "food porn" by The Center for Science in the Public Interest, checking in at 920 calories and 60 grams of fat.
Oh, GOD, how I wanted one.
Unfortunately, here in California, the Hardee's brand is known as Carl's Junior – which, for me, means an absence of any southern-style menu items such as biscuits for breakfast or enormous burritos laden with country gravy.
That is, until a month ago.
Carl's Jr. has belatedly brought the Big Country Breakfast Burrito to its West Coast and Southwest-based restaurants. I scored one this past Sunday morning, less than a week after ingesting one metric ton of Taco Bell nachos. My justification was twofold: (1) I would be "good" for the rest of the day and (2) I would NOT order the "combo meal" accompaniment of a small coffee and hash browns.
Truth be told, I'd already had my morning coffee and the Big Country Breakfast Burrito comes pre-packed with a good-sized handful of hash browns. Its other ingredients include scramby eggs, ham, sausage, bacon, cheese and (with obnoxiously exaggerated air quotes) "country gravy".
Even though I really don't need the calories, I was stunned that "Big Country" was so…uhh…well, let's pretend there's an antonym for the word "big". It sat peacefully – with plenty of room to spare – at the bottom of the bag and didn't require the two-man lift to get it from the drive-thru window into my car.
The various members of the cured breakfast meat family did their part to save space, too. The pig pieces were too finely diced and too sparsely populated to pass along any of their salty goodness to my tongue.
And, don't get me started on the water-thin jizz that Carl's Jr. calls country gravy. Our friends at IHOP have proven for decades that good-ass white gravy can come from an industrial-surplus steel drum. Carl's version tasted like nothing and appears to have been portioned out by the teaspoon.
There was no way this snack-sized early-morning appetizer carried 60 grams of fat within its flavorless filling. Sure enough, the Carl's Jr. version is roughly 75% of its Hardee's equivalent in fat and calories. For those of you who can only afford the occasional artery bomb, save your indulgence and your money.
Grade: 2 (out of 5)