Carl’s, Jr. has enlisted no less than the fabulous blonde supermodel Heidi Klum (of "Project Runway") to tout its new Jim Beam Bourbon Burger. Try to say that really fast. Now faster, without stumbling over the alliteration. OK, again.
Now get in line at your local Carl’s Jr. and say it. A server who keeps ketchup packets in her apron pocket will deliver said burger to your table. What you get: A fluffy golden brown bun scattered with sesame seeds, tomato, iceberg lettuce, paper thin pepper-jack cheese and a standard beef patty glistening with bourbon sauce. Of course, it's not just any bourbon but good ol’ Jim Beam, which before this moment I’ve encountered only poured over ice in a whisky glass.
Actually, it would be hard to peg this sauce as bourbon, even harder as Jim Beam. It tastes more like a peppery sweet-and-sour sauce from a Midwest Chinese takeout, darkened with blackstrap molasses. But not as sophisticated as all that. And be warned: There's quite a bit of said sauce. You'd be well-advised to bring along some wipes.
The beef itself has some authentic char, but not much more flavor than that. (OK, I had the Jim Beam Bourbon Burger with plain beef for $3.59 and 770 calories as opposed to the $6 Angus beef version at 960 calories.) Take a bite, the bun deflates to wafer thin, making the bourbon sauce even more prominent.
Best thing on the burger? The crispy matchstick onions (aka garlic onion straws) embedded in the sauce to give the burger some crunch. The bacon, cut so thin you could read your smartphone screen through it, doesn't add much to the experience.
I don’t know, but the burger just doesn’t look as luscious as the one preening for the Heidi Klum ad, a clever spoof of Mrs. Robinson seducing the Dustin Hoffman character in the film “The Graduate.”
The way she licks that sauce!
Hope they didn’t have to do too many takes.