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It’s flat, but is it good?

Special to The Times

The most memorable Carl’s Jr.'s ads are either overly goofy or overly sexy. A current spot for Carl’s new patty melts manages to be both. In it, two pubescent rappers rhapsodize about their love of “flat buns” while their smokin’ hot teacher (whose buns aren’t all that flat) thrusts erotically to the beat. Though tame by music video standards, the spot will no doubt offend some, either for its over-the-top sexuality or its unrealistic portrayal of public education. The patty melts are available in three sizes -- single patty, double patty and 1/2 -pound "$6" patty. All come with double cheese and grilled onions between two slices of toasted rye bread -- the much-touted “flat buns.” But here’s a question for teacher: Are they any good?

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weekend@latimes.com

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Carl’s Patty Melts

Taste [rating: 3 tongues]

Though these aren’t authentically grilled patty melts like those found in diners, they’re a decent approximation. There’s lots of meat and cheese, and the onions are thankfully not overcooked, so they provide both taste and texture. The rye bread has a good grilled taste, since the slices are lightly oiled before being toasted on the automatic broiler’s conveyor belt.

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Diet Watch

[rating: 2 scales]

You won’t have flat buns long if you eat many of these. A single patty melt has 570 calories and 32 grams of fat. Not great news if you’re trying to be healthier, but then you may be able to convince yourself that the onions provide some sort of substantial nutritional benefit.

Portability

[rating: 3 cars]

Surprisingly, these melts are fairly car-friendly. First, they’re wrapped in paper to keep the grease seepage to a minimum, but the more important thing is that the onions don’t fall all over the place. Guess all that cheese keeps the onions in their place.

Hype-o-meter

[rating: 4 exclamation marks]

Only time will tell if this ad will rank among Dennis Rodman’s hungry tattoo, Paris Hilton’s carwash, the hot chick riding the mechanical bull or the hick shaking a cow as one of Carl Jr.'s best. One thing’s for sure: Of all the fast-food commercials to feature the word “heinie” in a rap song, this one’s certainly the most inspired. (The ad is currently viewable at www.carlsjr.com.)

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Ratings are on a scale of one (lowest) to four (best).


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