Even Karl Malone couldn't deliver the long shot Hardee's burgers to a competitive Utah market, so the Mailman-hawked menus disappeared, only to reappear as California-based Carl's Jr. It's a takeover of some prime real estate, particularly at the downtown location, but not necessarily a prime offering in the burger business. A burger is a burger, and, generally speaking, "grabbing" is a more applicable verb than "dining."
Maybe the current Carl's marketing slogan, "Drip Happens," is really a marketing strategy geared to customers who prefer a burger spread from fingers to elbows before consumption is completed. That's what happens with the Super Star, a charbroiled double patty sandwich ($2.99) floating in cheese, mayo, ketchup, tomatoes and sliced onions. Condiments ooze away from the meat/bun stack to begin the "drip" and the battle to swallow the freshly cooked hamburger before it slides out of control. The special offer, Steak Out, a char-broiled steak sandwich ($3.99), provides a more intact alternative, partly because you must separately request the steak sauce. Basic burgers and those with assorted cheese or bacon toppings complete the beef selections. For chicken nibblers, a variety of layers top a hefty, grilled chicken breast: BBQ ($2.79); traditional Club Chicken sandwich, a fried chicken breast with ranch dressing is accented with bacon and Swiss cheese ($3.59) or served without bacon ($3.29).For those with fresh vegetables on their fast-food order list, Carl's Jr. represents a 20-plus-or-minus item salad bar, all you can eat ($3.49) or prepackaged dinner salads.
To complete the menu, kids order Chicken Stars ($2.49) or a Baby Burger ($1.99), both with fries, drink and a surprise. Breakfast includes several egg, bacon or sausage items, a burrito ($1.99) and French Toast Dips ($1.09), egg-dipped bread sticks with syrup. Desserts include strawberry, chocolate or vanilla shakes ($1.39), doughy chocolate chip cookies ($1.09) and pasty strawberry cheesecake ($1.29). The limited-time-only Fluffy Chocolate Pie ($1.19) attracts attention with a light mousse-like filling, real chocolate curls and a solid chocolate cracker crust.
Carl's Jr. is intent on expansion in the state, and maybe it will work.