06/24/14 by Rennie Detore
Carl's Jr., the hamburger and chicken sandwich chain, is doing what a lot of fast food restaurants do, and that's throw caution and creativity to the wind and seeing what sticks.
This time around, it's mashed potatoes.
Carl's Jr. is testing out a new hamburger that says so long to the lettuce, tomato and onions and instead tops their famed beef patty with a little potato action. The Carl's Jr. "Mashers" is a hamburger topped with not only mashed potatoes but also gravy and onion straws, just in case the beef, potatoes and roll weren't enough to fill your expectations and stomach.
It's hard to say how the "Mashers" sandwich will fare in an already competitive fast food marketplace that includes heavy hitters like McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's. But kudos for Carl's for thinking outside the box and bun to the point that they appear to be reinventing the hamburger beyond the traditional toppings.
The "Mashers" might turn out to be a huge success and find a place alongside other iconic sandwiches like the the Whopper or Big Mac. Then again, the "Mashers" could easily turn into just another mouth watering mess of a burger that is quickly cast aside and forgotten.
And Carl's Jr. wouldn't be the first, or last, fast food chain to have high hopes for one of its menu items, only to watch it chewed up and spit out by the critics. Even the most lucrative and impressive fast food chains can put at least one or two terrible ideas on their resume.
1. McDonald's "Arch Deluxe": This is an easy one. What does a 100 million dollar advertising, coupled with a burger that really isn't anything special other than a piece of peppered bacon, get you? The answer: the top spot of sandwich swings and misses in the form of the Arch Deluxe from McDonald's. Ronald and company spent a small fortune to promote this burger, and nothing ever materialized beyond an initial curiosity. Sadly, this won't be McDonald's only spot on this top five list.
2. Wendy's "Frescata" sandwiches: Call me crazy, but there weren't bad by any means, but they failed to follow the one cardinal rule of fast food: they weren't necessarily fast. Wendy's claims these sandwiches took too long to make, and thus quickly were shown the exit door. Customers aren't about to wait more than a handful of minutes for their food, even if it means eating something that is relatively healthy within the fast food genre. Poor Frescata, we hardly knew you.
3. McDonald's everything that wasn't a burger: OK, so this one basically lumps together everything McDonald's attempted to do as far as branching out beyond the burger. This billion dollar chain tried its hand at everything from hot dogs to pasta, but the United States crowd couldn't have cared less. There was even reports that a few McDonald's actually had the "McLobster," which featured lobster on a hot dog bun, not exactly a reminder of your last trip to Martha's Vineyard.
4. McDonald's Hula Burger: This is starting to look like the pick on McDonald's list but they've had a few awful burgers. Credit McDonald's for at least attempting to try different things, but you have to wonder who thought a pineapple hamburger and pita sandwich would be bona fide winners on their already established menu.
5. Burger King's "Enormous Omelet Sandwich": Where to begin with this monstrosity? If oatmeal with fruit is the protagonist at the breakfast table, then the Enormous Omelet Sandwich was pure villain. Eggs, bacon, sausage and cheese rolled on a huge sandwich bun begged the question: Are you going to live after breakfast? This sandwich was everything that is wrong with the obesity epidemic in the country. Eating one of these sandwiches meant you'd feel terrible about yourself all day, and basically, due to the calorie, fat and sodium content, wouldn't be able to eat anything else for the entire day.
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