Here's why the Carl's Jr. Breakfast Burger was a huge flop

With the crispy hash rounds and bacon-topped burgers from Hardee's in existence, it makes sense that there was excitement from fans when restaurant cousins Hardee's and Carl's Jr. (both owned by CKE restaurants since 1997) announced a breakfast burger. The sandwich has actually been available for years, but no one has really talked about it. Simply called "The Breakfast Burger," this 830-calorie-sandwich boasts, "Charbroiled all-beef patty, crispy bacon, egg, American Cheese, Hash Rounds®, and ketchup on a seeded bun," (via Carl's Jr.). And we have to admit, there's a whole lot of food here for the price. 

Some eaters really liked this new sandwich, with one review from 2017 stating, "Great surprise with the hash inside. Very well made... perfect breakfast for a hardworking day..." (via Instagram). Carl's Jr. themselves added to the conversation with comment, "We made that one fully stacked so you don't have to think about sides. Enjoy." It definitely seems like the entire breakfast meal was all added into the single bun — all it's missing is a coffee or orange juice sauce (please don't actually, Carl's Jr.). Unfortunately, though, not all of us want nor appreciate a breakfast mashup.

Unfortunately, this breakfast burger from Carl's Jr. flopped

Much like the year 2020, "The Breakfast Burger" came in with fanfare and high hopes and was crushed to a pulp, now limping along, happy to at least be in one to-go wrapper. Says LA Weekly reviewer Malcom Bedell in 2014, "Before you even unwrap the package, you can almost see all of the plans you had for the day leaving you, your ambitions swirling the drain with the self-respect that you already lost last week. After unwrapping the burger, the second thing you notice is that it seems to have been prepared in the lavatory of a moving Greyhound bus to Minneapolis."

Despite the jarring description, is the breakfast burger really that bad? Ignoring food purists who don't want their sides touching other sides, there's nothing specifically wrong with the burger. It's the same quality and cooking process that Carl's Jr. uses for lunch and dinner. The problem might be that Americans don't like eating dinner for breakfast (via The Atlantic). Worldwide, many cultures will eat the same foods for morning and evening meals, but Americans, as a whole, don't. Says New York University's professor Krishendu Ray, "The strict differentiation of meals is partly an American thing, but partly a thing of upward mobility."

This burger's flop may have a lot less to do with CKE restaurant menus and a whole lot more to do with American ideas about breakfast. As for us, hashrounds and ketchup without the burger, please.