Archives for posts with tag: Checkers

Finishing up Classic Connoisseur before I dive into some new eats, we’re going to talk about Checkers’ Bacon Roadhouse Burger.

The Bacon Roadhouse Burger fits the current trend of jamming a lot of ingredients into a burger to make it stand out. While I tried this shortly after it had been released, it is still a regular part of the Checkers menu today. Checkers describes it as “double seasoned beef and cheese, crispy onion tanglers, BBQ sauce, and crispy bacon. Going in, I knew this thing was going to be fully loaded.

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Upon first glance, the burger actually looked like it’d be manageable. For all of its ingredients, it was packed well together. However, looking more closely, I realize that I’m going to be handling Texas Toast, which was not in the description! I understand the appeal of adding grilled buttery bread, but it makes the sandwich almost impossible to handle. It’s going to be slippery, hands are going to be extremely greasy, and I’m going to need a mountain of napkins to get through this thing.

I also noticed mayo. There is no need for mayonnaise on this monstrosity. As mentioned before, I’m not rational when it comes to mayo, I actively dislike it. The Bacon Roadhouse already has BBQ sauce, and mayo doesn’t even fit the flavor profile of the burger. It’s just there to add calories.

Digging in to the burger, the first bite tastes like the Rodeo Cheeseburger from Burger King, which makes sense since they share many of the same ingredients. Except Burger King doesn’t add mayo. The first ingredient to stand out was the onion tanglers. They were not fresh and tasted like they’d been under a heat lamp for a while. No real crunch, and they tasted overwhelmingly of onion, without any breading or seasoning.

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Luckily, the BBQ sauce was more of a dominant flavor. It was tangy and luckily not too sweet. It would have been fine to use this on its own to dress the burger, and not use any mayo. The burger itself was also pretty good! It actually tasted like beef and wasn’t just a filler to deliver the toppings. Between the good burger and not gross cheese, I’d be fine eating a regular cheeseburger at Checkers. I also really liked their bacon. It was crispy and salty and smoky and really added to the burger.

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At this point, I should note that the burger itself was sloppily put together, so I was having a hard time getting a bite with all the ingredients. I should also mention that the burger was incredibly greasy, almost to the point of being a turn off. Eating outside in humid weather was not helping. The burger was also falling out of the Texas Toast, which I felt detracted from the sandwich. I didn’t think it added enough flavor to make up for its slipperiness and likely addition of several hundred calories. A regular bun would have been fine and made the burger easier to handle. When I finally got a bite with everything, onion tanglers aside, it was quite good! The problem was I got too few bites like that.

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Overall, the Bacon Roadhouse Burger has some serious potential and is something I’d consider ordering again. Topping a cheeseburger with bacon, BBQ sauce, and onion rings/tanglers is hard to screw up, and Checkers did a pretty good job here. I’d prefer this with a regular bun and no mayo, and would probably specialize my order in the future to make the eating experience better. Also, better execution from the kitchen in properly putting it together and using fresh onion rings would bump this up a few notches.

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On our next stop of Classic Connoisseur, we’re visiting a Checkers in Florida. This trip provided two foods for me to sample. This post will tackle their Grilled Cheese Strips.

I should note that while I’ve known of Checkers pretty much my whole life, this was my first experience actually eating at one. Our location did not offer indoor seating, so the meal was eaten outside in Florida. Oppressively muggy weather and greasy food is not the best combination, but work had to be done. My first impression upon getting the bag of food was that I’d been handed a bag of grease. The bag was almost soaked through, and we did not receive enough napkins for the amount of food ordered. Also, a medium soda is 32 oz (or I was given the wrong soda size). I appreciate value, but that’s too much soda. Checkers experience aside, let’s get to the food.

The Grilled Cheese Strips are an ode to their more popular cousin, the mozzarella stick. Checkers probably figured that they could swap in some different cheese and create a familiar item, but one which is more likely to catch eyes than a traditional mozzarella stick. It did the trick for me. I’m not a huge fan of mozzarella sticks, which are really just a cheese delivery vehicle, but I like fried things and Checkers has good seasoning on their fried things, so I figured it was worth a try. I originally ate these in December 2014, and they do not appear to be on the menu any more. They had been available in four ($1.99) or six ($2.99) strip portions, which makes no sense. Most places, especially fast food restaurants, give you a discount when you order more of something. Regardless, since you can’t purchase them now, that information is irrelevant.

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The Grilled Cheese Strips were served piping hot. When looking at them, they resembled flattened mozzarella sticks, almost like someone had sucked out the cheese and just fried the breading. They had a nice golden brown color and looked crispy and well-seasoned. When I finally felt they were safe to bite, I was wrong. The cheese was basically liquefied instead the strip and I burned my tongue. Of course, that also meant my first bite was basically tasteless as I was concerned more with my scorched tongue than the cheese concoction.

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After a brief break, I tried them again, and it really did taste like a grilled cheese. The gooey orange cheese tasted like the cheap stuff you’d put on a grilled cheese you made yourself, and I mean that as a compliment. Because the strip is so thin, it maintains its crunch so it doesn’t become a gooey formless mess, like a crappy mozzarella stick. The seasoning was a bit of a let down because I really only tasted salt. If they had aggressively seasoned this with some pepper. I think that would have worked really well.

The first strip was fine to eat on its own as a curiosity, but after that the strips really could have used some sort of sauce, especially since they weren’t particularly cheap. The taste was a little monotonous and one note, and some marinara or hot sauce or dip would have elevated the side dish.

As a side item, it would be perfect to split the 4 piece with someone else. It’s a good little snack, and I think eating two without sauce is a fine portion, but I could never see myself wanting to eat six Grilled Cheese Strips at once.