When I was a little kid, I perceived Carl’s Jr. to be fancy. It’s because my mom used to say Carl’s Jr. was too expensive, opting for cheaper fast food chains, like say, Naugles or, more likely, hamburgers cooked at home. So when I finally got to try it, as a guest of one of my more spoiled friends, I was pretty amazed at what I’d been missing. At my friend’s urging, I ordered the Western Bacon Cheeseburger (her mom made us order juniors) and couldn’t believe there were actually onion rings inside a burger. That blew my mind while barbecue sauce danced on and dazzled my 8-year-old palate.
Now, I can eat a Western Bacon Cheeseburger any time I want, but I never ever do. For one, it probably wouldn’t be as good as I remember, and two, I generally shy away from fast food meat. That’s why I squealed when I heard The Oinkster in Eagle Rock was doing a tribute to this burger for Burger Week — if anyone could do this concept justice it’s The Oinkster.
I was not disappointed. Their rendition, the Northeast Bacon Cheeseburger, was outrageously good. The best part was the panko-encrusted onion rings, which were crispy and flavorful. The applewood bacon and tangy house-made barbecue sauce added a smokiness that the original could only dream of. All this was anchored by that thick Oinkster patty and the American cheese that clung to it.
P.S. There’s still more Burger Week to enjoy—check out the schedule on my previous post. I’ll definitely be lining up for the Big Max on Sunday.
2005 Colorado Blvd.
Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.