As advertised on the Carl's Jr. website, the California Classic seems to be an unapologetic knock-off of the famous In-n-Out Double Double. Consider the assembly: two beef patties, two slices of American cheese, Thousand Island, grilled onions, lettuce and tomato. Even the website wording "double meat, double cheese" will be familiar to those who grew up around the In-n-Out burger of similar construction. As is often the case, there's a bit of a difference between the food stylist picture (below) and what I received (above), but the real question is "how does it taste?"
The answer: Not bad. I like Carl's flame-broiled burger patties, so this sandwich does have the distinctive taste of Carl's. Overall, the sandwich was similar to the Big Carl - their Big Mac clone. Similar size, same patties and roughly the same ingredients. The Thousand Island sauce blended well with the grilled onions for a gooey, tangy topping that had me reaching for multiple napkins. The generous garden toppings - especially the two slices of tomato - were pleasantly surprising. And the meat and cheese make a salty, savory partnership.
Since we're comparing it with a Double Double from In-n-Out, we should check how the two sandwiches stack up nutritionally:
|Sandwich||Weight (g)||Calories||Fat (g)||Sat Fat (g)||Cholesterol (mg)||Sodium (mg)|
Wow. Rarely do two sandwiches from two different chains line up so well. Apart from the extra saltiness of the Double Double, the numbers are really close.
If I am craving this type of burger I will head to In-n-Out. I have that luxury. But if I'm headed to Carl's Jr. and trying to choose between this sandwich and one of my other favorites - this one is a contender. And the $2.49 promotional price certainly doesn't hurt.