Ben smitten by Hardee’s turkey burger

Thursday was a rare two-burger day for Ben. First he talked me into a quarter pounder with cheese after the final Wells Weighs In event, then he scored a Hardee’s turkey burger after that evening’s extra-innings baseball game. The only thing more surprising than the upset victory was his pronouncement that the bird burger topped the McDonald’s classic in taste as well as nutrition.

Ben meets the Hardee's turkey burger

He already knew the turkey burger was healthier, based on Hardee’s marketing blitz that touts their work with Men’s Health magazine. The turkey burger is 460 calories and 17 grams of fat for a 254 gram sandwich, while the quarter pounder is 510 calories and 26 grams of fat in a 198- gram package. In Weight Watchers points plus, the bird comes in at 12 points, vs. 13 for the quarter pounder.

Was it possible Ben was simply more ravenous when he ate the turkey burger? Unlikely. He’d eaten almost nothing before his 2 p.m. quarter pounder, and he pretty much inhaled both burgers.

“I like the topping arrangement more,” he explained afterward. “It has a better sauce. And the burger itself tasted better. But the bun was about the same.”

Curious what a more experienced burger eater would think, I checked in with my brother Brent. I was surprised to learn that he actually prefers the texture of turkey burgers, though he’d never had the Hardee’s version. I dropped a couple of burgers off at he and Darcy’s place last night, and he agreed with Ben’s assessment — once he removed the tomato, onion and lettuce.

“It was good,” he said. “If I were going to eat fast food by myself, and if I wasn’t going to Subway, I would go to Hardee’s and get that and eat it.”

Darcy wasn’t as thrilled with her mushroom and swiss turkey burger — though anything she has to say about food right now may be skewed because she’s pregnant.

She thought the cheesy sauce was too gooey and voluminous. Once she scraped some of it off, she thought the sandwich itself was decent — though in her view, it doesn’t compare to the McDonald’s cheeseburger, a childhood favorite.

“These really aren’t bad,” she said. “I mean, I would definitely eat it again. But then I’m not really a big meat eater. I would say it’s definitely better than veggie burgers out of the box (which she likes), but not as good as McDonald’s. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 7.5.”

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