Hardee's adds sliced steak to big hamburger; nutritionist says, 'What's next -- a pork chop?'

Thursday, April 20, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- As if the Hardee's family of Monster Thickburgers didn't offer enough meat, the company's latest version adds steak meat on top of an already large slab of beef.

The meat-on-meat Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger, launched Tuesday, features one-third of a pound of Angus beef, along with both Swiss and American cheeses, green peppers and onions. And piled atop that is thinly sliced steak meat.

"We actually found in this case, the only way to make a burger taste like a cheesesteak was to literally put the steak on it," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for the St. Louis-based chain.

Not surprisingly, the sandwich isn't for the diet-conscious. It has 930 calories and 63 grams of fat. That's a full day's worth of the recommended amount of fat, and almost half the recommended 2,000 calories.

By Hardee's standards, it's not that extreme. The chain's Monster Thickburger has 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat. Overall, Hardee's offers five sandwiches with more than 1,000 calories.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based advocate for nutrition and health, said Hardee's continues to add unhealthy offerings at a time when the nation suffers from an obesity epidemic.

"What's next -- a pork chop on top?" CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley asked. "I'm always amazed -- they can always go one step further than I can imagine."

Hardee's makes no apologies.

"We have salads on our menu, we have charbroiled chicken breast and a variety of low-carb options," Haley said. "But we don't see anything wrong with making the delicious, decadent burger available to people who want it."

The Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger is being offered for only the next three to five months, though Haley said it will last longer if customer demand is there.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: