MUNCHMOBILE: Big Mac vs. Big Carl

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Food

(A much belated) WEEK 8 — BIG MAC vs. BIG CARL

Big Carl and Big Mac

The contenders: Big Carl vs. Big Mac.

In the history of mankind, there has never been a bigger fast food chain than McDonald’s. That being said, the biggest and most famous burger in all world has to be the Big Mac. Ever since the days of our infancy, we knew the Big Mac to be the mother of all burgers. As teenagers, we knew we were almost reaching our adult years if we could finish a Big Mac meal with ease. Known for its two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun, this burger has been iconic for decades.

For years no one dared take a stab at the burger of all burgers — until now. Just recently, up-and-coming fast food joint Carl’s Jr. came up with their own version of the Big Mac, cleverly named the Big Carl. They have flooded the airwaves with direct competitive advertisements that poke fun at the McDonald’s powerhouse. They claim to have bigger patties, more cheese and a better price.

These audacious claims led our Munchmobile crew to question if Carl’s Jr. really had something on their hands. Could their new Big Carl duke it out with the reigning world champ? We sent two of our fiercest munchers, Ben Wagner and Jake Welch, to see which burger packed more punch. The results? Well, just read and find out.

Ben Wagner

This was the UMFC (the Ultimate Munchmobile Food Championship) and this week our two heavyweights duked it out in the octagon of my stomach. The contenders were McDonald’s favorite the Big Mac and the underdog, the upstart Big Carl. I’m not the biggest fan of McDonald’s, but I’m the first to admit that on some days a Big Mac can really hit the spot. Therefore, I was suspicious that the Big Carl could reproduce the success of the Big Mac, and I was right in thinking so.

While the Carl is certainly superior to the Mac when it comes to the size and quality of the meat, the Big Mac has it in a submission hold on taste. The patented special sauce of the McDonald’s specialty is its strong point, giving it flavor that sets it apart from other fast food burgers. The Big Carl had no chance; In trying to recreate the special sauce, you’re Big Carl comes complete with a sauce that tastes like a bad batch of fry sauce from Arctic Circle. Without the flavor of the special sauce, the Big Carl just can’t compete with the Big Mac — or even the other excellent burgers Carl’s Jr. has to offer. If you’re at your local Carl’s Jr., you’re much better off with one of their patented “Six-Dollar Burgers” than the Big Carl.

The winner by knockout: the Big Mac.

Jake Welch

Upon receiving the challenge to choose between these two behemoths, I made the very poor decision to take on both burgers at the same time. It was around 11:37 p.m. and I hadn’t eaten since 11 a.m., so I was pretty famished. At the time, it seemed like eating both burgers in one sitting was a good idea. Not so, my friends. No matter the circumstances, do not try this at home (or at any location, for that matter.)

After purchasing the two burgers, I found a place where I could sit quietly and digest in peace. I decided I would take a few bites from the contender, the Big Carl, because it looked the more appetizing of the two. I was pleasantly surprised to get a mouthful of delicious beef and cheese. These patties tasted like they were fresh off the grill and had something to prove. The sauce was lacking but, boy, did the beef bring it. After a few more mouthfuls I made my way over to the Big Mac. Upon lifting the burger out of the box (which was very classy) I couldn’t help but notice the diminutive nature of the patties. Those darn commercials were right — those pieces of meat weren’t pieces, they were bits. Nevertheless, I took a bite into the Big Mac and I received confirmation that there was very little beef. However, where the Big Mac lacks beef, it makes up for it in the special sauce.

From there I went back and forth between the two burgers, munching and nibbling, trying to decipher the better burger. On one hand, there was the Big Carl, who boasted some bodacious patties; and then there was the Big Mac that had all the flavor one could handle. Amid this difficult decision, I glanced over to my receipts for some help and there lied the deciding factor. The Big Mac was $3.87 while the Big Carl was $2.72. Case closed.

The winner in a knock-down, drag-‘em-out slugfest: the Big Carl.

In the end, our two munchers disagreed — but there was a lot learned on their trip to the land of big burgers. The Big Carl boasted some big flame-broiled patties, while the Big Mac held on strong with its special sauce. In this case, it looks like to each his own. Here at Rhombus, we want to know what you think about these two burgers. Feel free to take the challenge yourself and then tell us your thoughts. Just remember, don’t try and take on both at the same time, no matter how hungry you are.

Taken the challenge? Got an opinion? Have an idea for a future Munchmobile destination? Feel free to comment in the space below, send a tweet to @rhombusmag or e-mail us at

Jake Welch and Ben Wagner are correspondent for Rhombus, who specialize in sports and tech, respectively. However, when their powers combine, they becomeCaptain Planet the Munchmobile crew! Follow their deep, burger-powered thoughts on Twitter @jraywelch and @ben_wagner.


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