The classic bacon-, barbecue sauce-, and onion ring-topped burger now comes in powder form.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
Updated May 20, 2019
Credit: Carl's Jr.

There are few side dishes more satisfying than loaded French fries topped with cheese, meat, and even gravy for some poutine action. Most fast food restaurants, however, have stuck to the classic plain potato sticks as their staple. Sure, Taco Bell has served fries with nacho cheese sauce and McDonald’s is adding some cheese and bacon on top by way of Australia, but by and large, if you order fries you’re going to get a paper sleeve of salted, crispy spears. Carl’s Jr., the chain of burger joints known for Six Dollar Burgers and putting on musicals (and not being the same as Hardees anymore), has a different idea for how to load up its French fries: With a seasoning made to taste like all the elements of the brand’s classic Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

Western Bacon Fries are available today at Carl's Jr. locations nationwide, and include natural cut French fries “coated in a brand-new Western seasoning that delivers all the taste of the Western Bacon Cheeseburger including BBQ sauce, charbroiled beef patties, cheese and even notes of the sesame seed bun.” Or, as Carl’s Jr. put it on Twitter, it’s like “sprinkling 1,000 tiny Western Bacon Cheeseburgers on your fries.”

Ahead of the launch of the fries, Carl’s Jr. gave me a taste of the Western Bacon Cheeseburger seasoning used on these fries by way of an entire bottle of the stuff.

As a big fan of WBCs, I was anxious to see how it measured up. I tasted the seasoning straight from the bottle and it certainly delivers on the smoky quality you’d expect from anything with bacon and barbecue sauce (perhaps overpoweringly so — I’ll assume that, when paired with fries as a delivery vehicle, the flavor mellows out a bit and blends with the carbohydrates). Considering part of what makes a WBC so delicious is the stratification of tastes and textures, it’s an odd experience to be able to pick them out from a powder. Nevertheless, they all seem to be there.

That’s not the only WBC innovation going on at Carl’s Jr. right now. The brand also introduced an even bigger Triple version of the burger with “three charbroiled all-beef patties, four slices of Applewood smoked bacon, melted American cheese, crispy onion rings and a tangy BBQ sauce on a seeded bun.” Both the Triple Western Bacon Cheeseburger and Western Bacon Fries are available at participating Carl’s Jr. locations while supplies last. According to Carl’s Jr., the chain sells a Western Bacon Cheeseburger every 1.13 seconds, so “while supplies last” may not last long.