Hardee’s Baby Back Rib Burger is a hamburger featuring a topping of boneless baby back ribs along with Mississippi Honey Barbecue sauce, crispy onion straws, and dill pickle chips. When I first heard that this burger was coming to Hardee’s, I was instantly excited by the prospect of tasting it and Hardee’s instantly shot up to the front of my list of lunch destinations. The burger can come with a 1/4 pound patty or a 1/3 pound Thickburger patty. The cost was $5.99/$6.99 for just the sandwich and $7.99/$8.99 for a small combo meal at my local Hardee’s. I decided to make this a feast and went with the 1/3 pound Thickburger.
While I would usually start my review with some exposition, I will jump straight to the conclusion for this one: the Hardee’s Baby Back Rib Burger was one of the most disappointing fast food items I have ever eaten. The promotional art shows a sizable portion of ribs on top of the burger, while what I received was a pittance that did not even cover half of the surface area of the burger and looked like they came from a pig that was not fed nearly enough. While I am aware that setting expectations based on promotional art is only for the most naïve of fast-food patrons, this burger was so far below what was advertised that even someone such as myself who always sets the bar of expected quality low feels cheated.
To add insult to injury, when I sacrificed a part of my ribs to taste them, I was met with a piece of rib meat so dry and tasteless that even the large amount of barbecue sauce smothering it could only make it tolerable. They couldn’t even have the decency to make the small amount of ribs they put on the sandwich be of high quality, which is something that is expected when the small combo meal costs almost $10 after tax.
While the ribs above the burger were awful, were at least the onions and pickles below the patty any good? Unfortunately, the answer to that is a sound no. While they are advertised as crispy, the onions were soggy and did not resemble onion straws at all, instead looking like pieces of whole onion that were lightly and poorly fried. They, along with the pickles, were also both scarce and added practically nothing to the burger.
With the small amount of bland ribs, onion, and pickles on this burger along with the large amount of admittedly tasty barbecue sauce, this burger felt just like a burger smothered in barbecue sauce when I ate it. Considering the fact that I have never had a bad burger at Hardee’s up to this point, this burger was extra disappointing for me. My recommendation is that anyone considering this burger stays away, and if you plan on going to Hardee’s, consider getting one of their standard Thickburgers that will leave you more satisfied and with more money left in your wallet.