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Hardee's opinions wanted.

Ok my “southern” Chowhounders I need some help or advise from you. It has been brought to my attention the chain Hardee’s is looking to make a presence for itself in the New Jersey Market where I am located. I have been told that from Delaware South Hardee’s is the preferred fast food/burger restaurant than Mc’Donalds or others of that nature in its competing areas.

I did a search and found Hardee’s mentioned in a few threads but didn’t find any dedicated to it so I’m starting this just to hear as many opinion of the good and bad of the Hardee’s restaurant(s) as a whole. Give me your opinions please….your responses are greatly appreciated.

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  1. The good - For fast food burgers, Hardee's food is genuinely good. The burgers are reasonably tasty, although I can't comment on the LTO's and "fancy" loaded burgers since I generally prefer simpler burgers. The onion rings are actually good. The best fast food onion rings IMHO, at least among those available in my area. The ice cream is hand-dipped and IIRC, it's Hershey's so you should be familiar with it. Not the best, but at least it's real ice cream, as opposed to say Chick-Fil-A's "ice dream" AKA ice milk. They have semi-table service, meaning you order at the counter and the food is brought to your table.

    The bad - To me, it's their advertising and what it says about how they feel about their customers. Except for their most recent commercial which, in a big change for Hardee's is all about beefcake, their commercials are all highly sexualized and usually come down to watching a well-endowed woman have sex with a hamburger. I'm sure many of you have no problem at all with that but I have a big problem with what that says about the company's attitude about women and what type of customer they hope to attract. As a result, even though I like Hardee's food I generally avoid eating there. The choice, of course, is purely up to you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rockycat

      I can't imagine anyone calling their food "preferred" in the South. We have 4 in our (Southern)city, and they are only located in bad neighborhoods. I can't imagine eating in one, so I can't vouch for the table-service. The food is average fast food - not great, not terrible (except the chicken strips - yuck!). It's never very hot or fresh. Breakfast sandwiches are slightly better than other FF places. I find the prices equal to, or even a little higher than McD's and the like.

      I did, however, get a sausage biscuit at a Hardee's in Alabama that was one of the best things I ever put in my mouth. Maybe it depends on management or staff, but they were definitely serving different food that other Hardee's locations.

      1. re: rockycat

        Since I've never had their ice cream products I went to their site and checked the ingredient list of the ice dream

        Icedream (whole milk, sugar, nonfat dry milk, cream, corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, dried whole eggs, cornstarch, mono and diglycerides, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, carrageenan, sodium phosphate, guar gum, sodium citrate, annatto and caramel colors, artificial color [Yellow 5 & 6]). Cone (enriched flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate {vitamin B1}, riboflavin {vitamin B2}, folic acid], contains 2% or less of cornstarch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, soy lecithin, baking soda, salt, annatto [for color], vanilla).

      2. I hit their Bridgeville DE location on the way to or from the beach a couple times a year, usually at breakfast time.

        Biscuit sandwich with breaded pork chop and sausage gravy.

        What else do you need to know?

        1. I do not think they are the preferred burger/burger restaurant in the South at all. They are definitely further down the list when compared to McD, BK, Wendy's and even Chic-fil-a (fast food, not burgers). I think their breakfast biscuits are better than any other FF biscuits, but they are super greasy. I rarely eat a burger there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dax

            Preferred is a matter of opinion (and sales figures), of course, but before Hardee's was bought out by the Carl's Jr. people they were headquartered in Rocky Mount, NC where the first company store was located. The story goes that Ray Kroc got the idea for the design of the old McDonald's buildings from Hardee's. I don't know if that's true,though. There is a certain amount of home-town/regional pride, though.

            I did forget about Hardee's breakfast biscuits. They'e pretty darn good and I love me some tenderoin biscuit. But then again, Bo's breakfast biscuits are excellent, too, and no social baggage associated with Bo's.

            1. re: rockycat

              The country ham biscuits are the real deal too. There is one on the way to the BHM airport so I pass by there frequently and sometimes stop in for a breakfast biscuit.

          2. I'll give you the Coles Notes version.

            It's an above average FF place. You'll not give up a good Indy for it but it beats most in it's class.

            DT

            1. I like that they do table service, but the quality of their food is all over the map, in every sense of that phrase. After having gotten some truly good fried chicken at several of them in Nashville, I recommended that during a trip with my brother. So we stopped at one in Poplar Bluff, MO, and there had some of the most wretched chicken either of us had tasted. Snotty service, too.

              Out here in SoCal they're all Carl's Jr., and I'm quite fond of their Six Dollar Burger. Again, some locations have been better than others. My only caveat would be to ask for "sauce" (it's really just mayo) on the side, since otherwise the bun won't make it through the meal without dissolving.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen

                Carl's Jr and Hardees are not the same. Not by a long shot.

                1. re: rasputina

                  They share the same look in their advertising since the buyout, and my understanding is that they share at least most of the menu. I know those biscuits are a big hit here.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    I've eaten there after the buy out. Yes, their sign looks similar. Their food surely was not.

                    1. re: rasputina

                      They are owned by the same company and share many of the same menu items, but in the south they have some specialty items.

                      1. re: malibumike

                        I've eaten at both, Carl's Jr just today actually and Hardee's most recently was last year. I have never eaten breakfast there so my comments are just about the non breakfast items.

                        Online, looking at their website you'd think they served the same food. But when I was there in person, the menu was not the same. Hardees had I think 2 similar type basic burgers as Carl's Jr ( IE the same basic burgers that every FF place has), but none of the other selections. None of the grilled chicken sandwiches for example. I don't like their french fries so I can't compare those but the onion rings at Hardees where not the same as Carl's Jr. And while I've had poorly prepared food at Carls before the food at Hardees was horrible.

                        Maybe this location was a fluke. I don't know, but I'm not wasting my money again to test it out. The only thing I finished of that meal was the drink.

                  2. re: rasputina

                    Carl's Jr bought Hardee's a few years ago, that is why the advertising is the way it is.

                  3. re: Will Owen

                    Table Service? Not in Alabama.

                    1. re: Dax

                      Nope. At least, not in Meridianville or HSV.

                      DT

                      1. re: Davwud

                        To be honest, that Poplar Bluff Hardee's was the last one I've been to, and that was maybe fifteen years ago. But after ordering we did sit down at a table and a rather snippy young woman brought the wretched remains to us …

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          My first visit to Hardee's was probably no more than 10 years ago. I'm of the opinion that they upped their game just prior. Which, if memory serves, is one reason why we decided to give it a whirl. Perhaps they did and it's better now. Perhaps we went in with low expectations and were surprised.
                          Either way, of all the FF burgers I've had, it's probably second in my mind.

                          I do love that they have Coke 0 on the fountain. I grab one pert neer every day when I'm at my SIL's.

                          DT

                          1. re: Davwud

                            Hardee's made what seems to me to be a big move into this area 20-25 years ago. They were the first national chain in several of the nearby small (pop. 1,000-3,000) towns. They did well for awhile and we were proud to have them.

                            I can't recall a new store being built around here in the past 20 years and can only think of two out of five that I have actually eaten at still being open.

                            I would try Hardee's again if I saw a reasonably prosperous looking location during my travels.