The Great Hardee’s Mystery

Is anyone else still reeling from the season finale of Orange is the New Black? I just finished it last night and I’m going to need a lot more time to process. Season 4 was seriously intense.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about Hardee’s.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I took a solo road trip to South Carolina to visit my cousin. I got hungry somewhere in North Carolina and started to look for a quick and easy place to grab some dinner. I was hoping for something other than the usual McDonald’s and I came across a Hardee’s.

I’d been to Hardee’s before as a teenager and possibly as a kid. There may have been a couple of locations in Pittsburgh, and I definitely ate at one in Erie. Either way, it had been years since I’d been to a Hardee’s and I was happy to have found something a little different that was right there on the highway.

As it turned out, the food was identical to Burger King’s. I wasn’t a fan of Burger King at the time (they still had those battered fries that I just couldn’t get down with) and so I was bit disappointed. They must be sister companies or at least get their stuff from the same place because it was the Exact. Same. Food. However, no one knew what I was talking about when I said the food was identical to BK’s. They all thought I was crazy. I had been alone on this trip and there was no one to back up my claims.

Fast forward to earlier this year and I’m driving through Millvale for work. Lo and behold, I pass a Hardee’s! I had no idea there was one in Pittsburgh and despite my disappointing experience in NC, I had to try it again. I wanted to know if the food was the same as BK’s and that I wasn’t crazy. So one evening after work when I was driving back from that general area, I decided to make a stop and grab some food.

In order to get a good scope on the food, I ordered chicken strips with ranch dressing and buffalo sauce, a cheeseburger and fries. The chicken strips were decent and the buffalo sauce was good. The ranch dressing came in a packet and I wouldn’t eat it on its own, but the buffalo sauce masked the taste of the ranch while the ranch balanced the heat of the buffalo sauce. BK used to have chicken strips but I don’t think they were the same as these. The fries were cold, limp shoestrings. Not terrible but nothing like BK’s. The cheeseburger, however, was 100% hands down a Burger King burger. Other than the pickles being on the bottom, it had the exact look and flame-broiled taste as a Burger King burger. I like BK’s food these days (they changed their fries a while back) so I didn’t mind this burger at all. However, all of the food was cold and the cheese on the burger wasn’t melted. It was all kind of eh.

So I was half right. Or a third right, I guess. One out of three items was identical to Burger King’s. The mystery has been solved and, unfortunately, I won’t be in any rush to get back to Hardee’s.

Which fast food restaurant is your favorite?



  1. It depends on what I want. For salad – Wendy’s BBQ Bacon Chicken Salad, for Chicken Sandwiches – Chick-fil-A (best grilled nuggets and sandwich) and for burgers I don’t have one I really like but I guess BK because they are grilled not fried.


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