Carl Jr’s: fastfood in Saigon

15 Jun

I didn’t know this fast food brand before I came to Vietnam. I have been to the USA a few times, but I had never seen it (fell in love with U Burger in Boston).

 

So once I was exploring the Vincom Center and discovering all the restaurants it has and then I saw the menu of Carl Jr’s. I instantly knew it was a real American fastfood. Can you guess why ?

It’s easy, they offer a Mushroom and Swiss burger on their menu. This is something I also discovered while I was staying in the USA and that I have never seen anywhere else. It might sound weird, but it’s actually a pretty good burger.
 

I still wonder why, but I took the Western bacon burger. In the restaurant it does not work as usual, you choose your burger, and then you can choose whether you want a Combo or not, which means taking small or large chips and a drink.
The drink is under the same system as in the USA, with free refills.
I personally don’t like sodas/minerals (I ate the bubbles), so each time I go to a fastfood I always have to specify I want another drink than Coca Cola (because if I don’t, I know they won’t ask me and give me this disgusting drink). It’s also always a mess to know what drinks they offer (at least when you’re not used to the fastfood, which I experience each time I’m not in a French Macdonald’s).

In Vietnam they sometimes offer local drinks I barely know (it’s difficult to try new drinks when you’re not sure if there are bubbles in it).
Furthermore, the Vietnamese fastfoods usually don’t sell the famous Vietnamese drinks that you can find in all the bars like Dr Thanh (iced tea!), Sting, C2 (iced tea!)… but local drinks that are not that famous.
So I’m trying to focus on what the waiter is telling me with his Vietnamese accent and at the same time trying to catch all the names I know and remembering them.

It is so silly. Why can’t they just put it on their menu?

Anyway, lucky me, Carl Jr’s offers Iced Tea (actually the machine gives hot tea, and if you want to have it cold, you need to get yourself splashed by the ice cubes machine).

My burger costs 89 000 dongs (about 3,40€) and the small combo 30 000 dongs (a bit more than 1€).

It was made with a barbecue sauce. I’m not a big fan of barbecue sauce so it destroyed a it the taste of the bacon and the cheese.
The chips are really good. Some of them still have a bit of their skin, they have a real shape of chips and I’m sure they are home-made. They salt them for you which bothers me (as I recently said in my post about The Mekong Merchant: https://eatingmodern.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/the-mekong-merchant/).
The burger was tasty too.

 

My friend took the Mushroom & Swiss burger. It was delicious! Maybe a bit too salty though. It costs 69 000 dongs (about 2,60€) and he took the large combo for 50 000 dongs (a bit less than 2€).

As you can see, fastfoods in Vietnam have nearly the same prices as in Western countries. Sometimes you feel that a fastfood is more or less a real restaurant for Vietnamese people. You always have to count about 100 000 dongs for a regular menu in a Vietnamese fastfood.
I sometimes go to my local KFC (Mcdonald’s isn’t implemented here) and they serve, apart from the fried chicken; coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and Vietnamese courses..! However, you can only get Pepsi there… and there is no cheese inside the burgers (apparently Vietnamese are not fond of cheese, The Laughing Cow is an exception).

 

When I went back there, I took the Mushroom & Swiss and my friend took the Famous Star with cheese. He said that it was even better (but waited to end his burger to tell me this so I couldn’t taste) than the Mushroom and Swiss. This one costs 79 000 dongs (about 3€).

So here is my bill! The VAT prices are written on the menu.
I truly believe that if you need a burger in Saigon, you’d rather head to Carl Jr’s instead of going to a restaurant. Their food is more than just the one of a fastfood and it is way cheaper!

Carl Jr’s:

Mark: 4,5/5
Just the salty chips which made me lower their mark.

Vincom Center
72 Lê Thánh Tôn
District 1, Saigon

I don’t think they have a website, but I found their Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carls-Jr-Vietnam/126840180676543

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