In a burger battle royal, a rival to McDonald's Corp. came out swinging Wednesday, taking on the venerable Big Mac and talking smack about the Golden Arches' new Angus burger.

CKE Restaurants Inc.'s Carl's Jr. chain has launched the Big Carl, a double burger with cheese and a Thousand Island-style sauce. The burger is being launched with an ad campaign aimed at belittling the Big Mac.

The Carpinteria company earlier this decade pioneered the Angus burger concept for fast-food chains. Angus is considered superior to typical fast-food beef, and Angus burgers usually are bigger than the average chain hamburger. Carl's Jr. is known for its "Six Dollar Burger," and Hardee's for its "Thickburger," both of which contain nearly half a pound of meat and sell for $3.99. McDonald's last month launched a national roll-out of its similarly priced Angus burger line.

CKE Chief Executive Andrew Puzder called being "copied" by Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's "the highest form of flattery." But flattery apparently deserves a competitive counterpunch. "If they are going to go after us, turnabout is fair play, so we'll go after them," Puzder said.

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