Monday, July 03, 2017

French Fry Diary 739: Whataburger

After over a decade of French Fry Diary, and literally over a hundred requests and recommendations for Whataburger, certainly the chain is on my French Fry bucket list. So when we made the move from New Jersey to Florida, and Jacksonville was on our route, we definitely had to stop at the Whataburger there and try it out.

Whataburger was started in 1950 by entrepreneur Harmon Dobson, whose idea "to serve a burger so big that it took two hands to hold, and so good that after a single bite customers couldn't help but exclaim, "What a burger!"" Starting in Corpus Christi, TX, the chain expanded to nearly 800 restaurants across the country, mostly in the south, but pretty much except for the northeast where I formerly resided.

The GPS was a bit wonky finding Jacksonville's Whataburger, but eventually our caravan found it. Besides The Bride and myself, we also had along friends David and Johnny, who were helping us drive our cars to our new home in Florida. Snowy the cat sat in his box in the car while we had burgers and fries, but don't worry, the windows were inched open, and I brought him some burger afterward to munch on. Snowy is a tough bruiser of a cat, and well loved and cared for - if he ate fries, I would have gotten him those too.

We ordered - burgers, fries, and onion rings - and got a number for the table just like Chick-fil-A also does these days. We got our sodas (Coca-Cola products) and they brought our food to us. I got a plain burger as I usually do, and was impressed that there were code words - 'plain and dry' - for the special order. Places where there are such names (like off the grill for Krystal, natural for Red Robin, or plain jane at the old Burger Chef, etc.) have lesser chance of screwing it up, which I like. The burger was also quite big, and very good. I was impressed.

The fries were shoestrings similar to McDonald's with a good crisp to them. They came in standard paper sleeves, and if you 'Whatasized' your meal, you got a box similar to a popcorn box full of fries. The onion rings looked beer battered, but they probably weren't - sweet but a little greasy, but not as greasy as they looked. I wanted to try the root beer milkshake they were advertising, but I was too full.

I suppose we could go back, but Jacksonville is far enough away at this point to warrant an airplane flight so maybe not. At least I got there once, but if it was closer, I'd definitely go more often. And I get to cross Whataburger off my bucket list now.

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