The Other McCain

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Welcome To Texas! Hope You’re Hungry

Posted on | May 30, 2015 | 34 Comments

— by Wombat-socho

It’s been almost a year since my recon mission to Las Vegas, during which I reported on In-N-Out Burger and the Heart Attack Grill, and now that I am halfway back to Vegas it’s time for another post on hamburgers.

First, I am happy to report that Krystal continues to be the burger joint White Castle wants to be when it grows up. In addition to the “steamer” burgers and fried chicken sandwiches served on dinner rolls, Krystal also has corn dogs and chili dogs, both of which are decent. Ambience and price are much like McDonald’s, so if price is a concern Krystal is a very viable alternative to the Golden Arches.

Next up is Whataburger, justly celebrated in the comments to the previous burger post. So far I’ve had several of the burgers at a couple of different locations, and except for a tendency to go overboard with the mustard, they are darn tasty, doubly so with avocado. Onion rings likewise live up to the reputation. I have not had either the chicken sandwiches or the breakfast menu, but those aren’t really relevant to our topic; besides, I have a hard time believing anyone’s chicken sandwiches can meet the standard set by Chick-Fil-A.

Then there’s Jack In The Box, which disappeared from the DC area back in the early 1970s when I was in junior high school. The current version’s menu is a weird mix of burgers, chicken sandwiches, tacos, teriyaki chicken bowls, and grilled sandwiches. As you might expect from such a wildly varied menu, the quality isn’t great, but it’s a cut above Burger King and McDonald’s; as for the tacos, whether they are better or worse than Taco Bell’s is a matter of taste. They’re certainly cheaper.


  • Gahrie

    Back East, the Jack in the Box chain uses the Hardee’s name.

  • Gahrie

    If you like Chili burgers, you have to try Original Tommy’s. It is originally an L.A. icon, but they have opened at least one near Las Vegas.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Drive and travel safely and enjoy the trip! (I mean you stay safe, there are a lot of crazy drivers out there)

  • OrangeEnt

    Only if you like your chili dry….

  • OrangeEnt

    Try Farmer Boys in LV, it’s pricey, but tasty….

  • SDN

    Actually, no. Carl’s Jr is the Hardees parent. Here in Dallas, we have both Jack and Carls.

  • SDN

    Where are you finding Krystal in TX? There used to be one or two in Dallas, but not for 5 years or so.

  • Gahrie


    (I knew that…I had a brain fart)

  • Steve Skubinna

    Jack in the Box tacos are in a class by themselves. As tacos they’re no big deal, but as the apotheosis of snack food they are dead on. Hot and cool, crispy and soft, spicy and bland mixed up in every bite.

    Of course, the best time to have them is after eleven at night. The later you have them the better they are.

  • rodander

    Allow me to recommend the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich and the Patty Melt at Whataburger. Both are outstanding – best franchise fast food anywhere.

  • The Osprey

    Whataburger has a “tendency to go overboard with the mustard?” Infidel! Mustard is The One True Condiment!

  • Eric Ashley

    1. Krystal, in Huntsville, the Rocket City, not the Prison Place, doh, was known for its aromatic aftereffects when i was a wee lad if you know what I mean.
    2. While in Texas, get the UnderWhaterBurger with a Whattaburger burger and fresh fish on top.
    3. Mustard was invented to cover the taste of spoiled meat.

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  • Quartermaster

    Krystal is better than White Castle. We had both in Nashville before I moved to Ohio. I’ve never understood why White Castle sells their stuff in freezer cases. After having them fresh, I was never tempted to buy their stuff frozen.

    I remember Burger Chef from my time in San Antonio, my father’s last posting in the USAF. We never went to a Whataburger so can’t speak to them. Can’t see having avocado on beef, however.

  • Wombat_socho

    I apologize for being misleading. The Krystal’s I stopped at was in the Birmingham suburbs.

  • Wombat_socho


  • Wombat_socho

    It’s pretty awesome, especially with bacon.

  • Wombat_socho

    I have to agree. Compared to normal tacos, they are what Totino’s pizza rolls are to actual pizza.

  • Wombat_socho

    I swear, every other vehicle here in Texas is a jacked-up F-350 or the equivalent, and they don’t drive any slower than 65 mph. On the frontage roads.

  • richard mcenroe

    You TEASE!!!!!11eleventy!!!!!1

  • Quartermaster

    I likes me bacon. You can have the green thingy.

  • Steve Skubinna

    One of the characteristics of In-n-Out’s Animal Style is the patties are slathered with mustard before going on the grill. Then come the caramelized onions and extra sauce making the whole big wet sloppy mess.

    Jeez, I love those things. None where I live so it’s something to get while traveling.

  • Steve Skubinna

    I remember Burger Chef. My favorite was the Super Chef, made with a third pound patty.

  • WJJ Hoge

    Ah, the Krystal … Growing up in Nashville, the Krystal on West End near Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University was my favorite burger joint. Burgers at the Krystal were a dime back then. You could get four Krystals, fries, a slice of coconut creme pie, and a Coke and change from a dollar.

    One night, back in the ’70s, Steve Martin was doing a gig at the grad student pub at Vanderbilt. During the show, he passed the hat for a collection and had a girl from the audience count the take. At the end of the show, he took the audience across the street to that Krystal and ordered 357 cheeseburgers.

  • Quartermaster

    I can remember when a Krystal was a nickel. That was the early 60s just before we went to Germany the second time. They were still a nickel in October ’69 when we got back, but went up shortly after that.

  • Quartermaster

    The was one in Cookeville, TN not far off the Tennessee Tech campus. I went there on occasion. It was the only one I saw after leaving Texas in ’71.

  • Quartermaster

    When I was in Hi Skool in San Antone, Huntsville was the metonym for prison.

  • Eric Ashley

    Indeed. When I travelled, and stopped at a rest stop, and chatted with some others….and we asked each other where we’re from, and I’d say ‘Huntsville’ they’d get a peculiar look on their face. And then I’d have to clarity it.

  • Rignerd

    Next time you get near a Whataburger try the Monterey Melt.

    I usually add Jalapenos and Bacon.

  • Wombat_socho

    I’ll have your avocado! I love it!

  • Wombat_socho

    I may do that.

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  • Markham Shaw Pyle

    When you do get to Houston… Lankford Grocery. Also, Beck’s Prime. Also, 59 Diner. That’ll do you.

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