Many, many years ago I was once a young newlywed. I was even very thin.
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My husband and I started our life together in Corpus Christi, Texas, the home town of Whataburger. We even worked in the same office building in downtown Corpus Christi and right across the street from us on the ground floor of another office building was a large Whataburger restaurant. Whataburger was flanked by several other restaurants serving salads, low calorie munchies and other health related foods. While working downtown I would pop out of my office and grab a quick salad and eat at my desk most days. My husband and I rarely had lunch together due to conflicting schedules. Once, though, he brought me to Whataburger in an effort to introduce me to their great burgers. I relented and put the paper-like texture of my daily salad aside and made a pig of myself with a huge, fully loaded Whataburger and onion rings. I inhaled my lunch like a starved puppy. Boy, did I ever feel guilty. I spent the rest of the week punishing myself with salads with no dressing - not even the low-cal kind. Can you say "pathetic"? I was such a health nut back then. Fortunately I got over it. And how.
A few weeks after my original trek into Whataburger, I did it again. This time it was a bacon cheeseburger with extra ketchup. And onion rings. My co-workers only stared. A few days later, in an effort to be healthy, I opted for the chicken sandwich. Somehow I think the extra mayo canceled out any vague attempt at healthy eating. And the french fries. Soon it became an obsession with me. I would start thinking about lunch at least an hour before the appointed time. A Whatacatch? Maybe an apple pie for dessert? It had been at least four days since my last bacon double cheeseburger. If I added a side salad to that would I somehow redeem myself in the eyes of my co-workers? (these days I wouldn't even ask myself this question - remember, I was young and faintly impressionable) The health-conscious, work-out-aholic had definitely fallen off the wagon and was tumbling down the road covered in ketchup and onion ring crumbs. But, boy was I enjoying myself.
Then one day, those few little words that you've never heard before, that you've sort of looked forward to but at the same time they could bring the strongest person to their knees trembling in fear, was uttered loud and clear across the lunch table. "You must be pregnant." I stopped mid-bite, hovering over my mustard-dripping, tomato-filled,pickle-bulging cheeseburger and diet soda and gawked at the elderly mother of five sitting across from me. Blink. Blink. Naaaah, couldn't be.
Yep, 'twas. I had been incubating a human bean for at least six weeks, feeding him from the Whataburger menu. Seven and a half months later we welcomed a healthy baby boy - a boy who has always craved Whataburger Bacon Cheeseburgers with lettuce only. I kid you not.
The Whataburger chain is over fifty years old and has grown from one portable building in Corpus Christi to 500 locations in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and even Mexico. Whataburger takes pride in providing an over-sized burger, made when you order it and loaded with the freshest ingredients. In all my years of eating their burgers, this pledge has remained consistent.
The base price for a Whataburger is in the $1.50 to $2.00 range. Adding extra cheese and bacon contributes to the higher cost, but not much. Keep in mind, these are large burgers, not McDonald's size. In addition to burgers, Whataburger also serves the Whatachicken, Whatacatch (fish), salads with or without grilled chicken strips, fried chicken strips with Texas toast and gravy. For breakfast, the taquitos are always a favorite. With an extra spicy kick, the taquitos are served with the choice of bacon, eggs, potatoes and cheese.
Their french fries deserve a paragraph all their own. These fries are undoubtedly the best I've ever tasted. Always hot, with the perfect amount of salt, these fries far outweigh the old favorite, McDonald's. When ordering for the whole family, it's always advisable to order an extra serving of fries for the drive home. We learned this after someone always ended up missing their fries and didn't notice the empty french fry bag under the driver's seat.
The Whatameals are simplest to order. A number one is a Whataburger with mustard and all the extra's, large fries and a large drink. A number five is the Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and drink. When it is necessary to have a drink on hand, such as on the way to the baseball field for a game, order it this way. However, if going home, order the burgers and fries separately and save money on the drinks. Even a seven-year-old realizes that $1.59 for one soda costs more than a 2 liter bottle at the grocery store and the bottle makes at least six big drinks.
I would love to be able to pretend that these burgers are low fat and low calorie. Unfortunately, that is far from the case. A simple Whataburger is 596 calories and 29 grams of fat. A small order of french fries have 240 calories and 14 grams of fat. Lunch eats up the average person's daily limit of fat grams. Is it worth it? Let the eater decide. Along with expecting a freshly made burger, expect a wait, even in the drive-thru lane. You won't regret waiting patiently, unless you have a car full of screaming, shoe-throwing boys. Then I suggest a helmet, but that's another review . . .
In conclusion, it is with a clear conscience that I recommend Whataburger to any and all people who live in the aforementioned states. And, if to or from a road trip with a car load of kids, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be enjoyed if stopping at a Whataburger.