I've never eaten at a "Jack in the Box." How is it?
Keep in mind that I'm not an anti-chain guy or a food snob, so let me know what you really think of the place, comparative to Wendy's or Taco Bell and so on.
First and foremost it is a fast-food chain. I understand it is mainly in the western US. They probably have one of the widest varieties of burger and chicken sandwiches of all the fast food places, and have a pretty broad selection of salads and other sides as well. For the most part the food is very consistent, and overall not bad. It does have a bit of that "fast food" taste. The milkshakes are good, made with real ice cream. Oreo is my favorite shake. The onion rings are real, not a reconstituted pressed food product like the ones at Burger King. Overall, the food tastes better (to me) than McDonalds, the vegetables (onion, lettuce, tomato) are reasonably fresh/crisp, and the cheese products taste more like "real" cheese (unlike that sweet stuff they slap on at McD's. The burgers are cooked on a griddle, if you want the charcoal taste you won't get that from JITB. For me it is a toss up between JITB and Carls for best fast food burger, although both places are more expensive that McD's or BK. There are only a couple of Carl's near me, so if i want to spend the money for a better fast food/burger experience, I generally pick JITB.
Wendy's used to be pretty decent, and then the founder and visionary, Dave Thomas, died about--what? 10 years ago?--and IMHO the food's really gone down hill. Last time I was there (2 yrs ago) the Frosties tasted like cold chocolate-flavored sludge, the burgers were bland, the fries utterly forgetttable, the chili tasted like ground beef with water and a few squirts of ketchup in it.
I've heard McD's termed "the corporate deathburger" and I agree. Stay the hell away from the golden arches for everything *except* fries, which are excellent.
Jack in the Box has a checkered past. They've never been able to nail down a brand and stick to it, like McD's, BK or CJr did. They've tried to be all things to all people and it's really bit them on the ass. About 10-15 yrs ago they were offering Chinese food meals for dinner! Their tacos are pretty disgusting but could be a guilty pleasure, as per McD's fries or Taco Bell's crispy tacos.
If you want a good burger, look for a mom-and-pop stand in your town. If you ever visit California, then go to In & Out for some serious burgers! That's the best-tasting commercial burger I've ever had.
i don't like the fries at mcdonald's either.
though, i gotta say, they DID at one point used to be pretty good.
back in the day when they fried them in animal fat.
or was that a myth too?
but i do remember them tasting better many years ago.
i love bk's fries though....
Ah Jack In The Box. How is it is sort of a loaded question. I don't really care for their burgers personally, but I, like many others have a strange fascination with their tacos. They're really nothing special, just your standard American fast food taco with that strange meat inside, American cheese and deep fried, at which time some lettuce and hot sauce is added.
I am not really a fan of fast food, but when I go for it, I usually seek in this order:
Jack In the Box
i was gonna say, i love jack in the box's tacos!
i don't eat their burgers.
just the tacos.
when i was little there was a rumor about how jack in the box made their burgers with horse meat.
maybe that's why i still won't eat their burgers...
even though it may have been a lie...
If Jack in the Box made their burgers with horse, I would probably eat there once a month (as opposed to a couple of times in my lifetime). I'm dying to try it! Unfortunately, it's definitely beef.
For a hedonistic indulgence, try their Ultimate Cheeseburger, which is a huge hunk of meat and gooey cheese with a ton of mayonnaise slathered on it. If I didn't avoid fast food altogether, this is the trashy burger I'd be eating every week.
You are easily impressed... if you ever make it down to L.A. World Capital of Burgers... you should really try one of the many "Ghetto Burger Joints" like Dino's, Astro's, Troy's, Sparta's etc., A single Double Cheeseburger will contain more flavor than if you could concentrate 10 of those Ultimate Cheeseburgers into on.
The Ultimate Cheeseburger isn't anywhere near the top of my best burgers list, I'm just saying that among the fast food burgers I've tried it was pretty over the top in terms of the amount gloppy, gooey stuff they put in it. I don't think I've ever eaten anything with that much steaming hot mayo. However, my memory may be distorted by time because I haven't eaten anything from JitB or any of the big chains in at least 7 years.
I'd personally rate JITB's burgers above McD's, Wendy's or BK's. They melt their cheese, something that is sorely lacking in most fast food joints, and I dig their sourdough, greasy though it may be. The fries can be lackluster, though, since they're so thick and often end up kind of soggy. The curly fries are good though. Carl's has my favorite fries (crisscut) and BK is a close second, but only if you eat them immediately after getting them. McD's and Wendy's are always way too salty for me.
My rec: get an Ultimate Cheeseburger, mix a bit of hot sauce with ketchup, and dip. Not too shabby.
But like everyone says, there are better options out there depending on your location, whether it be a mom n pop place or a place like In n Out or Rally's/Checker's, which I also prefer to most of the national chains.
Jack's is the bomb. They do have the most variety of the fast food places. Their burgers aren't as good as Wendy's, which are the most old-fashioned drive-thru-like. But Jack's burgers are OK. I like the Sourdough Jack, which is served with bacon on two slices of sourdough Jack. The tacos are a cult favorite. They're deep-fried like the real street tacos and they have a mystery meat that's been the topic of many a thread in Chowhound. The onions rings are quite tasty, and the jalapeno poppers are good too -- they're the cheddar kind. The egg rolls don't suck. I'm not fond of their fries. But the milkshakes are amazing and the Oreo shake is pure evil it's so good.
But the best part about Jack is the commercials -- a real West Coast treat.