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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.


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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      6 Replies
      1. re: KenWritez

        Why does nearly EVERYBODY on these boards claim that McD's fries are excellent? They haven't been good since about 1991 or so---or whenever they stopped using beef fat.

        And they are WAY oversalted. McDonalds sucks except for the fries is a persistent myth--

        The fries suck.

        1. re: antrobin

          plus they soak them in sugar water

          1. re: antrobin

            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?
            don't know.
            but i do remember them tasting better many years ago.
            i love bk's fries though....

            1. re: daylight

              How can anyone like BK's fries, imho they are the worst fries as far as chains are concerned.

              1. re: callitasicit

                i doubt i'm the only person in the world that likes them.
                just as i'm sure you're not the only person in the world that hates them!

            2. re: antrobin

              Speaking for myself, I make that claim because I *do* like them. So take a chill pill with your favorite fries. ;)>

          2. 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:
            Burger King
            Carl's Jr.
            Jack In the Box

            6 Replies
            1. re: virtualguthrie

              i was gonna say, i love jack in the box's tacos!
              so funny.
              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...

              1. re: daylight

                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.

                1. re: Humbucker

                  Want to take that to the next level? Try the BACON Ultimate Cheeseburger. Yeaaahhhh!

                  1. re: ajs228

                    I love bacon, but this is one of the few cases where I think bacon actually takes away from the goodness of the cheeseburger.

                  2. re: Humbucker

                    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.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      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.

              2. 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.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MeAndroo

                  Jack in the Box is a guilty pleasure. Burgers are ok. My favorite items are the tacos, bacon potato cheddar wedges (great depending on how crispy the fries are), and the jalepeno peppers.

                2. 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.

                  1. JitB's tacos, 2 for .99 cents, are great.

                    1. The 2 tacos for .99 are a gulity pleasure of mine, every once and awhile. They must be sprinkled with pixie-dust or something- as I eat it, I KNOW it's got to be bad for me, but it tastes soo good!

                      The bacon ultimate cheeseburger is tasty, cheesy and bacon-y..All 3 good things. The southwest pita chicken sandwich is -delicious- beyond words, with a better-than average salsa on it..I crave that at least once a month! It makes me think i'm eating heathier..Who knows, it may be allright in that regard. JITB is 24/7 here in Vegas, and that gets them quite a bit of business.

                      Their fries suck, and are my least favorite food item there. Best item? At the holidays they have eggnog shakes that make me jump around like i'm 10 years old again! I just adore them. The place knows how to make a good shake.

                      1. I've only had the curly fries....and they are awesome! They have a nice seasoned kick!

                        1. The high dollar sirloin burgers are pretty decent. I get mine without the mayo sauce, red onion and swiss cheese. It's never gonna be that good, it's Jack in the Box.

                          1. So let me get this straight. From what I've read they have (on their menu):
                            A variety of Hamburgers
                            Curly fries
                            onion rings
                            jalepeno poppers
                            potato wedges
                            egg rolls
                            Not to mention their breakfast items etc.


                            I live in Alberta and there isn't one here. In fact, I don't think they are in Canada at all. I've seen the commercials and find them interesting (that hot tub one....weird). Anyways, we are going to be in Seattle in August and although I rarely, if ever, eat fast food. I'd just want to go into one to see this menu! Haha. I would, however, try the tacos because, if I'm to eat fast food, I'll eat that at our local Taco Time (never had one at Taco Bell but, friends tell me I'm not missing anything). Deep fried?? interesting.....

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: livetocook

                              Taco Time tacos, IIRC, is more like a taquito such that it is cylindrical and deep fried. The ones at JITB are a half circle. I do not believe that Taco Bell has a deep fried version, but then again, I am not a huge fan of Taco Bell and their rehydration of many of their ingredients.

                              1. re: livetocook

                                I used to live in Oregon and I ate at Taco Time, and I can promise you, JitB's tacos are much stranger and much better for what they are: Deep fried half-dics of mystery meat*, cheese and lettuce, and a salsa I don't remember much about.

                                *A woman I once spoke with said her son worked for JitB and identified the taco meat as ground anchovy with beef flavoring. This would explain the odd taste and their ability to sell two tacos for 99 cents.

                                1. re: KenWritez

                                  Do people not read ingredient lists? Here's what's in the tacos, straight off Jack In The Box's website:

                                  Beef, Water, Textured Vegetable Protein (Soy Flour, Caramel Color), Soy Grits, Seasoning [Chili Powder (Chili Peppers, Spices, Salt, Garlic Powder), Wheat Flour, Taco Mix (Chili Pepper, Garlic, Salt, Spices, Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Onion), Imitation Beef Extract (Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy, Wheat and Corn Protein, Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate), Silicon Dioxide (added to prevent caking)], Salt, Tomato Paste, Worcestershire® Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor, Sulfiting Agent). Tortilla Ingredients: Ground Corn, Water, Lime. Cooked in Frying Shortening. Contains Soy, Wheat

                                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                    Yeah, they're bad for you. I'll still eat them on occasion.

                                    Re: anchovies would be too expensive...along the lines of the urban legend that McDonald's burgers are made of worms...per/lb worms are WAY more expensive then ground beef.

                                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                      No, we don't read ingredient lists! Not if we ever want to be able to enjoy what we're eating.

                                  2. re: livetocook

                                    mmm..Taco Time....for the Chihuahua Dogs......not at every store, stupidly simple, and might as well just open an artery and shove one in directly. Sigh, wish i had one right now. Brings back the memory of the time i flew into Seattle airport to visit a friend, we stood at the luggage pick-up and exchanged: I handed him an In-n-Out burger (lord did my carry-on smell of onions) and he handed me a Chihuahua Dog. Happy smiles and munching in the middle of luggage chaos. :)

                                    1. re: livetocook

                                      that's quite the variety huh?
                                      gotta love it!

                                    2. Thanks for all of the well-thought-out replies. I asked about JITB because I'll be driving from Connecticut to Georgia and back in June, and figured I'd check the place out on the way...I've been to most of the other southern / Western regional chains, but never Jack in the Box.

                                      I do indeed make a habit of eating at local, home-town places when I travel (especially because I stay off the interstates as much as possible), but I have an overwhelming curiosity when traveling that extends to wanting to check out everything, including fast-food chains I haven't tried.


                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Redstone

                                        Sourdough Jack and a giant coke following a little league game was a staple for me growing up. I HIGHLY recommend it....

                                        1. re: jenhen2

                                          I also was a fan of the Sourdough Jack, but I haven't had it in ages. One thing I remember was my inability to remember to say "no mayo," to which I'd pay the price by having practically a jar slathered on and oozing out the sides. It really wasn't a pretty picture, and always messy, but for some reason I loved it. All hail the triple bypass.

                                      2. I love Jack in the Box. They serve breakfast 24 hrs a day so that's great though their breakfasts aren't that great. I agree with everyone to get 2 tacos for like$1.29 I think now. Their curly fries are good as are their chicken strips- eaten with their delicious processed buttermilk ranch which has this lovely sharp tang that I love. What's great about their food is that it's usually cooked to order so all your fried foods will be piping hot- best eaten out of the bag in your car. Also try their blueberry french toast.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: digkv

                                          Disagree about breakfast not being great - the ultimate breakfast sandwich RULES. Eggs, Ham AND Bacon, Cheese - that and the milkshake will cure any hangover!

                                        2. Blackberry shakes during the summer and egg nog shakes at the holiday.

                                          Good. really really good.

                                          1. After 1AM, there aren't many better places to go for post-boozing fare.

                                            1. Best commercial ever -- Stoner guy to the hallucinatory Jack on his dashboard:

                                              "How many tacos?"

                                              Jack -- Thirty.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: nosh

                                                nope, only second best. The best one was when they introduced the new ad guy at the staff meeting, and he is going on and on about the new ad theme of how healthy JITB food is, how it can actually help you lose weight, or whatever, etc etc., until one of the execs asks Jack:

                                                "This guy is GREAT! Where did you find him?"

                                                Jack: "Tobacco Company"

                                                Indeed, the two things that set JITB aside from the pack are the tacos and the ads. Both make me smile.

                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                  Jack's son, I wanna be a Vegeterian. You Tube it and tell me it ain't # 1.

                                                  1. re: boshtx

                                                    sorry...nahh, I've seen it of course, and it is good, but lacks the edge of the other two....of course, the current 'Jack sandwich' has a bit of an edge too, though unfortunately I find the image a bit unappetizing..:-)

                                              2. Ahh, I'd do anything for a Jack in the Box Taco. My #1 guilty pleasure of all time! They are what lead me to Chowhound in the 1st place. When I was in my early teens, I would ride my bike to the JITB in Roselle Park, NJ and eat at least a dozen in 1 sitting. They're the White Castle version of a taco. You either love them or hate them. There are none in the Tri-state region now, which is probably a good thing for me. But I sure miss them big time. I don't know if they have them anymore, but the breakfast jacks were pretty good. They were ham, egg and cheese on a hamburger roll. If you asked, they would make the egg over easy. REDSTONE - we are driving to FL from NY. If you come across any on your map on your way to GA, please let me know. Thanks!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: michele cindy

                                                  That is the perfect comparison for those tacos. Am I the only one who thinks they fry the lettuce along with the rest of the taco?

                                                  1. re: ajs228

                                                    Com'n, you've never watched them cook those things? It's not pretty...they pull them out of the freezer, stick them in a fryer rack and plunge them. Once cooked they pull them out and stick in the cheese, lettuce and sauce. The heat wilts the lettuce but it doesn't cook it.

                                                    What I'm wondering is if JitB copied Tito's in LA, or what.

                                                    1. re: ML8000

                                                      You reminded me, that's the reason you need to eat them right away. If you get them to go there was the wilted lettuce issue.

                                                2. I like Jack's burgers. My favorites are the sourdough jack, the ultimate cheeseburger and the new sirloin burger. Also love the tacos. Always get 2 on the side of my burger. And the breakfast jack is good too, as are most of the breakfast items. Oh, and you have to try a shake!

                                                  I also like Wendy's burgers, but there are so many more choices at JITB. I loved Checkers, but it didn't last very long around here.

                                                  There is no comparison to Taco Bell at all (not the same kind of menu), and I don't do McDonalds at all, unless I take my grandson to one with a playground. Burger King is okay,

                                                  Here is a link to the "product build" at Jack's:


                                                    1. re: monta8

                                                      I don't remember that. What was it? Years ago they had these wonderful chicken wings, before buffalo wings were all the rage, but they aren't bringing those back. I know because I asked.

                                                      1. re: monta8

                                                        Bring back the Chicken Supreme! I've yet to find a chicken sandwich (fast food or otherwise) that is as good as JITB's Chicken Supreme was back when I was in high school.

                                                        I am also a fan of the tacos and the curly fries. Definitely a more interesting menu than your average fast food joint.

                                                        1. re: DanaB

                                                          I miss the Chicken Supreme so much... I've tried doing every chicken permutation possible there and nothing comes close.

                                                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                            Ordering their Spicy Chicken Sandwich with cheese is the closest you can get these days, but it's nowhere near as good as the original Chicken Supreme. I say we start a campaign to bring it back!

                                                      2. the bonus jack was like a big mac with special jack in the box sauce

                                                        1. Anyone know which location is closest to I-95 in SC or NC? I looked up the locations, and there are some in those states which I will be cutting through on my drive to FL

                                                          1. It's already been said, but I have to pile on...there is something COMPELLING about a Jack in the Box taco. They're not really all that good, culinarily-speaking...but lord help me, I gotta have two JitB tacos every now and then. Deep fried, with that super strange mystery meat paste (I've never seen such a finely ground beef anywhere else), a slice of American cheese...I think I may have to get a couple today, in fact!

                                                            1. I'm another fan of Jack in the Box's tacos--specifically their "monster tacos". Everytime I'm in the west/southwest, no trip is complete without having at least one "monster taco."

                                                              1. Just gotta have my Jumbo Jacks. Still remember the good ol' days, walking across PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy.) from the Huntington Beach Pier to JITB after spending hours at the beach.

                                                                1. Oh, I'd forgotten the Chicken Supreme ! I LOVED that !

                                                                  now I'll eat the chicken strips with Frank's Red Hot Sauce, or a Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich...but only fresh. they are awful lukewarm.

                                                                  1. My personal rating for Fast Food goes like this (ranked from most disgustingly "plastic" to hey this almost tastes like real food):

                                                                    > Worst of the Worst.... Arby's, White Castle, Taco Bell, Green Burrito
                                                                    > Best of the Worst.... McDonald's, Jack In The Box, Wendy's
                                                                    > Kind of Getting Good.... Carl's Jr / Hardee,
                                                                    > Almost Respectable..... In & N Out; Rubio's, Woflgang Puck Express,

                                                                    With that said.... I admit to liking JIB Tacos (absolutely the only American style Taco I will eat), as well as some of their more Premier Sandwiches (Steak etc.,), Salads & Milk Shakes.... in fact I used to really like their Cheesteak (RIP) about 15 years ago. Oh hell.... I admit I sometimes will like the Chicken Fried Steak sandwich, Fried Chicken and if I am hung over their Double or Triple Cheeseburger hits the spot.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                      ROFL! Just shows that fast food is an acquired taste or has something to do with genetics. To me JITB and BK tacos are something off of Fear Factor. Taco Bell's crunchy taco ingredients listed only mentions 'a crunchy, corn taco shell filled with seasoned ground beef, crisp, shredded lettuce, and real cheddar cheese' and has 1/3 LESS calories than their chicken taco.....if you can believe the web site.
                                                                      Nevertheless, when I get a (usually alcohol induced) craving for a gringo taco I've found two local mom-and-pop places that make good ones.

                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                        "in fact I used to really like their Cheesteak (RIP) about 15 years ago"

                                                                        I have a friend that owns a car that just died one day, and it's been sitting in his garage ever since. There is an unopened, uneaten cheesteak sitting on the backseat. I can only imagine what the inside of the car must smell like.

                                                                        1. re: Paul Weller

                                                                          As much as I like a good Cheeseteak - none of those crappy Philadelphia ones =) - I think I would skip on that sandwich!

                                                                        2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                          Doh! After driving by Taco Hell and Del Taco I recalled the downside of their gringo tacos - the tasteless yellow disk masquerading as a 'corn' tortilla. Death to premade taco shells!

                                                                        3. This thread makes my stomach turn. Yuk! I'd rather starve than eat at JITB. Love the commercials though. My fast food guilty pleasure is chocolate soft serve ice cream cones from McD's. Other than that, I avoid the burger chains in general.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Jen76

                                                                            Yuk! I'd rather starve than eat one of those chocolate soft serve "ice cream" cones from McD's... the bacterial counts in those machines are out of control! Besides... who likes corn syrup & artificial stabalizers?

                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                              Apparently, I do. Hence the reason it's a "guilty" pleasure.

                                                                            2. re: Jen76

                                                                              Yeah, starving is good, then go to Jack In The Crack and eat a Jumbo Jack!

                                                                            3. Growing up in the Detroit area in the 70's, we had Jack in the Box, and some health scares chased them off. I really didn't care much for them, Burger Chef was better.
                                                                              While we don't have any in Ohio, either, not too long ago I did notice a Jack in the Box semi driving around Dayton (not the highway, either.) Anyone knows if they're coming back to the Midwest?

                                                                              1. The Ultimate Cheeseburger. Yum! If only they'd open some stores in Florida.

                                                                                1. After a couple more drinks than i might have had I drove thru JITB on the way home and decided to see what all the fuss was about the infamous JITB Tacos. I ordered both the 2 tacos for 99 cents and the Monster Taco for 99 cents. That fried tortilla thing is pretty good, and the meat filling is sort of interesting. There were a few strands of shredded lettuce in there someplace. The only difference that I could find between the two was the size. I think i still prefer Taco Bell, at least you can tell that there is lettuce and tomato in there, but Taco Bell isn't open at 1am (at least here), so I may have to do more research at a future date.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                    Try eating the taco at JITB rather then taking it home. They don't transfer too well.

                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                      Will this research involve more late-night drinking and drive-thru JitB tacos? I What's your fave combo of tacos and alcohol? LOL....

                                                                                      1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                        Ever get the JitB after party special? Roll in with a car load of people...5 words: I'll have one of everything.

                                                                                        Yeah okay the menu use to be smaller. Thankfully I haven't seen this done in a very long time. I get queasy at the thought of more then a couple of tacos...maybe onion rings.

                                                                                        1. re: ML8000

                                                                                          I believe getting everything on the menu is referred to as "going for the cycle." if one chooses to do this, please only do it at in-n-out. much smaller menu.

                                                                                          1. re: Velvet Elvis

                                                                                            Yes, a smaller and really good menu!

                                                                                        2. re: KenWritez

                                                                                          After a few shots of Tequila at our favorite dive bar, a couple JITB tacos hits the spot and completes the evening . . . and it's on the way home!

                                                                                        3. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                          Hey KM,

                                                                                          If you want Tacos with good quality ingredients... then you go authentic. Gringo Tacos are about crappy, institutional, long name ingredients... the difference is that Jack in the Box tastes good (the seasonings are really well combined)... Taco Bell, Del Taco, Burger King, El Torito, Acapulco etc., gringo tacos taste insipid, plastic, bland, unpleasant... you name it.

                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                            i remember my mom explaining why she drinks instant coffee.... she just doesn't think of it as coffee, just a hot beverage she likes. I don't consider any of the fast food stuff "good mexican food", but it doesn't mean i don't eat it from time to time. For someone who understands and appreciates true south of the border flavors, im sure its like me eating a japanese hamburger.... wow, isn't it interesting what they do with sawdust these days.

                                                                                        4. I think the best thing about JitB is the variety...and they generally are consistently good. For me the highlights are the tacos and onion rings. Their regular burgers are average, but they do a lot of specialty burgers (sourdough, Ultimate cheeseburger etc.) that are pretty decent for a fast food place.

                                                                                          I also want to give a shout out to their Chicken Fajita Pita. This is a really tasty sandwich (grilled chicken strips, cheese, lettuce, onions and salsa in a pita pocket) that I believe clocks in at around 300 calories.