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Apr 12, 2009 07:01 PM

Regional favorite that you just didn't get once you finally had a chance to try it

Several years ago when I still lived in Illinois, a corporate merger brought us together with folks from Texas, specifically Houston (where I now live). Whenever the Houstonians came to IL for any length of time, they would talk about having "Whataburger withdrawals" and how Whataburger makes the best fast food burgers in the world. Well, I have to tell you, I've been in Texas eight years now and I still don't get the obsession with Whataburger. I find them dry and tasteless no matter what you dress them up with. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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  1. I too moved to Texas, and still don't get the obsession with pickled jalapenos on EVERYTHING. They are good on somethings, but not everything.

    9 Replies
      1. re: RGC1982

        I'm a native Californian now living in Texas. I've been searching for three years trying to find REAL Mexican food around here! What is it with putting chili on everything? I just don't get it!

        As for the Chick-Fil-a, as soon as you get your order, open the bag that the sandwich is in. Otherwise, you loose the crunch (found out the hard way).

        I agree with the "what's-so-great-about-Whataburger" comments. However, give me an In-n-Out burger ... seriously. PLEASE. GIVE me one! :)

        1. re: Cascokat

          Yes, In-n-Out burgers are the best ever!! I, too, am no longer in L.A. and although I hardly ever eat burgers, I do miss those. And, most visitors agree, they are surprisingly good fast food and better than expected.

          When in Santa Fe, we tried frito pie because "we just had to" and "I always have this when I'm here". No, not special, just something I can make at home.

          Krispy Kreme in Florida, before they were available everywhere. Meh, not so special.

          What I DID like were the cheese curds in Oregon from the Tillamook very good!

          1. re: MinkeyMonkey

            Funny how people are so different - the first thought I had when I read the OP was In-N-Out, don’t get it. Here are the first 4 American items that came to my mind.

            In-n-Out burgers – (belch), greasy, nasty pasty cheese, tons of relish in their ‘secret’ sauce and those disgusting fries, sorry I’m not sold by the marketing so I don’t think only ultra-cool Californians eat here.

            Nantucket Bay Scallops – These are revered as the black truffle of scallops, actually they have just a bit more flavor then regular bay scallops but don’t even come close to high quality diver sea scallops.

            Boiled Peanuts – wall paper paste, yuck why destroy such a nice nut?

            Tillamook cheese – Nothing wrong with this cheese, but to some it is the holy grail of cheese, it’s a decent quality mass produced cheese, nothing more and nothing to go ga-ga over.

            1. re: RetiredChef

              Never had boiled peanuts myself.... but it's not a nut. It's a legume.

              1. re: linguafood

                peanut is a legume.

                However in culinary terms we use the term nut quite differently, walnuts and almonds are technically drupes and cashews and corn nuts are technically seeds, but we seem to call them nuts without the diction police coming in to correct us.

                So while a ground nut is technically a legume, most people would be scratching their heads as they reached for a monkey nut and cracked it open - wondering why in the world would someone would call a simple goober pea a legume?

                I suggest a compromise Pass the peagumes please. ;)

                1. re: RetiredChef

                  Ha! "Peagumes" is something I would pass on without ever trying them '-)

                  That sounds awful...

                  1. re: linguafood

                    i had peagumes once. no big deal - shot of penecillan fixed it right up

              2. re: RetiredChef

                Growing up in Oregon, we loved Tillamook because back in those days so much cheese was cheesewiz, Kraft American slices and the like.

                If you ever get the chance to taste real long aged Tillamook (3-5 years old), that is something special.

        2. i felt the same way about Chik-Fil-A when i lived in ATL. i didn't eat meat at the time so i never even tried their chicken biscuit, but i didn't understand what everyone thought was so great about the waffle fries - meh, and the lemonade! why does everyone love their lemonade so much?

          4 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I hear what you're saying, sister! I've lived in CLT for 13 yrs now and I still don't get it. My kids love it though and family that comes to visit from PA loves it also. I hate their fries, the lemonade is ordinary and while I like their chicken, it doesn't "wow" me. I do think they have great customer service, clean restaurants and a slightly healthier menu than most fast-food restaurants though. And I do like their cole slaw.

            1. re: lynnlato

              I had heard so much about how CFA was so great. I decided I'd give it a go. It was bland and very unappetizing. All in all, I thought the whole visit sucked. I truly don't get it.


              1. re: Davwud

                Their sandwiches are much better if they're very freshly prepared. If they sit long at all the chicken loses it's crunch and gets kind of steamy/wet. They are fantastic when they're "new".

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I am not a huge fan of the lemonade, but living up north (well in DC which is technically below the mason dixon, but has poor Southern food in general), their sweet tea is the best that you can find around here.

              If I want a fried breaded chicken sandwich I like theirs, but it is something I would go any great distance for.

            3. Thank you. Now I miss Whataburger. I'm in San Diego now, but we had them when we lived in Florida. Now we have In-and-Out. They're good. I don't get the whole pickled carrots and jalepenos in EVERY taco shop. They don't really do it for me. The California burrito, however, is a different story.

              2 Replies
              1. re: beth1

                Beth, I am from San Diego and now in NYC. I could kill for a California burrito, a Rubio's fish taco and an In-and-Out burger.

                1. re: StatenEats

                  Me too, and I'm in L.A. It's just that it's after 10pm and I don't want to go out, though.

                  I'm not really into any region's pickled stuff, I agree with Beth. Not long ago in Prague I ordered a cucumber-tomato sandwich. What I got was pickles, grilled cheese, grilled tomato and mustard on hot bread.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Yes, by all means, scrapple. OTOH, What-a-burgers are one of the great sandwiches in the history of the world, particularly double meat and cheese. If you could have those with Chik fil a waffle fries and lemonade, it would be perfection. But scrapple, no way no how.

                  1. re: steakman55

                    I love scrapple and lug it 500 miles back up to Maine. My Yankee wife, however, is not enthused.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Scrapple is just a breakfast hot dog, shaped differently of course. Pig scraps mixed with cornmeal and flour, plain and simple. Now livermush, on the other hand...

                    2. re: steakman55

                      I've got to concur on the Scrapple thing. Gross. As a native Texan, however, I have never understood the What-a-Burger phenomenon. They were ok when I was growing up in a small town and they were the only fast food around, but we never eat them now. Those What-a-burger onions! Yech - they stay with you for days.

                    3. re: ipsedixit

                      Word. I shudder. I get scrapple with my hog share, and hand it over to friends / family that like it.

                    4. Philly Cheesesteak.... guess you have to grow up with it. But then, not a lot of Non-Germans 'get' our love affair with white asparagus --

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: linguafood

                        I'm afraid I'm a non-German who doesn't "get" white asparagus. I was in Germany a few Springs ago and kept ordering it by mistake. Once it was listed on the chalkboard as "spare ribs." I thought it would meat! I love green asparagus but white doesn't appeal to me at.

                        Another for me was chicken fried steak in Texas.

                        1. re: Glencora

                          Wait -- the asparagus was listed as "spare ribs?" Perhaps a really, really bad attempt at the word 'asparagus'? Whoa. I feel that's another customer I should add '-D

                          Speaking as one of those crazy Germ's who go absolulety apesh!t about that stuff -- one factor I'm sure being that it's _such_ a seasonal thing: only about mid April thru June 24, and that's it for the year -- I find that white asparagus has much more flavor than green asparagus. Well, not all white asparagus is created equal.... but I'm sure you got the 'good' stuff, and just didn't care for it. Neither does my man, who's non-German and doesn't get it either. That, and smoked herring with raw onions '-D ha.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            You want to see some faux-pas-riddled menus that tried their best to accommodate the English-speaking customer, go to and take a look around.

                            1. re: EWSflash

                              Oh, I have that site bookmarked, but haven't gone on it in a while. Pee-yer-pants funny stuff....

                              1. re: linguafood

                                I have that site bookmarked as well! So hilarious....

                                The menu part is def my favorite

                        2. re: linguafood

                          I love both kinds of asparagus. The white kind is also common in France. And I love the German springtime meals designed around asparagus. Smoked herring, are you from the North, linguafood? That is also common in the Netherlands. I do like it, but not always the easiest thing to digest.

                          1. re: lagatta

                            Both my parents are from Northern Germany, tho my dad had the higher appreciation for all things fishy -- I still remember our last dinner with him, where matjes, raw onions, and pan-fried potatoes were served.... much to my husbands disappointment, who tried filling up on the potatoes. My dad was incredulous to hear that matjes was not everyone's cup o'tea.

                            Let's say it's not something I want to eat every day, but whenever I return to Germany, I get a LOT of the stuff I can't really get around here -- herring in dill creams sauce, herring salad with apples, onions, and red beets, smoked fish, teewurst....

                            ah. only two more weeks :-D

                            1. re: linguafood

                              We had herrings, rye, cheeses, and hard boiled eggs w/cold cuts for Easter breakfast.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                Ah -- hard boiled's a bit hard-core for me, I prefer a soft one for breakfast. Unless I have a toasted slice with cream cheese and sliced hard boiled egg on it.

                                Really looking forward to German breakfast again!

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Sliced boiled eggs are an integral part of the Norwegian frukost bord, breakfast table; layered on smorbrod, open faced sandwiches.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Schmecksville!! Only... 9 more hours till breakfast --

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      linguafood, please report on your gastronomic visit. Suppose that should be on the "international" board.

                                      1. re: lagatta

                                        Hmmmm.... which gastronomic visit are we talking? I leave for Berlin in a little over a week, and will be there till early August.... which means a LOT of resto visits :-D. I'm excited! And the international board is quasi my home!!!

                          2. re: linguafood

                            Agreed on Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. Tasted like junky processed crap to me.

                            1. re: operagirl

                              You might have _had_ junky processed crap.... there's plenty of it. The good stuff is *VERY* good to me, but then I'm a native. You have to do someplace with a good rep among locals, with good meat and good rolls, and I prefer it with provolone (not Whiz), fried onions, mushrooms, and hot and sweet peppers.

                              1. re: Mawrter

                                It was par ... nothing like I thought. I make awesome cheese steak, but good meat, good cheese and cooked right. I did enjoy the atmosphere and I am sure that is what it is all about as many similar type foods. So overall, good, but quality, NO. But like I said ... atmosphere and history and tradition is just as important!

                                NY delis not impressed, some chicago style Italian sandwich, OMG, what is the deal with that. The south I enjoyed most. Oysters fried, I don't like but that is just me. CA, pretty good, TX didn't like the style of cooking at most places. OK, KS and NE had some awesome BBQ however and was impressed by the food. Seattle, I don't have a complaint, but I did eat mostly seafood, but impressed.

                            2. re: linguafood

                              Are you all talking about white asparagus like it's a Philly/PA thing, or is it just we're a bunch of SEPAians talking about white asparagus? I'm confused. And intrigued. I would be very happy to find a good local source for white asparagus!

                              I think of it as a Western European thing... the Spanish serve a lot of preserved white asparagus on salad, and in season in France and Italy. It's hard for me to find and if anyone knows of a good source, I'd be thrilled!

                              1. re: Mawrter

                                The latter. I've tried white asparagus in the U.S. and it's just not the same. The terroir is actually important for it to develope its flavor... and the best asparagus still comes from Germany :-D

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Well, I can't disagree since I've never had it in Germany. I think the terroir thing might be partly because it's a perennial. That is why I don't allocate space for it myself - I need my garden to be producing something more than once a year.

                              2. re: linguafood

                                I'm German and I never understood the love affair with white asparagus. It was a religion with my grandparents on both sides, but it's just "meh" to me.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  I lived with Germans (IN Germany) for about 6 years, I LOVE white asparagus! Fresh from the field, with fresh from the field (AKA organic - yes, you CAN taste the difference) boiled salted potatoes, a slice of boiled ham and a velvety hollandaise sauce on the asparagus. OMG my mouth is watering....

                                  1. re: jesssala

                                    Thanks, mine too, now '-). Ah well, 'only' have to wait another 6 months... >sigh<