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Any Other Jack-in-the-Box Lovers Out There?

Surely I can't be the only one who loves this place. Granted, I haven't had a burger at JitB in several years, but I find many of their other menu items to be fantastic.

After frequenting god-knows-how-many other chains, I find myself coming back to JitB based on a few constants: excellent (make that pretty damn good) customer service, tasty chicken, a frequent rotation of new desserts, and delicious small bites (i.e., fries, chicken tenders, jalapeno poppers).

My SO thinks I'm crazy for being such a regular customer. Any other chowhounds who find themselves oddly drawn to this joint?

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  1. Jack in the Crack was part of the bad ol' days for me. When I was overweight, and absolutely reliant on fast food instead of cooking. Or even microwaving. I really enjoyed going through the drive thru, ordering a grease bomb of some kind (they had a sourdough burger I used to order), some ridiculously oversalted and deep fried curly fries to go along with that. Topped off by a dehydrating soda. It was awesome but really bad for your health.

    The place was admittedly very popular as a post clubbing, post inebriation must stop. Hey, it was open, and it was greasy. That's all that was asked!

    3 Replies
    1. re: NewDude

      Can't argue with your points. Admittedly, I patronize JitB approximately 3-4 times a month. I am not, nor have I ever been, overweight. In fact, I consider myself to be in pretty darn good shape and health. I just can't seem to get past my craving for this place.

      1. re: NewDude

        wow, was like reading a mirror. Waddaya mean an ultimate bacon cheeseburger combo isn't a snack?

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          You are a riot, my friend!!! Love those, btw!!

      2. Coupon good for 2 free tacos (no purchase necessary) for tomorrow 8/11. I think you can get the link on the Chains board. Not so good tacos, perhaps even offensive, but still free.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TomSwift

          I tried the tacos once. They deep fry them. They were literally as hard as plastic. I still ate them, though. Sometimes, I just wonder...

        2. I'm not much of a fast-food person, but I love their commercials for their mini-sirloin burgers, with the "little people" cowboys and the "cows the size of schnauzers but they're cattle"! Anyone tried the burgers themselves?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Not for another 2 hours. I think those commercials are inspired and although I may not actually eat them all for lunch today I'm going to try them. I'll report back. Bear in mind that, corporate policy for uniformity notwithstanding, the Jacks I'll go to here in So Cal may be atypical.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              The commercial is better than the burgers. ;)

              I tried them twice at a friend's insistence that they were actually really good. They weren't. Dry, bland, bleh. But, I LOVE the commercial and especially the "cows the size of schnauzers" line.

            2. Even Jonathon Gold (Pulitzer prize-winning food columnist for the LA Weekly) has admitted he likes the stuffed jalapenos. Me too. They can be lethal to a white shirt, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: melissa511

                They undoubtedly make the best ff jalapeno poppers. Ever. Their tacos - not so much, we have better tacos in SoCal that come off of roach coaches.

              2. I love it! My favorite is their chicken fajita pita. I also think they have the best onion rings of any other fast food joint.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kjen

                  kjen and Phursluv: you just described my two weaknesses, jalapeno poppers and chicken fajita pita. Their poppers are a decadent cheese bomb that go down way too easily.

                  I remember in the 80s, after the ecoli burger-death scare, this chain was stigmatized. Then something happened; in the early 2000s, they created kitschy, talked-about commercials, and stepped-up the quality of their food, along with the service. Viva la Jack-in-the-Box.

                  1. re: Leancuisine

                    The fajita snacks are good too. The calorie content on the regular pita is pretty good and it is very filling compared to other fast food joints.

                2. I love Jack in the Box... ESPECIALLY those greasy tacos!! You can't compare them to authentic Mexican tacos of which we have so many to choose from here in So Cal. They are a food item unto themselves and you just have to enjoy them for what they are - the greasy, almost translucent taco shell (oily on the bottom, crispy around the edges), the mystery meat filling, the "cheese", and the wilty lettuce... it all comes together in a wonderful, inexplicable way to form that lovely and delicious JitB taco. Yum! By the way, does anyone remember the Moby Jack? It was their fish sandwich. It was always such a treat to stop there on our way to our yearly summer camping trips up north of Malibu. I think it was the only time that we ever went to Jack in the Box and it was such a treat. That was back in the 60s! I'm not sure when they stopped making them but it was my childhood favorite fast food item!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: schmoopy

                    What an excellent description of those tacos you write, Schmoopy. And yes, I still miss the Moby Jack. Two tacos for an appetizer and then an MJ...I remember listening to the Watergate hearings on the car radio while waiting in the drive-through for them.

                    1. re: schmoopy

                      You write poetry, Schmoopy. Orange-grease-running-down-my-sleeve poetry.

                    2. awesome jalapeno poppers, sourdough jack and a spicy chicken sandwich that puts wendy's to shame. seriously, i miss JB so much for awesome late-night drive-through. Pretty good breakfast stuff, too.

                      1. oh yeah and curly fries. how could i forget how awesome their curly fries are.

                        1. Ha ha, yeah the sourdough jack and curly fries were guilty pleasures, indeed. Are they still on the menu?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: NewDude

                            i don't know, i've lived for two years now in an area without a JB within a 150-mile radius :(

                            1. re: NewDude

                              Yes they are, and they're less than a mile away from me - some days it's hard to resist!!!

                            2. ive always wanted to eat at a jack in the box however her ein new jersey we are lacking those.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

                                The ciabatta double bacon cheeseburger and breakfast sandwich they had were damn good, but then they went away. The sirloin stuff and mini-burgers are nasty. They still have a few winners though.

                              2. I also really like the hearty breakfast bowl, but I don't even want to know how many calories, etc is in it, I only had it 3x and that's enough! And I don't eat anything the rest of the day..... but with the sausage, bacon & hash browns mixed together with cheese, and I add hot sauce, it's damn good. Basically a good hangover cure.

                                1. I'd love to eat there, I hear they've got great sandwiches these days. I just can't abide the grease bombs and the calorie-bombs of their "fresh" sandwiches. It's just not part of my diet.

                                  1. If I had one near me, I would get me some tasty onion rings, a chicken fajita pita, chicken strips with buttermilk ranch dressing and those tacos that are so bad they're so good. they always had delicious soda for some reason too. why do they run out of chicken fajita pitas all the time though?
                                    I grew up with Jack in the Box in the midwest, and there's none to be seen where I am now, in NJ, a wasteland that has only the most typical fast-food joints for the most part, I'm stuck with McDonald's (never go) and Wendy's and Burger King. bleh.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Chelsea422

                                      amen brother. nj sucks as far as fast food goes. onloy good places is fuddruckers which is not wven close enough to me for me to go. cheeburger cheeburger is k too but costs an arm.

                                    2. You're not the only one, I love it too! Sourdough combo is my fav, the Jumbo Jack for $1.29 destroys every other place's value menu.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Timmy McTimmerson

                                        Dang man. You're gettin me hyped up for some Jack in the Crack greasebombs!

                                      2. I'm drawn to it by the occasional national commercials I see on TV - I would love to try it but the only ones on the East Coast are in North Carolina and that's a long way from NYC!

                                        1. Grew up on the greasy tacos, don't know what it is, but they are addicting. Have to add onion rings with them. Their breakfast biscuits are good too. Prefer this place to alot others. I know this stuff is not good for you, but their is something comforting about it.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: paprkutr

                                            No worries, man. We all know Jack LaLane wouldn't approve. It's either celery stick shakes or a sourdough jack and cheese. America, we have made our choice!

                                            But yeah, I make a run for the border a few times a year. They have a low fat menu, and quite frankly, it tastes just as good as their regular menu. I don't miss taco bell's nuclear waste fat gel oozing out of their regular tacos at all.

                                            As far as jack in the crack, I think they have a rice bowl with grilled chicken and veggies which is probably less unhealthy than their other items. I think the last time I got it with a fried egg roll though, so...

                                          2. JITB is the nearest fast food place to my office, so when I was starving this morning (worked until 2:15 a.m., up again at 6:30) I popped in to check out the breakfast options. I went for the chicken breakfast biscuit, which was only okay. Although actually, unlike most fried foods I thought it tasted better after it cooled.

                                            The hash brown sticks, however, were by far the best fast-food version of hash browns I've ever had -- they blow the mediocre (bland, with a weird almost waxy residue) hash browns at McD's out of the water.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              Regular breakfast jacks for .99 always satisfy.

                                            2. What JITB does really well is their bus for their burgers are probably the best of any fast food chains. They actually have good flavor and contribute to the burger.

                                              They also have/had??? A chipotle ?sirloin? Breakfast burrito that was the best fast food breakfast item I ever ate. I actually found myself going back to get that item which is very unusual since I frequent fast food about 10 times a year.

                                              However those tacos they serve should be banned.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: RetiredChef

                                                Oh chef, c'mon. Deep fried Jack tacos are the stoner food of all time. Plus, if one is in an area
                                                of the country where REAL deep fried tacos don't exist, well then a 2/99 set of tacos fills the bill.

                                                1. re: bbqboy

                                                  "real deep fried tacos"? could you elaborate? is that different from a chimichanga?

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    A chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito. I believe bbqboy is referring to what is known as a taco dorado (golden taco) with a fried shell (on which the American tacos including the Jack-in-the-Box version are based), as opposed to the soft taco that is standard in taquerias.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      KM, Ruth summed that up nicely.
                                                      Variations include puffy tacos and the ones with peas in them that I grew up with in Kansas.
                                                      There is one tiny chain in KC called In-A-Tub that clips the tacos closed and plunges them in the Deep Fryer. Wonderfully wrong.

                                                      1. re: bbqboy

                                                        peas in tacos. well, why not.

                                                        i guess most of the taco's i grew up with were 'fried taco's, but we just called them tacos and the others "soft tacos". live and learn.

                                                        thanks for the clairfication bbq (and ruth), and I bow to your knowledge of stoner food as well. as for jitb taco's they are so oddly intriguing, but then so is a traffic accident.

                                                  2. re: bbqboy


                                                    I will let you be the Chowhound Expert on stoner food and I defer to your expertise in this area.

                                                    I now stand corrected.

                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                      I by no means claim to be THE expert on said subject :)

                                                      reference point:

                                                2. I can't respond on "What's for dinner" under Home Cooking, so yes, indeed, three of their obnoxiously, excellent, greasy tacos w/ lotsa hot sauce. And I'm so, so, so grateful. The yummy grease and hot sauce are still burning but OH so good.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JerryMe

                                                    Here's an inside - take the mustard and mix it w/ the sweet and sour sauce offered - uber good.

                                                  2. Count me in, leancuisine. While not a 'lover' per se, I do consider them a cut above mcD

                                                    1. No Jack in the Box here in South Jersey, but when I go to Az one of he first things I want is a Jumbo Jack

                                                      1. I used to be a JITB lover, but now, not so much...the quality seems to have taken a dive since the 70s.

                                                        The menu items I used to crave (each, during its somewhat limited tenure on the menu):

                                                        1) Mushroom burger (garlicky, parsley seasoned mushrooms on buttery grilled sourdough)

                                                        2) Gyros - with lots of extra onions and sauce!

                                                        3) Frings - a combo of fries and onion rings in one bag! And, back then, the onion rings were actually pretty good, now they're downright terrible.

                                                        I also used to love their burgers with that "secret sauce" type stuff (orangey/reddish in color, but oddly tasty!!).

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: GK in SO

                                                          Count me as a fan but, sadly, I go only once a quarter as I am
                                                          working on losing a few pounds. I have the Jumbo Jack, no
                                                          fries, and a large chocolate shake.

                                                          "We could kiss...."

                                                          1. re: Johnny West

                                                            The shakes are another item where JitB blows McDonalds out of the water: not only do they taste better and have a better consistency, but they come with whipped cream and a cherry. I had the seasonal eggnog shake yesterday and it really tasted like egg nog (artificial rum flavoring?).

                                                          2. re: GK in SO

                                                            The 'secret sauce' is reminiscent of 1000 Island dressing

                                                            1. re: GK in SO

                                                              Re: Frings

                                                              Message: OMG

                                                              Post Script: WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY GET RID OF SUCH A BEAUTIFUL IDEA?!

                                                            2. Jack in the Box is great. The Ultimate Cheeseburger is deliciously excessive, and they have great shakes. Now if only they'd expand east of Texas. SE Florida could use them.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                They just Expanded to KC and they love burgers and FF. Should be a match made in Heaven.

                                                                1. I love the Jumbo Jack, but living in New Jersey, I seldom get to have one.

                                                                  1. I like them for their breakfast sandwiches, which are available any time they are open. Nothing like having a quick breakfast type meal late at night.

                                                                    1. Hell yes I love Jack! I'm a college student. Their tacos are what my soul craves when I'm drunk. It's science, folks!

                                                                      Okay, what I REALLY want when I'm drunk is an authentic burrito from my favorite taqueria, but Jack is always open and close by when I need them. ;D

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: daydream

                                                                        I visited a JIB when I was in San Diego and had the best fast food chain milkshake ever. I wish that we had one in Canada:(

                                                                      2. My daughter loves this place so much, the last time we were in Cali I got some tacos to go, froze and took home in cooler to NJ. Cannot get out east.