WhatABurger, according to my brother, is Texas’ answer to California’s In-N-Out. Just even trying to do that puts high expectations, as few places can be quite as delicious as In-N-Out. Hell, even our governator took out some foreign dignitary to In-N-Out to show case California. So how did Texas compare to California? Like most things from Texas, WhatABurger has big claims with small results.
Now before I go onto the full review, I should explicitly disclaim my bias. I love California, and generally make fun of Texas, just like most of America. The WalMart here is bigger than the biggest Costco I’ve seen, people love their trucks, but alas Texans truly do have a heart and everyone I’ve met here was extremely friendly. They also love their state and proudly proclaim “Texan Style”. Good for them. A+ for pride.
I also some bias due to the nature of how I indulged in WhatABurger. First and foremost, I flew into Austin at 11 PM, eating McDonalds in John Wayne Airport at 5 PM. Therefore, I wasn’t exactly in the mood to fully savor or crave a good burger. Also, here I am in Austin trying to find something to eat ,which according to some people I asked, gave me three options: Denny’s, IHOP, and WhatABurger. Since the first two exist in California, I opted for the third. My brother and I go on an expedition to WhatABurger with my brother getting the standard hamburger, while I got the crispy chicken sandwich. Both combos of course! However, after getting our food at 1 AM (Never a good time for the freshest fast food), we had to drive an additional 10 minutes to the hotel, leaving the fries and burger soggy. My expectations soon shot up in the hotel lobby as another group of folks saw our WhatABurger bags and began to drool. Go us ☺.
Finally, now with the prelude set, in the hotel room, I opened the grease bathed bag and ran WhatABurger through my taste testing tongue. The initial impression I had was oh my god, that’s a ton of food for $4.65! Texas is cheap. +1. The crispy chicken sandwich had the standard things, a bun, golden crispy fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. The chicken piece actually had a good bunch of chicken with relatively little breading compared to something you would get in Wendy’s or Jack in the Box. The chicken was also pretty juicy, and was not overpowered by the mayo, which is something fast food joints are notorious for in LA. Now what I’m not sure is if the juiciness came from sitting in a hot bag gathering steam or it is naturally such. (Is this even possible?). As for the fries, they were already soggy so I reserve judgment for another day. Finally, the drink size for a small is equal to a middle size at LA fast food restaurants. I’d say it was pretty good for a crispy chicken sandwich, better than most.
As for the hamburger, it was pretty bland and dry. Too much mustard for my taste, but if you love mustard, won’t you be happy!
Overall, WhatABurger isn’t close to In-N-Out. I’m sure their fries are better than In-N-Outs, but that’s easy to do. Overall, if in Texas, do as the Texans do and eat WhatABurger, but I don’t think I’ll have cravings any time soon.