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Ask any Texan families what they’re craving for lunch or dinner, and chances are they’ll say “How about a Whataburger?”
That’s because Whataburger is a Texas icon, as much as In-N-Out is to California and Shake Shack is to New York City. Whataburger was even formally declared a “Texas Treasure” by the legislature in 2001.
And just as everyone knows you don’t mess with Texas, you also don’t mess with Whataburger. Lovers of the fast food chain went into uproar earlier this summer when it was announced that the family-owned company sold its controlling interest to a firm in Chicago. Newspaper headlines declared it “Whatadisaster” and footballer J.J. Watt (who is fast becoming another Texas icon) suggested that everyone chip in and buy Whataburger back.
Whataburger was quick to respond to its large fan base, assuring Texas that: “We will always be Texan and represent you in a way that makes you proud. #believethat.”
So, what’s kept this burger joint deep in the heart of Texans for almost seven decades? We did an informal poll on Facebook what their go-to order is at their local Whataburger. Surprisingly, only half of the respondents mentioned the word burger. The patty melt (which we don’t count as a burger) was a popular choice, as were the chicken tenders. And while ketchup lovers adore the original Whataburger ketchup, the spicy version was also preferred by some of our respondents (a thank-you goes to H-E-B for now selling both kinds). Onion rings, perfectly salted fries and the Whatachicken sandwich were other popular choices.
Here’s what our poll takers are “whatasaying” about their favorite order:
“#5-Bacon Cheeseburger, no onions, buns toasted on both sides. I personally use one regular and one spicy ketchup. In fact, I’m eating the above right now! 😊” — Kobey
“They understand that mustard is the default condiment for a cheeseburger, NOT mayo or ketchup. That is a true Texan burger. 😄” — Karen
“Classic cheeseburger, onion rings, unsweetened tea (because I would rather drink my calories in wine). Regular ketchup.” — Faith
“I’m a purist…..#1 e-z mustard and no pickles. If I’m feeling frisky I add jalapeños. And I love the honey butter chicken biscuit on a jalapeño cheddar biscuit for breakfast. 🙂 🧡😀🧡😀🧡”— Stephanie
Have we made you hungry yet? If you’re not lucky enough to live in Texas and the few other states where you’ll find Whataburger, just wait — the new owners are promising expansion. We predict a lot more Whataburger fans in the future. And even though Whataburger seems destined to go national, it will always be Texas bred and Texas proud.
Images courtesy of Whataburger via Facebook.