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Burger Confessions

Confessions of a Whataburger addict: True love includes a bundle of joy

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Whataburger Fancy Ketchup Lover’s Bundle February 2014
And what did you get for Valentine's Day? Me? I got a Fancy Ketchup Lover’s Bundle from Whataburger. Photo courtesy of Whataburger
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What did you get for Valentine’s Day? Chocolates? Flowers? Maybe jewelry?

Me, I got a Fancy Ketchup Lover’s Bundle from Whataburger. And we aren’t even dating.

The kit contains a big bottle of Fancy Ketchup, the kind you can now buy at H-E-B; a Fancy Ketchup fleece blanket; T-shirt, mouse pad; and reusable grocery bag. The bundle retails for $49.99 and can be ordered at Whataburger.com. It could make a cute gift for ex-pat Texans in far away places who miss their Fancy Ketchup.

I refuse to get into arguments with foreigners who claim that In & Out is better and I refuse to justify my addiction. It’s Whataburger: It’s not heroin. 

I’ve admitted to being a Whataburger addict. Even though there’s one right down the street from me, if they actually delivered I’d probably weigh 200 pounds. It’s just the kind of Texas food I learned to love when I first came to this great state. Burgers with jalapenos and mustard, biscuits with sausage gravy, honey butter chicken biscuits and that box of chicken fingers with fries, Texas toast and cream gravy.

And I’m not the only one. Check out @SorryImTexan and @TexasHumor on Twitter for amusing sayings about how Texans love their Whataburger.

I refuse to get into arguments with foreigners who claim that In & Out is better and I refuse to justify my addiction. It’s Whataburger: It’s not heroin. And, OK, I don’t eat at any other fast food places and I try to keep Whataburger down to an occasional treat. I don’t eat sweets and work out every day. (If you think those statements aren’t accurate, hey, this is a column not a news report.)

But I did begin to wonder about the source of those chicken tenders. I dislike Big Farm, I dislike processed and packaged foods. I like to eat at restaurants where they can tell you the name of the rancher, farmer and cheese maker who provided the raw ingredients on the day’s menu.

And yet I still like Whataburger.

Seeking information

So I tried to find out a little more information. Unfortunately, it turns out that Whataburger has a company policy of not providing source information. A spokesperson did explain that “What I can tell you is that a Whataburger today is made the same way it was in 1950: using the original recipe and original size, made to order, right when it's ordered, never frozen using fresh-cut vegetables and 100 percent pure beef.”

Actually that is USDA-inspected American beef, as the company said last year during the whole pink slime scare.

And I’m pretty sure that when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger in Corpus Christi 63 years ago he was sourcing locally. Maybe that’s not the case today since the chain has grown and spread to more than 700 restaurants but I still think the food is better and possibly healthier than other fast food joints. They even have a menu of items under 500 calories.

And, on the plus side, H-E-B, another Texas company, not only sells bottles of Fancy and Spicy Ketchup, Original Mustard, Whataburger gift cards and now the new Salt and Pepper Whatafries. And H-E-B takes pride in its sourcing, they even do those commercials, like the bacon jam one during the Super Bowl, touting how they search the Lone Star State for the best products. So I’m hoping H-E-B knows the source of Whataburger’s beef and chicken and produce and they’re OK with it.

So I feel better. I really do, as I dip the last of my Whatafries in the cream gravy.

And yes, I’ll do an extra mile in the morning and go on a juice fast.

Everything in moderation.

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