Whataparty!

Whataparty at Whataburger! Doc celebrates birthday with blowout bash at classic Texas burger chain

Whataparty! Doc celebrates birthday with blowout bash at Whataburger

Yvette Thomas, Veena Chandrakar, Roland Maldonado, Washington Sereatan, Bernadette Parnell at Whataburger party
Yvette Thomas, from left, Veena Chandraker, Roland Maldonado, Washington Sereatan, Bernadette Parnell. Photo by Raul Diaz
Whataburger Roland Maldonado birthday
Whataburger treats. Photo by Raul Diaz
Cortney Hall and Barrett Hall at Whatburger Roland Maldonado party
Cortney and Barrett Hall Photo by Raul Diaz
Whataburger Roland Maldonado birthday cake
Even the birthday cake was Whataburger orange. Photo by Raul Diaz
Roland Maldonado and Patti Murphy at Whataburger party
Patti Murphy and Roland Maldonado. Photo by Raul Diaz
Chris Beverly and Lisa Gochman at Roland Maldonado's birthday party at Whataburger
Chris Beverly and Lisa Gochman. Photo by Raul Diaz
Whataburger staff at Roland Maldonado's birthday party
The Whataburger staff joined in the celebration. Photo by Raul Diaz
Roland Maldonado and Edward Sanchez at Whataburger party
Roland Maldonado and Edward Sanchez. Photo by Raul Diaz
Yvette Thomas, Veena Chandrakar, Roland Maldonado, Washington Sereatan, Bernadette Parnell at Whataburger party
Whataburger Roland Maldonado birthday
Cortney Hall and Barrett Hall at Whatburger Roland Maldonado party
Whataburger Roland Maldonado birthday cake
Roland Maldonado and Patti Murphy at Whataburger party
Chris Beverly and Lisa Gochman at Roland Maldonado's birthday party at Whataburger
Whataburger staff at Roland Maldonado's birthday party
Roland Maldonado and Edward Sanchez at Whataburger party

As a kid growing up in south Texas, Dr. Roland Maldonado longed to celebrate his birthday at a fast food restaurant, but his mother always nixed the idea. So when the popular Houston family practitioner was asked at what trendy restaurant he wanted to celebrate his forty-mumblesomething birthday, he told friends that he wanted to keep it simple — "just a patty melt from Whataburger."

And a great idea was born.

Maldonado's friends, Edward Sanchez and Raul Diaz, broached the idea of throwing the birthday celebration at a Whataburger restaurant with James Brown, the manager of the popular Texas burger chain's location on the Southwest Freeway, across from Lakewood Church. Soon afterwards, Diaz got a call from area manager Lou Smith, who loved the idea and even welcomed guests to the restaurant on the big night, along with other Whataburger executives who also showed up to offer best wishes.

More than 70 of Maldonado's friends filled the dining room — many dressed in orange, the signature color of the Whataburger chain. Of course, everyone dined on selections from the menu, with an birthday cake with orange icing for the occasion. 

Maldonado, proudly wearing a birthday sash that was a gift, agreed it was a celebration he will never forget.

Among those in the throng were Enid Sanchez, Scott Miller, Elizabeth Whitehead, Sofia van der Dys, Patti Murphy, Ryland Holmes, Brittany Zucker, Abigail and Howard Reiner, Lanny and Debbie Griffith, Glenwood Weber, Steve Henry, Iory Ortiz, John Dascoulias, Salvador Flores Gil and Therese Landa.