This week, I reached out for a new Chicken Breakfast Jack at the No. 5 (by number of restaurants) burger chain in the U.S.: Jack in the Box, with 2,200 restaurants spanning 21 states, mostly in the south and west.
For you stat heads, the Top 4 burger flippers are McDonald's (13,900, Burger King (7,200), Wendy's (6,700) and Sonic (3,600). You want to start an argument? Just tell someone, "I think those two idiots in the Sonic commercial are funny." Then it's game on. People either love 'em or hate 'em. I'm a love 'em.
Here's the Chicken Breakfast Jack breakdown: a deep-fried, breaded chicken patty, fried egg, and slice of American cheese on a glistening burger bun. Jack's buns are always soft and tasty. Better than McDonald's for sure.
Total calories: 530. Fat grams: 31. Sodium: 1,130 mg. Carbs: 40 g. Dietary fiber: 1 g. Protein : 22 g.
Manufacturer's suggested retail price: two for $3. The price for just one is $2.38, so the two-fer is an excellent deal. Tell you what, you pay $2.39 for the first one, I'll kick in 61 cents for the second one.
While this is a cheapo Jack in the Box special, there's a lot of decent news about this new Chicken Breakfast Jack. It's filling and it's ridiculously inexpensive. Two of these will hold you to a late lunch.
The chicken patty is straight out of a supermarket house brand in the frozen food section. It's chopped and formed chicken, which brings us no joy, but it's crispy and salty. The egg is a real freshly cracked fried egg. It's somewhere between scrambled and over easy. Well not so easy, it's well done.
All fast food eggs are cooked too long, till the yolk is hard and solid. That way, no one leaves sick to their stomach or any other body part, and nobody calls a lawyer on speed dial. You know those people. (True fact: in 1992, New Jersey passed a bill banning sunny side up eggs and raw eggs in Caesar salad. It was a food safety measure. Naturally the good people of Jersey screamed bloody murder and the bill was revoked. But still, it's safer to cook eggs thoroughly.)
Safety aside, I love sunny side up eggs with a drippy yolk. Sopping up the yolk with toast is one of the great food pleasures. Last month, I had a bacon and egg sandwich at Maria's Cafe in Borough Market in London. The plate was swimming with runny yolk. Probably the best meal I had during my visit. The Chicken Breakfast Jack ain't that, but it's good on size and cheap and kids will eat it up.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.