This week, I reached out for a Breakfast Burger, perfect for late-night gobblin’ or hearty morning breakfast, at everybody ‘round here’s favorite burger shack, Whataburger, with 820 restaurants in 10 states … but Whataburger is really a Texas thing.
Yeah, a burger for breakfast at Whataburger is an idea whose time has come. And that time is between 11 pm and 11 am.
Here’s the Breakfast Burger breakdown: a 100-percent beef grilled beef patty, creamy pepper sauce, two slices of bacon, a freshly cracked egg, three hash brown sticks, and American cheese on a 4-inch bun. At most drive-thrus, a 4-inch bun holds their big boy burger. At Whataburger, let’s call 4 inches a baby bun. Things are bigger in Texas — and by Texas, I mean Whataburger.
Total calories: 670. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1540 mg. Carbs: 38 grams. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Protein: 28 g. The price may vary by location. My Whataburger on Holcombe at Greenbriar charges $3.99.
Of course, there’s really nothing new about pounding burgers at 3 am, or as comic Jim Gaffigan calls it, time for one last bad decision. Burger King has auditioned burgers for breakfast off and on. The difference here, of course, this is Whataburger doing burgers in the morning. We trust Whataburger to do things right and yummy. And you were worried about Whataburger clamming up and cutting back after being sold to a monster investment bank in Chicago? Maybe this is a sign to stop worrying.
This is your basic drive-thru classic, breakfast on a bun, except with a burger instead of sausage or Canadian bacon. A big nice touch from Whata — they’re cracking fresh eggs instead of pouring some generic yellow pasteurized egg gunk from a milk carton. The whole egg on a burger concept used to strike me odd. Then I had an egg on my burger at a joint called The Bird off the Reeperbahn in Hamburger, and my life has never been the same.
The standard Breakfast Burger is $3.99 but you can style and profile it with jalapeños, avocado, or grilled peppers and onions for nickels and dimes more. I sprung for the peppers and onions: 50 cents. Good stuff, this Breakfast Burger. Lose the bun, and you’re in the low carb zone, plus saving 140 calories.
Burgers in the deepest darkest night is a tricky deal. Is 3 am late last night or early today? (Remember, the darkest hour is just before dawn.) Whataburger’s Breakfast Burger smudges the line between night and morning, between sneaking in holding your shoes to be quiet, or waking up for an early run.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.