Whataburger is to Texas what In-N-Out is to California. Both companies are still family-owned, regional chains — an anomaly in a market that's dominated by national multimillion-dollar fast-food companies.
In-N-Outs are scattered throughout the Southwest, while Whataburger locations line the South from New Mexico to Florida. They meet in the middle, in Dallas, Texas, where I ate both side by side in a taste test last fall.
While Texans swear by Whataburger's more Southern menu items — Texas toast, patty melts, biscuits — Californians rave about In-N-Out's fresh ingredients and "animal-style" burgers. I ordered a burger, large fries, and a chocolate milkshake.
My first stop was Whataburger. The building is outlined in a classic orange trimming, making it hard to miss when you're cruising down a Texas highway at 80 mph.
Part of Whataburger's Southern charm is displayed right on their windows. There's an American flag and posters repping the neighborhood sports teams.
They take pride in their history — found in most Whataburger restaurants is a framed portrait of the chain's founder, Harmon Dobson, and the original location, which opened in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1950 (right).
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