This morning, I stumbled across a website ranking all 46 Whataburger food items. As a Texas lifer, you can imagine my excitement. This was going to be great! Whataburger getting all the love it deserves!
And then ... I read it. Here's the link, but I caution you, it's not safe for Texans. They put the fries as the second-best item. They put biscuits and gravy at number four. The Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich is only at five!? No no no NO NO.
We're a blog that covers the Dallas Mavericks, but after thinking about it for a little bit, we decided that ranking Whataburger food items is absolutely a sport. Plus, Whataburger is a big-time Mavericks sponsor. And most important, if we didn't do something about this, who would step up to correct this travesty?
So with that in mind, welcome to the definitive Mavs Moneyball ranking of Whataburger.
Look, we decided it was best to not even bother with items like fruit snacks and garden salads. We're doing a straight up Top 10 list. Items ranked at No. 1 earned 10 points, and so on down.
Panelists include myself, Jamie Plunkett, Bailey Rogers, Josh Bowe, Doyle Rader, Austin Ngaruiya and Hal Brown.A couple other staff writers contributed thoughts but did not submit a Top 10 ranking. We received votes on 21 items. Surprisingly, no item was universally ranked on every ranking. (Doyle claims to have never had a Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich.) However, we feel like this is an excellent ranking and makes up for the injustice done.
Here's our list.
1. Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich (55 points)
Bailey: I still remember the first time I had one of these. I was in college and picked it up on the way to see a movie. I don't remember which movie, but I remember being late because I sat in my damn car and savored the hell out of this, the GOAT of sandwiches.
Jamie: I ate one of these on Sunday. It made me very happy.
Tim: The Dirk Nowitzki of fast food items. There simply is no debate.
Josh: I couldn't even believe it when this was announced. Me and my group of high school buddies didn't drink in high school (don't worry, we made up for it in college) so perusing late night fast food joints was OUR JAM. This was our holy grail. We ate it everyday it was released and continued throughout its first run. I take it for granted a little now that it's always available but make no mistake: this is the king.
2. Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit (48 points)
Bailey: Every other breakfast item is crap in comparison. (Except you bacon; love you.) Every now and again, I get one with too much honey butter, but usually the ratio of honey to chicken to biscuit is just perfect. I can never order just one.
Austin: The beauty of Whataburger lies in their 11 p.m. start time for breakfast. This allows the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit to close out your evening with a Nowitzkiesque touch.
Jamie: The flaky-ness of the biscuit is what does it for me here. There's always enough that's flaked off to scoop up the drippings of honey butter.
Hal: Much like Monta Ellis I think the honey butter can be a bit heavy handed sometimes, but like the Dirk and Monta pairing the chicken and biscuit just go so well together, it really gets the job done.
Kelly: The HBCB, as the Mavs Moneyball staff lovingly calls it, is the Monta Ellis of breakfast foods. It has it all - protein from the chicken, a delicious buttery biscuit that provides much needed energy in the form of carbs, and sweetness which I feel any breakfast needs. It is the actual best breakfast food.
3. Original Whataburger (34 points)
Tim: For the record, this includes any and all modifications you want to make. It's a very versatile burger, and the fact that you can get any combination of double meat, jalapenos, bacon and avocado on it just shows off the different facets of its game.
Jamie: This was the first fast food burger I ever had. My dad drove me through when I was 9 or 10, and I've been hooked ever since.
Doyle: A true classic. You really can't go wrong when you order a Whataburger. I like mine with cheese and jalapenos. Always get jalapenos.
4. Monterey Melt (30 points)
Doyle: This is by far my favorite burger at Whataburger. You can't go wrong with grilled onions and peppers on anything. Then that jalapeno Ranch kicks in. So good. Be sure to sub in grilled jalapenos off the bench. You regret it if you don't ... kinda like when Al-Farouq Aminu wasn't getting playing time.
Hal: I'm with Doyle on this one, it's the best to me and it's not even close. The key to every good Whataburger is the onion, cheese, and patties, and the Monterey Melt does the best job of really featuring what makes a Whataburger amazing while accentuating it with the peppers, and mild, delicious pepper ranch.
Bailey: As per my theme in this ranking, I like the chicken version of this burger better. But the beef Monterey Melt is a criminally underrated burger. I don't normally go for a lot of zing in my burgers, but this one works for me for some reason.
5. Patty Melt (28 points)
Tim: It has enough salt to turn a swimming pool into the Dead Sea, but I don't care -- this sandwich is manna sent from heaven.
Hal: It's like the Monterrey Melt but more heavy handed. Sometimes some salty, peppery brute force is exactly what the doctor ordered though. Meaty, cheesy heaven.
Bailey: Texas toast is what makes the Patty Melt great. For whatever reason, I just prefer a fast food burger on Texas toast. Don't ask me why; it's just better.
6. Chop House Cheddar Burger (27 points)
Tim: I wonder if it would have ranked higher if it were a regular menu item.
Josh: A super-solid and underrated choice. The sauce is great and even though I hate onions, it always holds up.
Hal: I personally ranked it below the two melts but just barely. It's like everything we love about the normal Whataburger just better. I have no idea how it's this low.
7. Spicy Ketchup (25 points)
Jamie: Screw bathing in wine, Amar'e needs to fund a spicy ketchup bath house.
Tim: I know some people out there don't like condiments, but spicy ketchup transcends that realm. Whataburger choosing to sell it in bottles at HEB is one of the world's most important decisions of our generation.
Doyle: Regular ketchup is how NBA scouts viewed European players before Dirk. Spicy ketchup is how scouts view European players post Dirk.
Josh: Spicy ketchup is better at life than me.
Austin: Spicy ketchup must be preserved in order for future civilizations to understand our level of advanced technology.
8. Taquitos (24 points)
Doyle: Get the potato one!
Josh: Surprisingly huge and filling. Perfect blend of breakfast meatiness. ALWAYS HAVE WITH THE PICANTE SAUCE.
Jamie: You can't go wrong with one of these at 3 a.m....unless you get the potato one. Don't get the potato one. And I agree with Josh, if you don't get Picante sauce, you're doing it very, very wrong.
9. A1 Thick & Hearty (21 points)
Tim: Friend of the site Bobby Karalla will probably not be happy with this ranking. The A1 is a good sandwich to have every few months, but it just doesn't stand out. In fact, I'm only writing this because it was the only item that didn't get a comment added to it.
10. Green Chile Double (15 points)
Tim: I'm so happy this made the top 10. It's not for everyone, and I get that. Like Russell Westbrook, some people are turned off by the brash, over-the-top personality. But dude. Two different kinds of cheeses. The Green Chile Double's on-court performance is at an MVP-level if you ask me.
Hal: I don't always want a Green Chile Double but when I actually want it, it's like the best meal I've ever had. It's built to only have every once in a while, but it's perfect when you want it. It's like the Charlie V of burgers.
We had a few others receive votes that we need to talk about.
Whatachik'n Strips (14 points)
Bailey: Everyone thinks of Whataburger as a burger place, but their chicken game is low key on fleek. Seriously, I get chicken at least 3 times more than beef at Whataburger. And these strips are just fantastic when dipped in gravy.
Doyle: I saw some pleb write that you should get Ranch with this meal on another site. Are you kidding me? Ranch is fine for cheap pizza but it is unacceptable in this case. This meal comes with gravy. Dip the strips in gravy. Dip the toast in gravy. Accept no substitution.
Gravy (7 points)
Jamie: There was a lady that worked at the Whataburger near TCU who always offered me free gravy, no matter what I ordered. If it was after 2 AM I would take her up on it, otherwise, no thank you.
Doyle: It's gravy. Need I say anything else? It's the Jordan of condiments.
Kate: I haven't lived in Texas since high school and there's plenty I miss about the food, but aside from the year I spent in Abu Dhabi, I've been able to find decent tacos and barbecue almost everywhere I've lived. That's definitely not the case with fast food gravy. I know it's objectively pretty gross, but it's the one thing I just can't get if I'm not home.
Fries (4 points)
Tim: Whataburger fries have the potential to be a top 10 item, but they're just too inconsistent. Too often, you get a random mushy fry that's terrible, or you get an oversalted batch. They're still important for deliver spicy ketchup from the packet to your mouth, but definitely not a top 10 item.
Jamie: Why are fries an important part of every balanced Whataburger meal? Because they get the spicy ketchup to your mouth. That's pretty much all they're good for.
Doyle: The fries are the worst item on the menu. They are soft, flaccid, and tasteless. The are so worthless that they almost take away from the glory of the spicy ketchup.
Austin: The fries can be a delightful complement, but at times they present inexplicable qualities. Richard Jefferson is a fan.
Kelly: Fries are the Mavs Dancers of the menu. Are they absolutely essential for me? No. But if they are there, then why not?
Kate: Ingrates, all of you! I'm nine months pregnant, thousands of miles from the closest Whataburger (ok, it's more like 150, but still), and could not be crankier about the situation. Stop complaining about the fries and be grateful you're close enough to eat anything else on this list! Texas fast food is the Southwest Division of fast food and may be the only thing I miss more than Texas basketball.
All images courtesy of Whataburger's Facebook page.