My Local Whataburger Sucks And I Don’t Know What To Do

I’m a big Whataburger guy. To be clear, I’m no fanatic. I recognize they’re not the best burger. In fact, save for the HBCB, you can pretty easily find better versions of everything on their menu. But you don’t go to Whataburger to get the best burger. You go because there’s really no better balance of quality, convenience, consistency, and price. You’re not going to break your bank even if you want to feast, you won’t spend more than 30mins there (most of the time, unless you go at 10:45 on a Sunday morning), and, pretty much every Whataburger you go to is going to taste exactly like every Whataburger you’ve ever been in. Unless you’re going to my Whataburger. For some reason, call it cruel fate, benign misfortune, karma, call it whatever you want, but my local Whataburger sucks and I don’t know what to do.

Everyone has their Whataburger, their goto. It’s the one that pops into your head when someone says Whataburger. It’s the one you instinctively drive to when you get a craving, the one you’d run to if you were ever kidnapped because it’s the only place you can consistently find without having to look it up. It’s your thoughtless hangover destination, your anticipated drunken Mecca, your last resort when nothing else sounds good and you’ll be damned if you cook any of the $100 worth of groceries sitting in your fridge. It’s your home.

But what do you do when it sucks? I wish I knew. I’ve never encountered this problem before. I’ve been spoiled my entire life with prime Whataburgers. Midland, TX is lousy with them, they’re all delicious, none of them take longer than 15mins, and they all seem to be quicker than anywhere else on the draw for carrying the latest All Time Favorite. The Whataburgers in College Station? Even better. Clean, faster than a fat kid chasing an ice cream truck, and the staff are all under 25 so they don’t mind when you come barreling with a chronic BAC. Life was good.

Now, though, I’m a Whataburger refugee. A man without a homeland. The one closest to me is weird as mayonnaise, lit worse than a nightclub bathroom, gets busier than a wharf whore during fleet week, and has an average wait time longer than an emergency room in Juarez. It’s awful. If I go up there at 9:00AM it’s overwhelmed and understaffed. If I go up there at 10:45PM I’m likely to have to navigate my way through a LARPing league just to reach the register. I’ve never faced this kind of Whataburger hardship and I don’t know what to do.

I could find another one, but it’s not that easy. For being Central Texas there are shockingly few Whataburgers in my surrounding vicinity. The closest one requires me taking two highways, one of them a toll road, and I just can’t seem to reconcile the idea of paying toll fees for a Honey BBQ chicken sandwich. I could also find another goto spot, maybe become a Chick Fil A or Sonic guy, but ever since Sonic jumped the shark with their menu I’ve been spooked for going there for anything but ice cream. Not to mention Sonics vary in quality and wait time within the hour, let alone the location. Chick Fil A would be a nice alternative but I just can’t wait in those lines. I don’t care they all take 3 min or less, I’m principally against waiting in a wraparound line for drive thru chicken.

Thus, I remain. A reluctant loyalist, a beleaguered countryman. I know it’s through no circumstance of the Whataburger. It sits off the busiest interstate in Texas in between said interstate, two different tollways, and three different cities. It’s in identity crisis, a haven for the misfits and the displaced, a waypoint for the vagabonds. It has no chance. Still, it sucks. My local Whataburger sucks, and I don’t know what to do about it.

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