Terrible tacos and Chocolate Overlord Cake: Denver's new Jack in the Box

Categories: Jenn in Chains

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J. Wohletz
As I'm driving to the new Jack in the Box , which opened yesterday at 2020 South Federal Boulevard, the second new Jack in metro Denver in a month, I'm seriously wondering why anyone would stop to eat at Jack's when both sides of the street, for miles, are dotted with mom-and-pop Mexican taquerías, mariscos trucks, carts and sit-down phở restaurants. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a quick burger from time to time, but that seems like such a waste of cash when compared to sitting down to a steaming bowl of spiced broth, noodles and rare beef, or scooping into a chilled, cilantro-garnished seafood coctel -- for a minuscule price upgrade.

It was easy to spot the new Jack's, because it was surrounded by signs, flags, balloons and people -- lots of people. The parking lot was packed, and so was the dining room, and the drive-thru was humming along to match.

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J. Wohletz
The register line was a good fifteen-minute wait -- which, in fast-food time, is like an hour -- and I had to admire the way the clearly ambushed employees were keeping it together. I ordered the Sirloin Cheeseburger combo with curly fries, the Sirloin Swiss & Grilled Onion Burger and the Chocolate Overload Cake -- which I swear to blog said "Chocolate Overlord Cake," proving that I should stop reading HuffPo in the mornings before I've had my coffee. Jack also has both Fanta orange and strawberry soda -- and Fanta is fantastic.

As I sat down and waited, I mused about how long it had been since I'd last eaten at Jack in the Box. It was my sophomore year in high school, and the next time I asked my Pops if we could stop for curly fries, he told me -- in a testament to laconic parenting -- that we weren't eating at Jack's anymore because their burgers were f*cked up. In culinary school, I later learned about their unfortunate E.coli outbreak, and although my Pops was correct, I also learned there were technical terms for f*cked up.

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J. Wohletz
The dining room, a new look for Jack in the Box, was actually cheery. The pop-art wall graphics were interesting to look at, and I actually kinda liked the shadow-box art with the little Jack head in it -- it made the mascot slightly less creepy.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught a stationary order-kiosk. Upon examination, it seemed that this large, ATM-style machine was probably responsible for at least a few cashier positions being eliminated, and I wondered when all fast-food joints are going to replace humans with these. But then my food came, and there was no more time for deep thoughts.

The burgers were big. The Sirloin Cheeseburger had a decent bun; crisp, lengthwise-cut pickles; a beef patty that was very black-peppery; and ubiquitous hunks of iceberg lettuce that were annoying but expected. The Swiss & Grilled Onion Burger had plenty of lightly-grilled onions, and the same peppery burger patty.

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J. Wohletz
The tables around me seemed to be on to something I wasn't aware of: the allure of Jack's Sourdough Steak Melt. I asked a cashier about this sandwich, and he assured me that it was "the best thing on the menu." So I ordered one, since what goes better with chocolate fudge cake than a steak sandwich?

The sandwich was pretty good -- an unhealthy but tempting combination of buttered and grilled sourdough toast, melted Cheddar and American cheese, grilled onions and a salty, white sauce that tasted a bit like ranch dressing.

Location Info

Jack in the Box

2020 S. Federal Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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13 comments
saul lugo
saul lugo

mira las cosas k dices.ignorante los tacos estan delisiosos y muy sabros y saben muy bien gracias jack eres unico en los tacos 

davebarnes
davebarnes

Arbys tried the kiosk ordering and it did not work well at all.

Scott B
Scott B

Are you crazy? JITB tacos (hold the lettuce) is one of the best foods on earth. It should be on the fucking UNESCO World Heritage list.

GFTW
GFTW

"proving that I should stop reading HuffPo in the mornings before I've had my coffee"

Actually, you should stop reading HuffPo period.

Mantonat
Mantonat

I think the fast-food chains have really done their demographics homework regarding this stretch of Federal. Look out the window of that J in the B and you can see a McDonald's Wendy's, and Burger King, with a Long John Silver/A&W combo on the south side of Evans. Pizza Hut, Blackjack, and Domino's are also near by. At least the Tacos Rapidos always has a line in the drive-through.

Jenn the Barbarian
Jenn the Barbarian

 @davebarnes--I think if Arby's had naked people, beer, and disco balls that sprinkled meth on everyone every few minutes THEN and only then would they be slightly worth eating at.

Jenn the Barbarian
Jenn the Barbarian

 I had a feeling that you'd hone in on that--but if I perma-ditch HuffPo, where ever will I get my morning dose of socialism? For the record, I actually used to peep Fox News in the evenings so I could keep an eye on the enemy, but then I got tired of paying for upgraded cable.

Jenn the Barbarian
Jenn the Barbarian

 @Mantonat: I agree with that. That part of Federal is looking like a gentrified strip mall, which, I suspect, is what developers had in mind.

nope
nope

 wrong.  the potato cakes are among the greatest food items in the fast food world.

GFTW
GFTW

Considering that HuffPo rips off all its content, you can read it just about anywhere!

Fox News has the hottest babes.

GFTW
GFTW

Ew. That taco sounds better.

Jenn the Barbarian
Jenn the Barbarian

 This is true--Bill O'Reilly is a hawt babe--I'd love to see him in his underpants.

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