'Loin to Love It

Jack in the Box's new commercials openly mock the McDonalds Angus third-pounders as being inferior to the new sirloin burgers. But are they?

Certainly the commercials are better. McDonalds' bizarre appeal to Californians to eat lots of Angus burgers so they'll catch on and people in Boston can have them next was odd, to say the least—why do we give a damn what they want in Massachusetts? They elected Mitt Romney, after all.

And the only Mickey D Angus burger I tried was kinda dull, even though I was really hungry and in maximum burger-appreciation mode. But the Jack sirloin burger—pretty dang nice. I could do without the denser, cakier bun, but the pickle spears on it were crunchy, and the tomato slice fresh-tasting.

The chief new gimmick is that you get to pick your cheese (“American,” “real Swiss,” or “real Cheddar” . . . so apparently American isn't real?) and your onions—grilled white or raw red. But don't bother doing this until after you've specified whether you want a combo or not, and if so, whether you want that combo small, medium, or large—the cashiers don't hear a word you say until after those decisions have been made.

I hate red onions, so went for the grilled, and I didn't really taste them at all. The meat is good, though: If you've had their sirloin-steak ciabattas, you've had a preview—just imagine them all ground up and with less sauce. Is it better than Jack's Ultimate Cheeseburger, their gold standard to date? Maybe . . . depends what mood you're in.

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