Question of the Week: What Does a Jumbaco Really Look Like?

Categories: Fast Times

JUMBACO! JUMBACO!

I've found myself unconsciously singing the annoyingly catchy Jack In The Box ad jingle in the car dozens of times since first viewing the commercial above. I hate myself for it. But as deep as my self-loathing goes, my morbid curiosity runs even deeper. (See also: the Skittles burger.)

Like many Americans, a good portion of the money my parents gave me in college that wasn't spent on gas for surreptitious road trips to Austin on the weekends was spent on 99-cent Jack In The Box tacos in the wee small hours of the morning. I have a love-hate relationship with the things, as I'm convinced that they're nothing more than deep-fried cat-food shells but occasionally eat them -- with relish! -- nevertheless.

Nostalgia makes us do dumb things.

Jumbaco 002.jpg
I put the "prettiest" taco on top.
Naturally, after enough viewings of the Jumbaco commercial, I decided it was time to make a Jumbaco for myself. I'm neither the first nor the last to do so, but you can't put off morbid curiosity like this just because some other fools on the Internet tried the same thing. I can see their pictures, but I can't taste the Jumbaco for myself.

As it turns out, the Jumbaco tastes awful. (Like you were expecting a different conclusion to arise from this experiment.) The Jumbo Jack with cheese is already a weird enough burger -- mayo and ketchup...yeah, not in Texas -- and it doesn't need the crunch of deep-fried "taco shells" further skewing its flavor profile. And those hot mess tacos are not improved by the added starch from the doughy-soft Jumbo Jack buns or the ketchup-mayo combination.

It's a lose-lose scenario.

Jumbaco 005.jpg
Ugh.
I only took one bite, and it was enough. Trying to find someone at the office to eat the rest of the Jumbaco was a losing proposition too. My co-workers regarded the sandwich as if it were the remains of an aborted Telepod experiment like the one in which Seth Brundle was hideously combined with a housefly.

Craig Hlavaty finally relented. "Do you want the whole Jumbaco?" I asked, excited.

"No," he shot back. "But I'll eat the meat out of it."

Which meat? It didn't matter. All that matters is that Jack's fake marketing team in the ad was right: Normal people like the regular old Jumbo deal. Jack's a good dad for supporting his son's idea, but he should also consider the possibility that there's something profoundly wrong with his offspring.



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22 comments
Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

reminds me of my brother and his McDonalds surf and turf experiment.

Shilcutt, pretty sure you went to school with him

JumBAco
JumBAco

Ed T. is correct - the tacos should go inside the buns of the Jumbo Jack. Crazy you say? Burguesa Burger in Dallas makes a delicious mexican burger that combines a traditional hamburger with a crunchy tostada, refried beans and guacamole inside and its effing delicious. Try one and I dare you to deny it. Its the closest we'll ever get to eating a JumBAco, until we get to heaven.

Chad Hayman
Chad Hayman

oh my! my co workers are singing this song all day long. It really does getcha.

Jumbaco
Jumbaco

I'm glad i'm not the only one... I love it when the kid whines "They killed my Jumbaco Idea"...

csoakley
csoakley

¡Jack's head of marketing is mucho caliente!

LosNix
LosNix

Above picture rotated to most attractive angle, of course.

For what it's worth, I feel for you... the wife catches up with the Daily Show and Colbert Report online, and they play that ad repeatedly during the "commercial breaks". "JumBAco, JumBAco" is one of the most tenacious ear-worms ever invented, period.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

I did it Primanti-style, and threw the fries into the Jumbaco, as well.  1200 calories and 60 grams of fat never tasted so unappetizing...

dbb
dbb

I can't believe you post this just after excoriating Paula Deen for promoting fatty foods. I'm far from a Paula apologist, but this is a bit hypocritical, no?

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

I remember a burger stand off Gordon St. in Alvin, years ago, that always advertised a Tortilla Burger. My curiosity finally got the best of me and I stopped one day and ordered one. I had visions of something along the lines of an original S.W. Tookies Bean Burger. Turned out what I got was a normal burger but instead of buns it was served between two tostado shells. Major fail in both taste and execution.

Funny, I had erased that memory until I saw your photos.TA

Matthew
Matthew

why not just eat the tacos separately?

Glenn Livet
Glenn Livet

I can't believe you asked Hlavaty "Which meat?" like you thought he'd say anything other than "all of it."

Megan
Megan

I'll come visit you when you get the stent put in.  :)

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

It's sarcasm. Obviously. The ad is a joke, this post is a satirical response to it. At no point did I nor would I ever advocate that anyone seriously eat a Jumbaco. Come on, now...  ;)

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

You should've AT LEAST had a bite from the meat side of the tacos.  This is the type of in-depth reporting that is lacking so-much these days.  Sheesh.

Ed T.
Ed T.

I have only one question: why not put the tacos *inside* the Jumbo Jack?

dbb
dbb

Forgive me...haven't seen the commercial, and youtube is blocked at work :(  In this case I restate my comment as "Paula would be proud!"

Corey
Corey

Kath- NO YOUTUBE, ONE YEAR! 

Bhorde2010
Bhorde2010

It seems to me the tacos should be inside too.  Otherwise, like this..it would be called a "Taco Jack".  "Jumbaco" says the Jumbo Jack is the main part which should mean the tacos are secondary.  Therefore, tacos..INSIDE.  However, since the whole thing is a marketing gimmick, I suppose it really doesn't matter.  Carry on.

Bruce R
Bruce R

Megan, you really should buy a TV.  It's cheaper than renting one.

Megan
Megan

Thank God that a) we only have two JITBs in KC and b) I don't own a TV.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

You're not missing much. In fact, I suggest not watching the ad so you'll never have to be saddled with the awful "Jumbaco!" earworm that won't go away...

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