We headed south down the island today and then inland to Corpus Christi, the closest place around here that has everything you need. Known as the Sparkling City By The Sea, it may be. We wouldn’t know. Today Corpus reminded us of the City By The Bay. Like San Francisco, it was socked in with fog.
This was a second trip to Corpus. The first trip entailed errands and a quick lunch. We had hoped to do some sightseeing today, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. So, we decided to have another quick lunch at the same place: Whataburger.
Whataburger is a privately-held regional fast food restaurant that serves up great tasting burgers with a smile. It started nearly 50 years ago with one restaurant here in Corpus Christi. Today there are 700 restaurants in 10 states. Most of these tasty places are right here in Texas.
We’ve seen several of the orange and white striped a-frame restaurants since we entered the Lone Star State, but we hadn’t stopped. Finally, curiosity got the best of us and we decided to make it a stop on our first run to Corpus. As Whataburger virgins, we stepped into the restaurant and ordered two Number Ones. (Number One is usually a safe bet anywhere you go.)
After helping us through the many options that would make our cheeseburgers just the way we like them, the cheerful man behind the counter looked at Paul’s Kansas Jayhawks t-shirt.
“Bet you don’t get Whataburger at home,” he smiled.
We nodded and explained that this was actually our first time at Whataburger. He seemed genuinely excited about making our experience a good one.
“Will you let us know how you like it?” he asked. We assured him we would.
With that we filled our drinks, took a seat and checked out the place. It was sparkling clean and had a good “vibe”. Minutes later another cheerful soul brought our food out on one tray and a selection of condiments and other necessities on another. It all smelled so good we couldn’t wait to dig in. Actually, we didn’t.
For the next several minutes we ate silently. It was that good!
While we chomped away on our tasty lunch, our happy order taker strolled our way.
“We’ll, how do you like it?” he asked.
We couldn’t speak. Our mouths were full. We gave him a couple of big thumbs up.
On our way out he thanked us for coming. We assured him we’d be back.
Back on the island, Whataburger came up as a topic of conversation over breakfast. We learned a bit about the company’s history and that the flagship restaurant - a salute to the first “shack” - is located on Shoreline Avenue in downtown Corpus Christi.
We just had to go back. Today was the day. These enthusiastic Whataburger converts were on a mission to burger Mecca.
As we drove along the shore of Corpus Christi’s supposedly scenic harbor, we were disappointed that the fog and wind obscured the view. Corpus looks like it’s probably a very pretty, albeit windy, city. As we came closer to downtown we spotted the day glo orange on the roof of Whataburger By The Bay, the crown jewel of our latest obsession.
Once again we stepped inside and were greeted by cheerful and helpful folks. After placing our order, we were encouraged to go upstairs. Little did we know this is the only Whataburger with a second story. It was designed to showcase the scenic views of the Corpus harbor. Though we couldn’t appreciate the views today, we definitely appreciated our second Whataburger experience.
This place is doing something right. Great people providing great service and great food at a great price. We don’t know how they do it, but we’re glad they do.
Some call Whataburger “A Texas Treasure”. We call it one great find.