Whataburger A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger

Whataburger Thick & Hearty Gone

Whataburger’s A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger has been an off-and-on limited edition menu item for at least a few years now. I’m not sure why they feel the need to compulsively add it to the lineup, take it away after a few months, and then bring it back around a year later, but I suppose Whataburger can do whatever Whataburger wants. Maybe it drums up excitement and anticipation in the burger community. I don’t know. I didn’t go to burger college.

Whatever the reason, it’s moot now, as Whataburger has decided to do away with it forever. As you can see in the banner above, as of December 21, 2009, the A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger will no longer exist to satisfy your meaty cravings. I have had several of them over the years, and wouldn’t usually do a review on something that has become fairly commonplace to me, but I feel I owe it to the T&H to give it a proper send-off and immortalize it on the Internet.

Whataburger Thick & Hearty Wrap

For those of you who don’t live in the ten select states in the southern part of the United States that have Whataburgers, Whataburger is like a higher-end fast food burger joint. Sort of like In-n-Out, but with a more expanded menu. You can walk in or drive thru, but either way, your wait is going to be longer than it would be at a place like Burger King or McDonald’s, and the food is going to be a little more expensive. Conversely, the food will be of higher quality. If you want to see what you’re missing, you can take a gander  here.

Whataburger wants to make sure that you know you should be seriously mourning the passing of the A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger. We’re talking weeping, pulling hair, rending clothes. There’s a commercial out now that shows a man standing in front of a Whataburger counter; once he catches a glimpse of the “Gone Forever” announcement on the menu above the cashier’s head, he goes through the seven stages of grief, throwing his body on the counter, shaking his head, and generally acting like that homeless guy who gets a free cup of coffee at McDonald’s so he’ll go away and stop making the other customers uncomfortable.

Whataburger wants to make sure that you do not end up becoming that homeless man due to going mentally insane from grief and despair, so they’ve set up a website where you can “let the healing begin”. You can view other people’s fond memories of the burger, support a friend, find some coping tips, or sign a virtual card bidding farewell to what is apparently supposed to be a close friend of yours. A hamburger. Listen, I’m not here to judge, if your best friend is a hamburger from a fast food joint, then that’s your business. Whatever floats your boat. Some of my best friends are hamburgers. I’m just saying.

Whataburger Thick & Hearty Whole

To be honest with you, I am sad to see it go. It is a pretty darn delicious burger. There’s two generously sized beef patties, not suffering from the anemia of other fast food burger patties; when you bit into it, you feel like you’re getting a real, juicy, meaty burger, instead of that familiar feeling of “I’m not exactly sure if this is made out of beef, but I guess I’ll eat it anyways.” The bun is a little flatter and denser than most other burgers, but it tastes fine (I mean really, how much can you say about a damn bun), and the denseness makes you feel like you’re holding a substantial sandwich. The cheese is strategically placed between the patties, so it oozes out as you take a bite. However, the real stars of the show, what sets it apart from a regular burger, are on top.

Whataburger Thick & Hearty Side

A.1. Thick & Hearty Steak Sauce is slathered on the top bun. It differs from the original A.1. Steak sauce in that it is both thicker and heartier, a shocking discovery, given the name of the product. It’s also a little sweeter and smokier than the original, more in the vein of barbecue sauce than steak sauce, with less of a vinegar taste. The bacon is a bit limp, an epidemic trait amongst fast food bacon, but it’s still a little crisper and more flavorful than you’d find on other fast food burgers that employ bacon.

While the A.1. sauce is obviously supposed to be the star of the show, what I was really surprised by was how much the onions turn this burger up a notch.

Whataburger Thick & Hearty Open

Seemingly innocuous in their bath of sauce, you would expect these little chopped onions to be spongy and flavorless. Instead, they add a welcomed bright note to the burger, giving it a great crunch and mild but definitely present onion flavor that ties together the meatiness of the beef and the smokiness of the sauce.

While not the greatest burger of all time, the Whataburger A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger is a step above your ordinary bacon cheeseburger, and if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the ten states that have a Whataburger, I’d recommend that you get out there and try one before they disappear forever on December 21st. Sure, you could make a close facsimile at home with ease, but if you’re on the road and looking for a shitty burger to satisfy your protein cravings, the Thick & Hearty burger is a tasty and unique option that will leave your belly and your taste buds satisfied.

  • Score: 4 out of 5 overly dramatic send-offs
  • Price: $5.09
  • Size: 1 1/2 lb. hamburger
  • Purchased at: Whataburger #421
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains 120% of your daily recommended saturated fat intake; also contains “bun oil”.

9 thoughts on “Whataburger A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger”

  1. I remember a couple of years ago McDonald’s did a “farewell tour” for the McRib, but it’s back AGAIN! I have a feeling you’ll see the Whataburger A.1. Thick & Hearty Burger again.

    1. I don’t appreciate fast food chains toying with my emotions, but Whataburger wants to make really, really sure that you know the T&H is NEVER coming back. …So I’m sure I’ll see it again in a year or so. Damn you, Whataburger!

  2. Must agree with OP. I remember being in school when the original release came out of the thick & hearty… I was in love. Then they would disappear only to release it like 10 months later. When I heard the scare I immediately went and consulted my local What-a-burger drive through. “Yes” they said without enthusiasm “It will be gone forever.” I doubt that but will miss it in the fine tradition of all things discontinued: VHS, tapes, *regular* cable Tv, and .25 cent pay phone calls.

    Some how we will endure…. but not without tears in our eyes.

  3. “Whataburger is like a higher-end fast food burger joint.”

    This made me laugh out loud. It’s not even close to high-end. It’s just another fast food place, like any other: Burger King, McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, etc. All the same type of fast food places. It’s nowhere near In-n-out.

    1. you must be some special kind of stupid. and must have never eaten at a whataburger. in-n-out taste like some yuppie hipster kids meal compared to anything you’ll find at a whataburger.

  4. The A.1. T&H, oh how I miss it sooo much.. I was devastated when I found out they were getting rid of it. Everyone told me they’d bring it back, and till this day, I’m still waiting for that. Isn’t there something we can do to bring it back? I want it now more than ever.

  5. Good news, Whataburger now has this on their menu for good. 🙂 They have something called an “all time favorites menu, and the A1 Thick & Hearty burger is on there. Along with the Chophouse Cheddar Burger, Patty Melt, and Honey BBQ Chicken Strip sandwich.

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