Fast Food

Would you like fries (or onion rings or chicken tenders) with that?

Jack in the Box: Breakfast Pita

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Yes, it's spilling everywhere. But there's a whole lot in this pita. [Photo: Carey Jones]

My dad went to college on the West Coast; growing up, he told us stories of fraternity pranks, as many fathers do. In one he loves to retell, he and some cohorts derived an evening of amusement from driving around to 4 different locations of Jack in the Box and mooning the clown head microphone in the drive-thru. As he put it, "You could do that all day, because the clown didn't care."

I'd long heard these stories, but never made it to a Jack in the Box myself; so on a recent trip to California, I made sure we stopped by—not to moon the clown, but so I could try a new item on their breakfast menu: the Breakfast Pita.

Breakfast is becoming the new dinner, with many chains turning to breakfast as a means of customer acquisition: Burger King and Subway both recently began promoting breakfast, to name only a few. Breakfast isn't new to Jack in the Box, but the breakfast pita is. The sandwich consists of scrambled egg, bacon, ham, and American cheese in half of a whole-wheat pita pocket. It builds off of their Chicken Fajita Pita, the first (and only) pita I've ever seen in a major fast food chain.

Admittedly, pita with egg might strike you as an odd combination; it certainly struck me that way. I hesitated before biting in, but was pleasantly surprised. The eggs were plentiful, fluffy, and moist, almost like homemade scrambled eggs—much less plastic-tasting than the pre-cooked, re-microwaved patties at some fast food joints. The cheese was just as you'd expect American to be, and the ham ranked slightly below Subway's, though much saltier. The bacon, on the other hand, reminded me more of crispy homemade bacon than the limper variety from Burger King or Subway.

It may look awkward, but as a breakfast offering, it's quite tasty. The ingredients taste fresher than those at McDonald's or Burger King. The sandwich feels much lighter than an Egg McMuffin or a Croissanwich (and, calorically, is much lighter). The wrapping showed no signs of oil seeping through it, and I felt somewhat healthy eating it. Add crisp (if greasy) French Toast sticks and a coffee for $4.39 all-in, and you've got a meal that, for a fast-food breakfast, I'd recommend. It's the pita pocket, Jack, the pita pocket!

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