News broke just before the Fourth of July holiday that a former popular fast-food restaurant is returning to Chicago. Sure, many have fond memories of this restaurant, but my recent experiences tell me it's not worth getting excited about.

I'm talking about Jack In The Box, which told the Chicago Tribune that the company wants to open stores in the Chicago suburbs and franchise-owned stores in the Chicago area. This is according to a report from WGN TV.

Jack In The Box came to Chicago in the 1960s and left in the 1980s. My father was a Jack In The Box manager for about a month back in 1978. I can tell you he wasn't a fan of the fast food joint or a fan of the much younger manager who fired him because he was having some problems taking the store's inventory.

I'll admit, at that point, I was fascinated with the French fries and the jack-in-the-box-looking speaker you ordered through the drive-through. So, I can't speak to the food that was being served back then and how good or not good it was.

Yet, I have had Jack In The Box as an adult. I'm here to tell you, it's not that good. I've never gotten how anyone can like their two tacos for 99 cents deal. As a teenager or young adult where money's tight, I get it. I get it, too, if it's your post-drinking ritual, where it's less about what you're eating and more just putting something in your tummy to soak up the alcohol. But let's stop kidding ourselves; the only thing going for Jack In The Box's tacos is the price.

Let's talk burgers. Bluntly, they're unremarkable. I'm not saying they're bad or good. I genuinely don't remember how the burger tasted. I do remember thinking, is this what all the hype is about? Cheap tacos that taste about as good as they cost, and an unremarkable hamburger?

The item that I thought Jack In The Box did really well isn't even on their menu right now. It was loaded cheese fries, which stood out when I thought about Jack In The Box. It's also the item that did get me back in the store. For me, it was that good. It was worth an unremarkable burger or choking down cheap tacos if I knew I had their loaded cheese fries.

I will say this: Many Chicagoans, at least those who remember Jack In The Box from the '60s and '70s, seem pleased that the fast-food restaurant is coming back to town. My girlfriend, who spent almost two decades in the Bay Area around Oakland and San Francisco, says that in California, Jack In The Box is the bomb, although she thinks the tacos are suspect.

Of course, my unremarkable Jack In The Box experience as an adult could have been due to a poor franchise owner or poor regional management. For example, I first tried Sonic's food at a Sonic that opened in Lafayette, Indiana. Once again, I'd say the food was unremarkable at best. Then, when I finally tried it in Texas, I was surprised at how good the food was. I can't tell you what was different; it was way better, and it became one of my favorite places in Texas to get a burger.

So, it is possible that when I pull up to the Jack In The Box speaker and order the Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger Combo, I'll be pleasantly surprised by the burger and fries and change my tune. One thing that won't change, though, is the tacos; it's a hard pass on that for me, period.

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