I love Jack in the Box. Not the food, but the character and everything that is associated with his adorable giant head. Let’s face it – he’s the greatest fast food mascot in the history of the universe. Jack is non-threatening, yet authoritative, pleasant and jovial without being silly. I even buy a Jack antenna ball for every season of the year and enjoy it thoroughly until it’s stolen. In this era of terrible white-guy-rap McDonald’s commercials, Jack brightens my day.
But then there’s the food. Their Ultimate Cheeseburger can leave you constipated for weeks and their egg rolls are filled with the saltiest pork mixture I’ve ever tasted, which is saying something because I eat fried salt pork as a snack. I know some people swear by them, but these are people who have probably never had a real egg roll as a reference point.
Jack in the Box’s latest foray into the realm of Asian-themed food comes in bowl form, fresh off the heels of their hideous yet tasty breakfast bowls. I guess this was the logical progression. The combo even comes with one of those aforementioned egg rolls for your dipping pleasure.
These sirloin steak and chicken teriyaki bowls are made up of white rice topped with julienne carrots, broccoli, and the meat of your choice covered in a sweet teriyaki sauce. At around five bucks, they are a bit pricey, but you do get a generous amount of meat in the bowl. But as they say, quantity doesn’t beat quality unless you’re trying to get drunk. My first taste led to a resounding shrug of the shoulders and a high-pitched â€œEh,” a reaction that I felt was necessary even though I was eating lunch by myself.
The steak, while abundant, obviously came pre-packaged and had that unnaturally soft texture that frozen steak tends to have. Needs more tendony mouth feel, I’d say! Unlike Yoshinoya, however, the broccoli and carrots were sufficiently crunchy. All of this smacks of mediocrity and is quite literally topped off with the one-note sweetness of the teriyaki sauce. Completely uninteresting and bland come to mind. I say stick with Yoshinoya and their baby food-soft vegetables if you want Asian-style fast food, or better yet, try a Flame Broiler if you have one in your area.
It’s a noble effort from a mascot I love, but it’s only worthwhile as a last resort when you’re desperate for some teriyaki and the better places aren’t open.
(Nutritional Facts – 1 bowl – 650 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 45 mg of cholesterol, 1740mg sodium, 106 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 30 grams of protein)
Item: Jack in the Box Steak Teriyaki Bowl
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Jack is a superior mascot. Branching out into ethnic foods can lead to possible future interesting foods. Steak is abundant and plentiful. Vegetables maintain their texture.
Cons: Steak has pre-packaged taste and texture. Sauce is obnoxiously sweet and ordinary. There’s probably a better variation of this bowl at Yoshinoya or a local joint. People stealing my Jack antenna balls.