Jack in the Box is a West Coast-based burger-joint chain which, before anyone knew to fear things like trans fats and cholesterol, used to proudly pack in more of all that goodness than its competitors. (It may still … anyone brave enough to check?) In pre-internet days, it was never too clear what this chain’s scope was (or meant to be), but it seemed to be regional (unlike, say, similarly California-based Wack Donald’s, whose global-domination designs seemed clear from the get-go). So the (probably misguided) perception around here was sort of like J in the B was the semi-local-ish underdog, whose star, in any case, shone brightest when one was cruising around aimlessly at 2 AM with the munchies.
This editor mainly remembers JITB distinguishing itself via its larger-than-normal menus; prominent use of bacon (well in advance of today’s trends); foil wrapping around the burgers; and – above all – onion rings (“rangs”), which none of the other usual suspects then offered.
Oakland connection: the one on Telegraph near Kasper’s (though no doubt there were/are several other locations)