Texas sheriff resigns after New Year’s Day Whataburger fight


A New Year’s Day fistfight at a Midlothian Whataburger involving Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown, two college-aged men and Brown’s brother Bobby resulted in Sheriff Brown’s resignation Wednesday morning.

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He pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault shortly thereafter.

More: Hot fries and misdemeanors: Police warn against swiping Whataburger table tents

According to reports from FOX 4 DFW and the Midlothian Mirror, two 21-year-olds from Killeen, Matthew Longoria and  Caleb Tomgenovich, told police that Bobby Brown started the Jan. 1 fight after an altercation in the Whataburger parking lot. Video of the incident exists, but has not been released, according to FOX 4.

Brown, who served two terms as sheriff and was recently re-elected, admitted to assaulting Longoria early that morning.

A statement from Brown’s lawyer about the fight reads:

“Sheriff Brown walked into Whataburger in Midlothian where a fight was already in progress. His initial observation was a large white male assaulting Sheriff Brown’s 59-year-old brother and knocking him to the floor. As a sworn law enforcement officer, he is obligated to preserve the peace. He used the force and language necessary to end the violence, prevent further assaults, and protect others from being harmed.”

More: North Texas pastor soulfully serenades a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit from Whataburger

However, Brown was not wearing his badge (having just come from a Republican Women fundraiser) and acted as a civilian. At one point, according to FOX 4, Longoria said that when witnesses threatened to call the cops, Brown yelled, “We ARE the cops!”

On Wednesday morning, a post on Brown’s Facebook page read, “Good morning y’all. I need extra prayers today please. Y’all get your coffee and read Isaiah 41 verses 10-13. Have a great day.”

Brown later surrendered his peace officer license, was booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center and is now required to pay a $500 fine and about $272 in court costs.

More: BuzzFeed article deems Whataburger better than In-N-Out and Shake Shack

Brown released a statement Wednesday stating that it “has been my honor to serve as the Sheriff of Ellis County, Texas for two terms and to have been re-elected by its citizens in the most recent election. I was involved in an unfortunate incident earlier this year which has reflected unfavorably upon me, and I do not want it to adversely impact the good men and women of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office or the citizens we serve.

“I have accepted the judgment and sentencing of the court and will not file for new trial [sic] or an appeal. Additionally, I have decided to end my long career in law enforcement by permanently surrendering my Texas Peace Officer License and all certificates issued to me by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.”

Southwest Airlines gave away free Whataburger on flights for Texas Independence Day

What’s more Texan than Whataburger? Free Whataburger on Southwest Airlines on Texas Independence Day, that’s what.

This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Twitter user @lwaysBeHappy, a.k.a. Charlie, tweeted on Thursday that the Texas-based airline should provide its passengers with free Whataburger in celebration of the holiday.

RELATED: 181 things we love about Texas, in celebration of Texas Independence Day

Southwest responded to the tweet a few hours later, saying, “That is a brilliant idea actually” and well, the rest is history.

It’s a Texas Independence Day miracle, y’all.

Neither Whataburger or the airline said exactly what menu item was served, but it looks an awful lot like a chicken strip sandwich box with Texas toast and gravy. Mmmmmmmm.

If Whataburger and/or Southwest Airlines doesn’t hire Charlie in their marketing department, they’re making a huge mistake.

RELATED: 181 country songs about Texas

Hot fries and misdemeanors: Police warn against swiping Whataburger table tents

This table tent at the Southpark Meadows Whataburger was photographed in place on Tuesday, Feb. 28, and did not leave the store.
This table tent at the Southpark Meadows Whataburger was photographed in place on Tuesday, Feb. 28, and did not leave the store.

As tempting as it might be to take your Whataburger table tent to go (hey, that’s my lucky number!), it is actually, you know, stealing. And one police department in Denton County has had enough.

RELATED — What a scandal: List of top fast food takes Texas favorite for granted

In a Facebook post last week, the Northeast Police Department in Krugerville, Texas, warned area residents that they were on the case:

We have learned that it has become a game for area teens to be removing the plastic “order numbers” from the restaurant when in attendance. Removing these items without consent is a theft, which could result in a citation being issued for Theft of Property under $100.00.

The post also pointed out that the police sometimes had more of the numbers than the local Whataburger did, and shared photos of seized table tents spread out on the hood of a patrol car as if they were so many kilos of drugs or stacks of ill-gotten cash.

RELATED — Your Whataburger vs. the Whataburger she tells you not to worry about

The post has been shared more than six thousand times and gained more than half as many comments, many taunting the officers and boasting of their own table tent collection.

For the record, if you want a Whataburger Table Tent bad enough, you can buy one on eBay (here’s one example, though there’s no guarantee that it’s not “hot”). Sadly, the Whataburger online store does not offer them, though you can get a “Fancy Ketchup Mouse Pad.”

RELATED — North Texas pastor soulfully serenades a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit from Whataburger



What a scandal: List of top fast food takes Texas favorite for granted

We Texans can get pretty defensive about our state’s homegrown fast food treasure, Whataburger. So it’s clear as day that the staff at The Ringer made a few errors in regards to its list of the “Top 50 fast food items in America.

The Corpus Christi-born chain landed in the No. 37 spot with one of the “All-Time Favorites” menu items, the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich. The Ringer left off the “strip” in its name, which is the first of many mistakes (in my opinion) made in this ranking, which include:

  1. Ranking the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich way too low at No. 37
  2. Only placing one Whataburger item on the list to begin with
  3. Placing three burgers from California’s In-N-Out ahead of Whataburger

The Ringer is based in Los Angeles, so perhaps there is a slight regional bias. Whataburger has a Texas-sized online personality and is deeply embedded into our state’s food culture. How could a list of the greatest fast food not mention the expansive menu of items like chicken strips, burgers the size of your head, milkshakes and the holy grail of breakfast food, the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit?

Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries landed in the top spot of the list. A truly eclectic ranking, somehow enough people are convinced Arby’s is worth visiting that the curly fries and roast beef sandwich ranked higher than Whataburger. Other items ranking higher than the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich:  Taco Bell’s chicken quesadilla, McDonald’s baked apple pie and Chipotle’s soft tacos. Auntie Anne’s pretzel landed in the top 20!

Since the list was decided by The Ringer’s staff, I asked my colleagues what they thought of the whole ranking. Here are some choice comments from our newsroom:

  • “HBCB in the middle of the night or bust.” – assistant online editor Gabrielle Munoz
  • “I won’t be reading any list that starts with Chick-fil-A fries. Gross. That being said, the Whataburger honey butter chicken biscuit is fast food nirvana.” – assistant features editor Emily Quigley
  • “Honey BBQ chicken is to die for.” – sports columnist Kirk Bohls
  • “I used to work at Raising Cane’s, and I’m very proud of that, so I take it very personally that their sauce didn’t get its own list item on this list. And – biggest mistake of all – they didn’t even mention the Whataburger Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. THEY DIDN’T EVEN MENTION IT. I’m pretty sure it’s scientifically proven to be the best thing to eat at 3 a.m. ever.” – Rachel Rice, reporter for the Westlake Picayune and Lake Travis View
  • “I’m disappointed that Taco Bell’s Cinnamon Twists aren’t on this list. Crunchy pieces of fried dough dusted with cinnamon sugar… what’s not to love?! These treats kept my sister and I happy on plenty of family road trips during our childhood.” – multimedia producer Tina Phan
  • “Wendy’s chili is getting so screwed over here.” – online content producer Joe Harrington
  • “It is absurd to rank a Shake Shack burger under a McDonald’s burger. This is not a slight on the Big Mac: I believe that every fast food item has its relative merits. There is room for, say, a Taco Cabana taco and Taco Bell taco in all our lives, on their own terms. But when one considers the objective values assigned to each component part of the hamburger – freshness of bun, flavor and texture of meat, melt of cheese – ranking a Big Mac over a Shack Burger is a farce of the highest order and an attack on the very concept of fact-based evidence. And why even bother placing Popeyes menu items in contention if you are going to exclude red beans and rice, which are the perfect side dish? Also: Blizzards are Beyonce, McFlurrys are Rita Ora. Correct placement.” – social media and engagement editor Eric Webb
  • Another one of our multimedia producers, Alyssa Vidales, just sent me this video of someone trying to burn a Big Mac using molten copper.

If fast food is your thing, go ahead and try out everything on the list. Austin is home to every chain ranked (yes, even a Culver’s!).  And if you go a little overboard, head on over to our Fit City blog for fitness tips or Relish Austin for fresh cooking ideas.

North Texas pastor soulfully serenades a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit from Whataburger

You really love Whataburger, but do you love Whataburger as much as this guy?

Fred Thomas, a self-described pastor and comedian in North Texas, posted a video last week of him sitting in his car, belting an ode to the crown jewel of Whataburger breakfast: the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.

If you don’t know (and why don’t you?), the HBCB is a Whataburger delicacy. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory — flaky buttermilk biscuits, a chicken tender and the sweet golden nectar that is honey butter. It’s perfect in all ways, as Pastor Fred can attest.

Screengrab via Fred Thomas / Facebook
Screengrab via Fred Thomas / Facebook

The video, which he titled “Something About This Biscuit” features Pastor Fred dedicating a soulful three-minute love song to his breakfast.

“You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for me, there’s one particular breakfast that just takes me away,” he sings.

OK, I know the Grammys already happened, but Pastor Fred’s got my vote for best new artist and best gospel performance, because he took us to the Church of Whataburger in this video. Since last week, the video has been shared more than 129,000 times on Facebook and has received nearly 4.5 million views.

He’s also got great advice for ordering an HBCB: “”Every time I get this biscuit, I get a little extra honey butter so it won’t be dry.”

RELATED: This guy dancing with Whataburger at his wedding is a Texas hero

Whataburger should hire Pastor Fred as a marketing consultant — he’s got some great ideas, like, “I’m just waiting on Whataburger to have buy one, get one free” and “Whataburger, I don’t care if you raise the price, I’ll pay. I don’t think the honey butter biscuit should just be breakfast, you should sell them all day.”

The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. Image courtesy Whataburger
The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. Image courtesy Whataburger

It’s like Pastor Fred is singing the song every Whataburger lover has had inside of them for many lifetimes, but he finally found the words.

“Every time I pass Whataburger, I hear it call my name.”

Same, Pastor Fred. Same.

Gamers find Whataburger cup in new ‘Resident Evil’ game

Whataburger's Root Beer Shake is one of the recent recommendations on the "Statesman Shots" podcast. Credit: Whatabrands LLC
Whataburger’s Root Beer Shake seen in the company’s styrofoam orange and white striped cup. Credit: Whatabrands LLC

They may be murderous cannibals, but the villainous family at the center of the new Resident Evil 7: Biohazard game at least follow Whataburger’s directions.

Released Tuesday, gamers play a man searching for his wife in a Louisiana home haunted with the aforementioned creepy family, undead and other monstrous creatures. But In real life, the Creole State is home to bayous and 15 Whataburger locations, making for an interesting Easter egg in the game.


While exploring the home in the game, players noticed a cup in a trash bin bearing a striking resemblance to Whataburger’s famous orange and white-striped beverage vessel. Each real styrofoam cup contains the message “When I am empty, please dispose of me properly.”

One player tweeted this cup in the trash isn’t the only one.

Think you can handle the horror of this house? The game is rated M for Mature and is available on PlayStation 4 (including virtual reality capability), Xbox One and Windows PC.

BuzzFeed article deems Whataburger better than In-N-Out and Shake Shack

Any self-respecting Texan knows Whataburger is amazing. But it’s taken a while for the rest of the country to recognize just how good Texans have it when it comes to Whataburger and its many delicacies.

Courtesy of Whataburger.

Not anymore.

A recent post from Buzzfeed has nothing but great things to say about Whataburger, deeming it better than California burger joint In-N-Out and New York City standard Shake Shack.

MORE: Central Texas H-E-B store getting Whataburger drive-through

“It’s time for everyone to accept that Whataburger is not only better than In-N-Out and Shake Shack, but it’s also the best burger joint in existence,” the post begins.

Among the spots where Whataburger outshines its competitors, according to the article:

  • More burger options (Seriously though, you can make  36,864 burger combinations)
  • Shorter food delivery times (“They’ll give you a handy number and bring your food to you like you are the goddamn queen of England”)
  • The Whatachick’n Strips meal is “mouthwatering”
  • The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit
  • They’re open 24 hours

A poll at the end of the post asking users to comment on their favorite of the three burger chains had Whataburger firmly in first place:


Whataburger fans came out in full force in the Facebook comments:

One commenter even related her first experience with Whataburger:

Other commenters stuck up for In-N-Out, Shake Shack, and other regional favorites.

What do you think? Is Whataburger better than every other burger restaurant?

This guy dancing with Whataburger at his wedding is a Texas hero

No matter how much you love Whataburger (and I’m sure it’s a lot), you probably don’t love it as much as this guy.

Screengrab via CandleLight Films / Facebook
Screengrab via CandleLight Films / Facebook

Meet John. His wedding video is going viral, and it’s not because he and his wife, Amanda, are adorable (I mean, they are) — it’s because of a video posted on Facebook by CandleLight Films, the company which produced John and Amanda’s wedding video.

At some point during John and Amanda’s wedding day, John got Whataburger. And he was a little excited about it. So, CandleLight Films posted this on its Facebook page last week:

I can hear every Texan reading this saying, “SAME” simultaneously. How did John know that I do this exact dance when I get my patty melt in the Whataburger drive-thru?

He dances to the wedding band covering Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” while clutching the burger and munching on a few fries and proceeds to become the most relatable Texan we’ve ever seen. This is what a man in love looks like, y’all.

You can now buy stainless steel tumblers that look like Whataburger cups

If you live in Texas, you know these YETI stainless steel tumblers are all the rage. They’re pricey, but they keep your beverage super cold (or super hot) for what seems like hours longer than any other cup or mug you’ve ever owned.

While some argue that there are almost identical yet more affordable options to keep your beverages temperature-controlled, Texans are pretty loyal to their brands. Which means it was only a matter of time before this happened:


Reddit user u/need-a-refill (appropriate name) posted a custom-painted YETI in the r/Texas subreddit in mid-October, and it didn’t take long for the Texas-based fast food chain to respond with their own version.

Image courtesy Whataburger
Image courtesy Whataburger

Ask and you shall receive. You can buy your own Whataburger-branded tumbler, which looks just like a large Whataburger cup (but no styrofoam here!) on Whataburger’s website for $42.99. That’s a few bucks more expensive than a YETI brand, but you don’t have to paint it yourself.

RELATED: Here’s how you can get Whataburger breakfast 24 hours a day

MORE: Stories about Whataburger from Austin360




Whataburger launches mobile app, promises mobile ordering in 2017

It’s only Nov. 1, but this is probably going to be the best news we’ll hear all month.

This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, taking a stand against a new law legalizing the practice. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas.

Whataburger launched a mobile app Tuesday, complete with a rewards program and barcode payment option.

Mobile ordering isn’t available, but Whataburger executives promise that feature will be up and running by late 2017.

For every five visits to the Texas burger chain, you earn one free reward: a medium fry, a cinnamon roll, a small shake, a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit or a taquito with cheese.

Now maybe all those dollars spent getting Whataburger breakfast might be an investment.

Read more: Whataburger engaged in friendly beef with DC Comics over Wonder Woman logo

“Today’s digital world is all about efficiency and easy connectivity, and our mobile app is designed to make life a little more convenient for our customers. It also gives us a great opportunity to engage customers in a new, different way in an effort to provide the best service possible,” senior vice president of restaurants Rob Rodriguez said in a news release. “Most importantly, the Whataburger app allows us to show some love to our loyal fans with our new rewards program, and we think our customers will especially crave the chance to earn free food.”

The app is available for free on Google and Apple devices.