We all know that Stuckey’s is well-known for many things, but right up there with its famous pecan log roll and other fine pecan candies has to be the Stuckey’s snack bar. We mean, who couldn’t go for Stuckey’s 99¢ breakfast – two country fresh eggs, toast, jelly, and a nice cup of hot coffee – any time of day?
Oh, and let’s not forget their sandwiches – ham, ham and cheese, pimento cheese, or an egg, tuna, or chicken salad made fresh from scratch the same day you sit down to eat it. Or a big, juicy hot dog with all the works including chili and cheese? Three for $1 burgers? Count us in! And speaking of burgers, how about Stuckey’s signature burger – the “King of the Road” – a grilled ¼ pound 100% beef patty, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and sliced onion served between a sesame seed bun with crisp, brown fries on the side and a nice cold fountain Coca-Cola?
All of this reminiscing makes us hungry, but it also makes us wonder how the “King of the Road” burger came about.
Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, every one of the fast-food burger places had their own signature burger which was basically two types of “specialty” fast-food burgers; the double-stacked burger where two burgers (and all of its fixings) were stacked between three pieces of bread and the quarter-pound of beef burger where a ¼ lb. of beef (and all of its fixings) were placed between a larger-than-average bun. Between restaurants, the only thing that seemed to change between the two burgers were the fixings.
For example, Bob Big Boy was the first hamburger chain to have a double-stacked burger – the eponymous Bob’s Big Boy Burger which was the precursor to the McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich – both are constructed of two all-beef patties, special sauce, relish, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. (Who can forget the McDonald’s jingle). The only other difference between the two (besides the fact that Bob’s Big Boy came out in 1936, where the Big Mac was introduced in 1967, are its special sauces – the Big Boy is more like a tartar sauce where the Big Mac is more like Thousand Island dressing.
It wasn’t until after the success of the Big Mac, however, that several other fast food chains of the time started copying the double-stacked burger; among other chains, for example, Burger Chef had its “Big Shef” and Tastee Freez had its “Big T”. Interestingly enough, Burger King didn’t try making a version of the double-stacked sandwich like the Big Mac until 2019 when it introduced the Big King XL. However, instead of the usual three pieces of bread, the center piece was taken out and replaced with another piece of meat, effectively making it a triple stack.
The Quarter Pound of Beef Burger
Even more interesting, however, is the 1/4 pound of beef burger. If you’re thinking McDonalds invented the sandwich with its introduction of the Quarter Pounder in 1971; however, you’d be wrong because the first quarter-pound of beef burger was actually the Whopper!
That’s right! The signature sandwich of Burger King (even used in its slogan “The Home of the Whopper”) – a hamburger consisting of a flame-grilled ¼ pound beef patty, a sesame seed bun, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and sliced onion was introduced all the way back in 1957 when McDonald’s was still cooking regular hamburgers and cheeseburger and experimenting with the fish fillet and grilled pineapple sandwiches. At the time, the Whopper was the biggest fast food hamburger.
In fact, McDonald’s didn’t come out with its own version of the Whopper until the early 1970s when it introduced the Quarter Pounder. By then, other restaurants had been catching on to the whole Whopper idea, coming out with their own signature versions of the burger – just with the fixings changed. Burger Chef introduced its version as the “Super Chef”, Wendy’s called their version the “Big Classic”. Stuckey’s called their version the “King of the Road” for obvious reasons and the rest is fast food history.
The End of the (King of) the Road
Nowadays you can go into a Stuckey’s Travel Center and get everything from pizza to fried chicken to hamburgers. You can even go into some Stuckey’s locations and get grilled burgers and soft-serve ice cream. But you can’t get a “King of the Road” anymore and you’d be very hard pressed to find a pimento cheese sandwich. What do you miss most about the Stuckey’s Snack Bar that you’d like to see comeback if it could?
Did this post make you as hungry as it did us? How about we head to our nearest Stuckey’s and see if we can’t get one of those fine pecan shakes? Maybe we should pick up some of those Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls and some pecan divinity for the family while we’re there. And I know somebody who has a birthday coming up. I think I’ll order her one of those Stuckey’s “For Her” Gift Boxes from the Stuckey’s website this year.
For any special occasion or just because, make a Stuckey’s stop on the information superhighway at stuckeys.com and get yourself some Stuckey’s merchandise sent right to your door today!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!