Would you believe I ate at In-N-Out Burger five times during my recent California trip? Monday - for lunch in Modesto. Tuesday - lunch in Salinas. Wednesday and Thursday - dinner in Bakersfield (once in each of the town's two locations). Friday - dinner in Ontario. In-N-Out has locations in just three states that I don't frequently visit (California, Arizona, and Nevada), so I figured I'd better get my fill while I had the chance.
In-N-Out is well known for the high quality of its food.... burgers made from never-frozen ground beef, fries made from fresh-sliced potatoes, shakes made from real ice cream. The menu is simple, but what they do, they do well. The crowd inside any of their restaurants and the line of cars at each drive through should be testimony to that.
Where the magic happens. A simple menu. No chicken, no salads, no kids meals... just great burgers. The legendary double-double. Watch for hidden messages under the cups... (be careful not to spill your drink) Most of the In-N-Outs seem to have similar floor plans and dining rooms, but this location in Ontario with a double drive-thru (and no dining room) was an interesting exception. It was Friday night and that place was "hoppin'"...
In-N-Out does have its share of critics, but I think it's safe to say that the quality of their food is light years ahead of anything the "big boys" (McDonalds, BK) are serving up.
Now, the money question for my Texas bretheren: Is In-N-Out better than Whataburger? Hard to say. Most Californians would probably say so; In-N-Out enjoys quite a cult following on the left coast. But Texans (and other burger proponents) might disagree. Obviously, this calls for a side-by-side comparison -- which unfortunately is no easy task since I know of just one market where the two coexist -- Phoenix. The next time I visit the Valley of the Sun, I'll attempt to do just that. Until then, the jury is still out.
nr: John Steinbeck - East of Eden
np: KTCK Sports radio - analysis of the Cowboys' 31-20 win over the Giants; ESPN SportsCenter
Labels: California, In-N-Out, road trip