Pros:Affordable eats, privately owned.
Cons:Annoying plastic trays, didn't live up to the hype.
The Bottom Line: What's the big whoop?
Ive heard West Coast pals raving for years about the wonders of In-N-Out Burger. Its better than Steak n Shake! they swear, And its open really late! Being a fan of all things cheeseburger, Ive long wanted to give this eatery a try. Since it has locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah only, I had to wait for my recent Southwestern adventure to give it a shot. After seeing the chains bright yellow arrow pointing the way at various points along the interstate, we decided to stop into an Arizona branch en route to the Grand Canyon. While we were in and out quickly, I cant say that our In-N-Out burger experience really lived up to the hype.
Recommend this product?
Founded in 1948, In-N-Out is a privately owned burger chain serving inexpensive food from a pared down menu via counter and drive-through. At the counter, you order, take a number, then wait for your food to come up. The In-N-Out location we visited was small and spartan, with plastic tables and chairs crammed around its perimeter. Most of the branches we saw on our trip appeared to have both indoor and outdoor seating areas, although many were along the far-from-scenic interstate.
The chain appears to cater to a broad clientele. Our fellow diners raised from well-dressed couples to a horde of road-tripping bikers. Additionally, I think Paris Hilton was trying to dine here at the time of her DUI arrest. If my college friends are any indication, In-N-Out fans are apparently fiercely loyal and hellbent on convincing anyone who will listen as to In-N-Outs superiority over Wendys, McDonalds, Hardees, or any other burger chain.
Although it may annoy some, we generally appreciated In-N-Out Burgers no frills menu. What do you really need at a burger joint beyond a burger? After all, you can get a single patty sandwich up through a quadruple, with or without cheese. You can add fries and either a drink or a milk shake. There is also a "secret menu" on the company's website which includes such unappetizing options as a burger cooked in mustard and a "grilled cheese" consisting of...a bun and cheese. If youre here for chicken nuggets youre out of luck. I do wish some type of dessert was available besides a milk shake. A fried apple pie seems like it would fit right in here. Expect to pay about $5-$7 for your burger/fry/drink combo, depending on the number of patties.
As far as the quality of the food, we found it to be just fair, despite the restaurants promotional hype about fresh ingredients and old-fashioned preparation techniques. Mr_chelledun had a double patty burger while I opted for a single. The single patty was actually a little small for me, perhaps comparable in size to a McDonalds burger but on a larger bun which sort of overwhelmed it the meat. I would probably get a double next time which I rarely do. I didnt care for the seasoning of the burgers they seemed to have too much pepper and not enough salt. The fries were better. My batch was sufficiently gooey for my liking and the flavor was good.
This is kind of a nit-pick, but I didnt care for the tiny red trays our food came on. They were square and curved up at the edges and our food barely fit but we didnt have a plate or anything else to eat over so we ended up kind of huddled over the middle of the table, trying to share the tray.
This may be sacrilegious, but In-N-Out Burger seemed like just another fast food joint to this burger lover. I wouldnt balk at stopping in for a sandwich on a future trip to Utah or Nevada, but I wouldnt go out of my way to dine here either. It seems only fair, after all, to leave those In-N-Out doubles and triples to the rabid fans who truly appreciate them.
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