Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hamburger Cult Status

8 July 2006-
In-N-Out Burger: 32060 Union Landing Boulevard in Union City
http://www.in-n-out.com/
Cost: $2.75 (double-double "animal style" - toasted bun grilled with mustard, grilled onions, pickles and extra special sauce; fries extra)

Image Source: http://www.in-n-out.com

Believe the hype, In-N-Out Burger is popular for a reason: taste and price are two important factors. It's reached cult-like status all over California, these institutions are always packed to the max. Though a staple of any successful strip-mall in suburbia, its reputation seems to be based on using fresh ingredients, a secret special sauce, efficient-friendly service and perfectly toasted buns. Okay, so I'm probably going to contradict myself in this blog describing In-N-Out, but... they're probably the best toasted buns in the business. The patties, though fresh are the thin kind, and probably aren't the best quality or best taste. But In-N-Out makes up for it in the "filler" - everything else about the burger is top-notch.

I ate my double-double animal style burger with fries in the restaurant. As I walked back to my car something compelled me to order two more double-doubles for the ride home, so I raced through the drive-through on my way out of the mall. It's gotta be that special sauce...

Verdict: As a fast-food alternative, In-N-Out is a great choice. It's tasty and filling. Unfortunately, the "filler" that I mentioned above comprises most of the taste. As far as thin patty burgers go, it's a pretty good; but it's not comparable to the big leaguers.

So I ponder, are all In-N-Out customers real burger enthusiasts like myself? In-N-Out is packed not unlike most other fast-food institutions in busy strip malls in suburbia. I think most of their customers would appreciate a good burger / even better burger if presented the option. However, it's an unfortunate sign of the times when communities are literally monopolized by mega-corporate conglomerates and smaller burger joints are forced to compete in the competitive market-place. In this case, price outweighs taste and quality.

3 comments:

gropo said...

I am going on record to say the In & Out Burger re-heated is about 75% as good a fresh from the drive through...needed fries.

gropo said...

Upon circumspect retrospection, the In-N-Out burger, reheated, was probably only about 50% as good as a fresh one from the drive through.

I came to this realization after re-heating my Mel's (Van Ness, SF, CA) bacon swiss cheesburger the other day. It was definitely 75% as good as when first consumed and the onion rings regenerated from the toaster over were scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge In-n-out fan.

I don't know if they're the *absolute* best burgers out there, but they put McDonalds, Carls Jr, Burger King, etc all to shame. They embarrass them.

I just hope they don't go wild with expansion ideas and dilute the quality of their products. There would be riots here in So Ca if they did...