A few weeks ago, Serious Eats ran an article on In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack. Spoiler alert. I agree with the verdict; I think Shake Shack has the best tasting burger. But let’s talk about In-N-Out today.
In-N-Out is a California institution. Californians are very proud of this chain, and strongly believe this is the best burger on the earth. Local news in Los Angeles actually broadcasted this video of a woman crying out of joy because In-N-Out just opened in Texas. That’s how much this drive through joint is loved. What makes makes this place so great? People (Californians) say it’s the quality of the fresh beef and vegetables. They also say that their beef is never frozen, which is stated on their website. Also, they have a cute catchy name for their signature burger, Double Double (left), which has two patties and two cheeses. You can make it 3×3, 5×5, 10×10, if you wish, thanks to a secret menu known only by a privileged few (million). I heard once they made 100×100 in Vegas.
Another secret menu code is ‘animal style’. Fries served up this way are topped with cheese, grilled onions and their secret sauce. I did not like this. I don’t even like their fries, as I find them very bland with airy potatoes. I can’t waste my precious fry calories on these sub-par fries, natural or not. The other popular item which isn’t on the menu is a protein style burger, which comes without a bun, but with patties wrapped in lettuce. If you look carefully, you’ll also find another cute thing; Christian bible verses on wrappers and paper cups. More about In-N-Out here.
There’s a very popular Japanese burger chain called Mos Burger in Japan, which most of my Japanese friends love. (Please refer to this blog for more info). I had my first one when I visited there with my husband a couple years ago. Since he doesn’t enjoy Japanese food (he pretty much doesn’t want any Asian food; loves Japan though, so much so he wrote a book), I thought, why not take him to Mos Burger, everybody seemed to like it. It was very interesting, to say the least. The meat tasted very mysterious. I couldn’t take a second bite, neither could my husband. But I’m sure Japanese people will list this place as one of their top 3 Japanese burger chains. That’s how I feel about In-N-Out, I don’t mean In-N-Out is inedible like Mos Burger, but it is not that special to me. I think the appeal of In-N-Out is its community based philosophy, which is pretty cool.
By the way, I didn’t think the testing method of Serious Eats was fair to any of these burgers. Since there’s no In-N-Out in TriState Area (SE based in NYC), they flew one in on from San Francisco. So, according to the site, “all toppings and spread were ordered on the side and immediately placed in individual zipper-lock bag for maximum freshness”. Basically they deconstruct all burgers and assembled them the next day for their taste test. Great effort, but really?