I send my dearest apologies to anyone reading this who has never had the opportunity to feast on arguably the best fast food to ever exist, In-N-Out. Seeing pictures and hearing descriptions of its deliciousness, prior to actually trying it yourself, would constitute as a spoiler alert in my book. We all go to school in Florida (a state in which In-N-Out has not yet blessed with its existence) so these trigger warnings are highly applicable. If you have a chance this summer to make it to an In-N-Out, please do not miss the opportunity. And if you’ve never had it before, maybe note/glance at this article, but experience it for yourself for the first time before reading up about this fine establishment. In the case that you are hungry right now, I would also have to warn you that the pictures you are about to see may cause extreme mouth-watering, stomach rumblings, even more hunger, and huge urges to drop whatever responsibilities you have at the moment and get down to your nearest In-N-Out.
As a native Californian, I have the utmost respect and loyalty for this amazing burger restaurant. Everyone in college that returns home for breaks seems to have an “omfg right when I get off this plane I’m going straight to _________” type place. For many of us in California, we proudly fill in the blank with In-N-Out. The moment you see that glowing arrow in the distance, you immediately fall into a trance that you cannot shake until you’ve finished your food. Your first steps inside the restaurant are akin to those of walking into your own home. You just stop for a second and have to say to yourself “ahhhhh home sweet home”. By now I personally have a classic order which consists of:
– Double-Double Animal style: 2 mustard grilled patties, 2 slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, extra pickles, extra spread, and grilled onions
– Animal fries: Fries topped w/American cheese, grilled onions, and spread
Buns are perfectly toasted on the griddle which provides a crisp to the bread and maintains its moisture. Patties are smashed thin and topped with American cheese. Lettuce, tomato, and pickles pack an unbelievable freshness and provide you with a dose of produce. The grilled onions and In-N-Out spread (similar to thousand island) add a richness to die for. This all-star team of ingredients works together to provide you an amazing burger with the perfect bun to meat to cheese to topping ratio.
Imagine a potato. Now imagine it’s peeled. Now its getting tossed into a french fry press that cuts fresh fries directly in front of your face. Now they’re in the fryer. Some time goes by. Now they’re out and crisped to perfection. An employee comes and throws them in a basket. Lines the top with sliced American cheese. They throw it in the oven. A li’l more time passes. The cheese is beautifully melted. Grilled onions come outta nowhere and are delicately placed on top. Finally, this masterpiece is garnished with spread. Your jaw is on the floor.
Although I pretty much stick to getting this combo every time, I would be equally as happy getting anything else on the menu because everything produced at In-N-Out is delicious. The menu is simple and sticks to the basics so venturing out like this is easy.
The atmosphere at In-N-Out in my experience is always a heart-warming and eclectic mix of comfortable, energetic, and peaceful. Sometimes you go and there are not many in the restaurant because you’re a little weird like me and go at times that aren’t considered regular eating hours. These times are nice and you just sit and relax and enjoy your food. Other times you might catch yourself with a crowd during the lunch or dinner rush, after a sporting event, or for late night munchies/shenanigans. These occasions are equally as nice and provide a different, yet still lovely experience. In any case, I have always had amazing dining experiences at In-N-Out and while at home in California I will definitely be taking advantage of my proximity to it. I highly recommend you do the same should you find yourself in a situation where In-N-Out can be worked into the equation. Although they are mainly located in California, there are locations as well in other states such as Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, and Texas. Find your local In-N-Out here at http://www.in-n-out.com/locations.
words & photos_dakota regan