You can take a girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl. So, when a friend of mine asked me to go along on a road trip to Texas, I obliged with one small request, that we stop, at least once, for In-N-Out Burger. The first In-N-Out Burger opened in 1948 in Los Angeles County by Harry Snyder. The chain has grown to include restaurants in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Utah.
“When they first opened in the Dallas area they had traffic cops controlling the deluge of customers,” said a friend of mine who lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “They have been opened here for well over a year now and the lines of cars still snake around the building.”
While on the road, I was highly anticipating getting a taste of home and asked several random folks we met along the way about their take on the much buzzed-about burger chain. The reoccurring message was that it’s best when eaten when the burger and fries (and yes, you must order a side of fries) are hot. We also hear people agree that while the line is long, it moves fast. Another gentlemen I met likes not only how clean it is (my sentiments exactly), but that there is an abundance of employees, hence the line moving quickly.
You may have heard of their “Secret Menu,” which is not that secret because those in-the-know have let the word out. Items include Protein Style, which is a burger wrapped in lettuce instead of on a bun; Animal Style, which consists of lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty, pickle, extra spread and grilled onions. There’s more, but it’s secret so I can’t divulge all of it, you have to go and experience it for yourself. I was glad my copilot was with me because what I didn’t know is that you can also order your fries Animal Style, which we did and it was delicious. They came golden, hot and crispy smothered in the special spread that seemed to be spiked with cheese and topped with chopped, grilled onions. Yum!
When you walk into an In-N-Out Burger, it looks similar to any other fast food restaurant with it’s fiberglass-like seating, bright lights and order-at-the-counter service. In-N-Out is different though, first, it’s super clean and their employees are extra friendly and helpful. Unlike the other fast food brands, they do not have the burgers pre-wrapped and ready to go sitting under heat lamps, but rather they prepare each order fresh. You are given a number on your receipt which is called out and waiting for you on a tray by one of the friendly employees.
It’s cheap too, we ordered one regular burger Protein Style; an Animal Style Double Double (another one of those secret menu items which means double meat, double cheese); Animal Style Fries; a medium drink and a small Vanilla Milkshake. Our bill totaled $11.94. Now you don’t have to make the trek all the way to sunny, beautiful Southern California (although I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to come here) to take a bite out of the burger that has earned well-deserved, national buzz.