Monday, November 17, 2008

In 'N Out!!!

As soon as we booked our flights to California, I started planning my pilgrimage to that temple of California cuisine -no, not Chez Panisse, In-N-Out Burger!! High-end fast food, served by squeaky clean teens, In-N-Out has a short, but sweet menu. There's a hamburger, cheeseburger, double-double (two cheesburger patties) -all served with or without onions, plus fries and drinks.

We drove our rented convertible (how very west coast!) up to the In-N-Out, Napa on our way from San Francisco to California Wine Country. It was only 11:30am, but already the place was packed. Not surprisingly, given the crowd and the quality, it wasn't the fastest of fast food, but after 10 minutes, we had our double-doubles, fries and chocolate shakes.

And it was awesome. I'm sure the taste was enhanced by eating in the sun while staring at Napa's vineyards, but it was, hands down, the best fast food I've ever tasted. The closest (Yankee) analogy I have is to NYC's Shake Shack, which also uses a premium blend of meat in their never-frozen patties (read about In 'N Out's own meat processing plant and other food quality boasts here).

The burger had the perfect thickness and juiciness of meat, a buttery bun and american cheese oozing out every side. The fries were crinkle cut, full of actual potato and not overly salted. And my shake. Ahh. Real chocolate ice cream, NOT pre-fab shake substance. The real deal: gooey, thick and sweet.

My only regret is that we didn't have time for a second trip. Needless to say, if you find yourself in the vicinity of an In 'N Out Burger, walk, don't run. Or rather, drive...quickly.


The Groom said...

One should note that there are additional items that can be ordered at In'N Out, as well as 'style' choices for the burgers, that, while not appearing on the menu, make the already excellent food all the better.
Ordering a burger "Animal Style" for instance, includes a 1000-Island type dressing and crisp pickles to your burger, and is truly excellent.
"Protein Style" is for the folks still clinging to the carb-free Atkins diet out there, serving the burger (and cheese, and everything) on two crisp beds of lettuce.
And the fun goes on.

Leslie said...

Thanks, The Groom! I clearly am just starting to learn the ins and outs, if you'll pardon the pun. Animal Style sounds right up my mayo-loving alley!