Friday, June 6, 2008

In-N-Out Burger

Philadelphia is now home to several, supposedly very good, burger chains -- Five Guys and Goodburger. While I haven't been to Goodburger, I found Five Guys to offer an overdone, over-topped burger that left me needing a nap in about an hour. And while I always try to avoid gender stereotypes, especially when it comes to food, I don't find it surprising that Five Guys draws a big male crowd, a certain type of which seems uniquely capable of consuming that much food at lunch.

On a recent trip to L.A., however, I was told I should go to In-N-Out burger. My California-native friends confirmed the recommendation and mentioned the milkshake as being one of the best ever. And so, on my last day there, I set out in search of one. Together with my coffee-loving cohort (so named because when you're traveling, it's helpful to have someone who shares your need for coffee in the morning), we mapped out the closest en route to the airport.

My verdict? Excellent. It's not a burger that competes with pub burgers, or burgers filled with bleu cheese. It's a straightforward burger, with an excellent bun to meat to topping ratio. The fries are hand cut every morning (the meat is fresh as well, not frozen) and taste like a heartier version of McDonald's. They even have a "special sauce," which, like every other special sauce, tastes like (because it is) thousand island dressing. Applied on a freshly grilled bun, however, it's pretty tasty. As someone who enjoys her accessories, I also have to give props to the handy wrapping that allows for neater eating.

CLC ordered a veggie option, cluing me in on the fact that there are many off-menu items available. She got the grilled cheese, for which they grill two bun "bottoms," which makes a certain level of sense. She's a fan. They also offer a "veggie burger," which is essentially all of their toppings sans burger.

The milkshake was perhaps most amazing, given that it was dispensed out of a machine. The taste of chocolate was especially strong, but nicely balanced through the shake. It was thick in the way that milkshakes should be, not whipped with air, but thick with ice cream. It was ... $1.19. Seriously.

I'm not moving to the west coast anytime soon, but if you're going to fight L.A. traffic, In-N-Out is a great reprieve.

There are no In-N-Out Burger's east of Arizona.

1 comment:

michaelstimpfel said...

Next time you go you have to order Animal Style Fries. Its not on the menu. The fries are draped with In and Outs sauce, grilled onions, and cheese. Superb.