- In-N-Out is one of California’s most beloved fast-food chains. Sadly, I don’t live in California.
- In order to rectify this gap in our fast-food coverage, I hopped on a plane to Los Angeles and immediately bee-lined for In-N-Out.
- For my first In-N-Out meal in years, I had a Double-Double burger and fries, both Animal Style, and a cup of lemonade.
- The Double-Double was even better than I remembered, while the fries were a big disappointment.
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It’s been a hot second since my last meal at an In-N-Out.
The last time I visited one was several years ago on a road trip with some high school friends. After so long, I’d all but forgotten the taste of a Double-Double and was in dire need of a refresher.
It was clear where I had to begin my eat-through of the glitzy main streets of Los Angeles. After a long six hours on a plane seat, I was ready to put the “animal” in Animal Style.
I hopped on a Lime scooter from my hotel and scoot my way to the In-N-Out on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
For this starving scooter-er, glimpsing the iconic red-yellow sign was like seeing an oasis in the desert after a long day in the sun.
It was 2 p.m. and the place was packed.
The retro red-and-white look of the interior impressed me, as did the cheery uniforms and perky hats worn by employees.
The menu was extremely simple, comprised of only fries and three kinds of burgers.
In-N-Out offers a couple of widely-known customisations that are off-the-menu, such as Animal Style or Protein Style.
I ordered a Double-Double and fries, both Animal Style, and a medium drink.
As I waited, I watched orders come out in bright red boxes, burgers wrapped tightly in paper.
I made a jaunt to the condiments station and was surprised to find only two condiments: ketchup and pickled peppers.
I packed a bit of both to take back to my seat.
My order came out soon enough. Burger, meet your masticator.
I’d been looking forward to this meal since I booked my plane ticket.
Alas, it was not long for this world.
I couldn’t help myself. It was just asking to be eaten.
I mean, just look at all that juicy, sauced-up meat …
It was practically overflowing from its skimpy wrapper.
In-N-Out is famous for controlling every step of its supply chain, which is why the chain hasn’t expanded east and probably never will.
The beef was FRESH. It tasted like it had been carved off the side of a cow that morning.
Each bite of my Double-Double burst with flavour and texture.
The crunch of the thick pickle stack, the clean crisp of the lettuce, and the juiciness of the tomato slices all furnished a perfect home for the tender patties.
I decided to go for a handful of animal-style fries.
I was starting to regret letting my stomach make my decisions for me.
But even a pile of grilled onions, melted cheese, and secret sauce couldn’t make this pile of soggy cardboard more appealing.
They were devoid of both flavour or crisp and just tasted kind of empty.
Even plain with ketchup, they were a total disappointment.
Fries are so easy to get right. I was bummed.
How could a place with such outrageously satisfying burgers make such outrageously disappointing fries?
I gave the fries several chances, but in the end, I gave up and returned to my burger.
I polished it off in practically no time, stopping only to take the occasional photo.
Sauced-up and bursting with juice, the burger had the perfect balance of flavours and textures.
Not even juice dripping down my wrist could give me pause.
I went to town on that thing, animal-style.
I was also excited to try a pickled pepper or two.
But I wasn’t prepared for the oversized punch this little baby packed.
After one bite of pepper, I had to wolf down the rest of my burger to put out the flames in my mouth.
Not that I was complaining …
I washed down my meal with a gulp of lemonade and wrote off the fries as a lost cause.
I walked back to my hotel basking in the afterglow of an extraordinary meal, debating whether it’d be rash to move to LA just for the sun and the In-N-Out.
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