In-N-Out burger review

So apparently there’s this burger chain from California called In-N-Out that’s kind of a big deal.  We humble rednecks here in the Dallas area have been blessed with several new In-N-Outs this summer to some great commotion.  People waited four hours in a drive-through line over three quarters of a mile long to get their taste of California cool.

The only way I’m waiting four hours for a hamburger is if it comes with a hand wax for my car and a happy ending for me.  A couple of people said I’d sing a different tune once I ate there.  “Best burger I’ve ever had,” they said.  I do like a good burger.  Consider myself a bit of a burger connoisseur, in fact.  I figured on trying it eventually, once the crowd and hype died down.

I took an early lunch from work to swing by Sears in the Stonebriar mall to buy a new mattress set.  The mattress I’ve been sleeping on is the same one I was conceived, born, and educated on.  Through college and the forty pounds I’ve padded on since.  I’m not saying it was like sleeping on a bed of nails, but the springs jabbing you feel pretty much like a bed of nails.

Anyway, thanks to a little Internet pre-shopping I got out of Sears around 11:15 a.m.  Since it’s right there I decided to give the In-N-Out on the other side of Preston a look-see and check the wait.  There are still local Frisco smokies on bicycles enforcing a cone lane to funnel cars into the drive-through, but I got around front and there were only seven or eight cars in front of me.  There were burger chicks in headsets taking and calling in orders remotely.  The parking lot and outdoor seating area were pretty packed.

There were twenty cars behind me by the time I got my food.  Whatever it is about the place it’s still packing them in.  Everybody recommends “animal style” so I got one of those and a regular however-you-usually-do-it cheeseburger plus a large fries.  Seemed like a fair enough way to evaluate their fare.

Right off the bat I gotta say growing up in Texas I’m a bit predisposed as to how big a burger should be.  The In-N-Out burgers sure seemed little in my hands.  Maybe I should have gotten doubles.  Other than size they were obviously made with fresh ingredients, including the bun.  That’s another thing In-N-Out fanatics always ballyhoo.  It would never be confused with McDonalds/Wendy’s/Jack in the Box/Burger King grade fast food.

Which puts them in the same league as Burger Island, Burger House, Country Burger, JC’s, and Scotty P’s and maybe a couple of others you’d pass by on the way to In-N-Out.  If you were determined to go to In-N-Out, that is.  I wouldn’t pass any of them by for In-N-Out.  All else being equal I’ll take a four, six, or eight ounce patty over the wee little thing at In-N-Out any day.  Secret menu, you say?  Any decent burger joint will cook you up whatever you want.

Color me unimpressed.  There’s a Freddie’s Frozen Custard a couple of hundred yards away I’d hit before In-N-Out.  Their “California Style” burger is dressed the same as the run-of-the-mill In-N-Out burger but they brown the hell out of the patty on the bottom.  Hell, I’m going to go there next week in solidarity against In-N-Out.

The usual California chain vs. Texas chain comparison you hear is In-N-Out vs. Whataburger.  I’m not a real big fan of Whataburger either.  Frankly, the comparison should be In-N-Out vs. Dairy Queen anyway.  And I’d take Dairy Queen in that match up every time.  No contest.  That’s burger to burger too, not counting the freaking Snickers Blizzard I’m taking to go after I eat.

The fries were pretty tasty, though.  They come unsalted, plain which is unusual.  Very good potato flavor.  Would have been smashing with some Burger House seasoning salt.

In-N-Out is the Barack Obama of hamburgers.  Puny, over-hyped, from a union-led blue state that’s fiscally boned, and laughably inadequate once you take time to research it and its alternatives.  Anyone who waits even half an hour at one is a sucker.  Maybe it’s just all the people who’ve fled California for the greener pastures of Texas seeking comfort food.  I won’t go out of my way to do it again.

Bon apetite!

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  • Who eats burgers?

    • Anonymous

      And who spells ’em “bugers”?

      • I’m assuming that was an editing mistake, so I’ve fixed it…

        • Was there a typo?  The cardinal sin of Internet posting?!?  I’m getting soft in my old age.  Hopefully the new mattress will help…

  • Anonymous

    I like the ones my mom made with onions and chunks of green peppers all cooked in the burger slapped between two pieces of wonder bread.

  • As soon a Five Guys moved into Orange County we quit eating In-N-Out.  No comparison.  Bought In-N-Out one time since then and was very disappointed.

    • Anonymous

      And 5 guys fries are soooooooo much better to.  I miss them now that I live in Amish Paradise

  • davidt

    If you ever make it out here to Waikiki, try Teddy’s.

  • Anonymous

    about once a year I eat an In-n-Out…double-double!!

    they’re excellent, the fires are fresh and vanilla shakes are excellent!

    but once a year is plenty! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    In my three years in SoCal, there was an In-and-Out about half a mile away. We had some burgers from there, but it was no big deal. Nothing at all like it’s cracked up to be.

  • It’s a burger-lover thing. Best thing that’s happened to Georgia is 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. Same recipe. I have a quixotic love of cow meat that’s ground up and stuck on a bun, full of yummy fat, grease, gristle and things that really clog the aorta.

    And for further study, 5 Guys got really big when they opened around Washington, D.C.  

  • Frank O’Connell

    A single cheese burger at In-N-Out is a kid’s meal. Real men eat doubles, or in my case — a 3×3.

    When it comes to In-N-Out, it’s eat big or go home.

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  • Baron, when you saw the size of the hamburger, you should have asked, “Where’s the beef?”

    By the way, if the people eating there in Texas are Californians who fled California, then something is wrong with California. So, why eat Californian food?

  • Anonymous

    My ex loves in and out burgers.

    Case closed, the Baron RULES.

  • Anonymous

    My daughter has worked for INNOUT for 10 years.  She was in on the opening of the new one in Chandler AZ.  Has also helped to train employees for openings in Tucson. Sure the company is from a blue state, but the company is family owned and about as red as can be. Scripture verses on the fry bag and drink cups.  Store openings are a celebration that includes district managers and the company owner along with the new hires in a huge prayer circle.  They still have store employee picnics, area wide picnics all expenses paid at area theme parks etc. 401K profit sharing plans, medical ins plans even for part time help. They are strict on health standards as they are on the standards of the food they serve. Those buns are sponge bread, made fresh and the only chain store to offer that delicious bread. Meat is grown specifically for INNOUT and selected by their own butchers.  All from the front half of the animal in just the right proportions for taste and the lowest fat ratio of any burger chain, and never frozen.Produce is grown by INNOUT farms and shipped in daily. That is why it has taken so long to grow across the US. Producers have to be set up in locations so that everything can be trucked in every day.The best food available and it will not break the bank. It is a great place for youth employment. Conscientious workers advance fast, and can  make a career as a manager. Yes, it is a good salary at that level. NO UNION. Animal style is the best. Protein style is available, no bun but wrapped in lettuce. Double double if you are hungry, 4X4 (four meat and four cheese) for the more glutenous. It is voted best hamburger year after year in the US and is limited in size only by their dedication to quality. Hummm….just got hungry. Later.   

    • To each their own.  Like I said, I can take you to a dozen different local places that I wouldn’t pass by to get to In-N-Out.  Not saying they aren’t a good company, not saying they aren’t good people, not saying anything other than I don’t get the hype.  In my book it’s a good quality, but otherwise just okay burger.  Maybe I’m just used to really good burgers here in Dallas.

      If I’m over that way again maybe I’ll give a triple a go.  Or if I can con someone else from the office into going for us.

  • People waited four hours in a drive-through line over three quarters of a mile long to get their taste of California cool.

    When Krispy Kreme opened in California, there were similar traffic jams.

    Funny thing is, I live in the South and can’t stand Krispy Kreme because the glaze is utterly vile. And though I grew up in California I have never had an In-‘n’-Out burger. So, happy traffic jam, y’all. I’ll be getting my crullers at Dunkin Donuts and my burgers at Hardee’s.

    • Same thing here.  My buddy waited in line for three hours to get some plain glazed donuts there.  He gave me one acting like it was a diamond from a goat’s ass and it was just another donut.  Now I think they’ve all closed.

      People are nuts sometimes.  Hell, look in the Oval Office if you don’t believe me.

  • HA! Baron, your In and Out to Obama comparison is frigging hilarious! And spot on. I’ve never got it either, tried In and Out several times, it’s just…OK. Now Five Guys on the other hand kicks the crap out of In and Out. And John, not sure what you’re getting at when you say, “And for further study, 5 Guys got really big when they opened around Washington, D.C.”, but apparently you don’t know that DC metro is the first place they EVER opened. They were strictly DC metro from ’86 to ’03. 

  • Another reason I love Five Guys, this from Jerry Murrell, the founder, along with his family:

    When we first opened, the Pentagon called and said, “We want 15 hamburgers; what time can you deliver?” I said, “What time can you pick them up? We don’t deliver.” There was an admiral running the place. So he called me up personally and said, “Mr. Murrell, everyone delivers food to the Pentagon.” Matt and I got a 22-foot-long banner that said ABSOLUTELY NO DELIVERY and hung it in front of our store. And then our business from the Pentagon picked up.As I said before John, a DC shop.

  • Never had an In and Out, but Five Guys was hyped to me by friends in Richmond when they came there, they knew them from the DC area.  When I was there for a extended stay, we sent out for them once.  Not impressed.  At all.  To this day I have no idea why anyone thinks they are anything special – unless you had never had a burger anywhere but McDonald’s and Burger King. 

  • Ken Hanson

    Maybe we old guys like In n Out because it reminds of the 50’s and 60’s! Actually I think it’s a bit hyped.. my favorite is the Famous Star at Carl’s. The upscale burgers at Carl’s are pretty impressive also.

    • Brock Norman

      Ditto on Carl’s Jr. Love those burgers. Any of them. Very juicy and the best flavor of any burger I’ve had.

  • Comparing In-N-Out burgers to Obama?!?  Was that really necessary?  Did you REALLY have to put that image in my mind when I run in for a burger and fries?  What a cheap shot.

    There are local burger places out here that arguably better than In-N-Out too.  The thing is, they are very consistent and very good with fast service.  When pulling into a new locations, these are all good things.

    Never ever get less than a double.  The singles are on the menu for children and girly men. 

    Now I have to find some cattle to stare at to try to undo the damage you’ve done to my psyche.

  • We’re losing Five Guys franchise stores in Georgia because the franchise deal is, from what I’ve heard, to open 5 stores in a something like 3 years, which many owners have found impossible, so they lose their franchise and the stores close.

  • We’re losing Five Guys franchise stores in Georgia because the franchise deal is, from what I’ve heard, to open 5 stores in a something like 3 years, which many owners have found impossible, so they lose their franchise and the stores close.

  • Anonymous

    When I see the Wookie’s fat ass waddling into one saying “My favorite food in the whole wide world is french fries” then I know it’s greasy and tasty enough for me. 

  • Anonymous

    In-N-Out is originally from the OC in SoCal, thus it has republican roots. It’s too bad the reviewer did not try the Chocolate Shakes, the BEST anywhere. Just as a side note, many Marines, upon returning from duty abroad, one of their favorite first destinations in the States is In-N-Out, since Camp Pendleton is located next to the OC, where the burgers originated. One of the readers is correct, In-N-Out was just voted BEST burger in 2011 in the fifty states.

  • Anonymous

    A burger at dairy queen? Freddie’s frozen custard? That’s a joke.  Those are just grease bombs.  In-N-out simply has no comparison in it’s category.

  • Its more the the Mitt Robney burger ,promises a lot does’nt give much.Hillbillies from DFW would’nt know a good burger if it slaped ’em across their face!Worst food here in the nation!

  • More like Mitt Robney,oh no Mitts a hotdog!

  • They’re CRAP!! Just like What a Burger.They buy their meat the same place as McDonalds.Whataburger ,the burger you get grissle in your teeth & have to brush immediately after eating one of those POS!I(f you rednecks could get WC you never utter the word Whataburger or In & Out again.

  • Hillbilies from DFW have the WORST food in the nation.They would’nt know a good burger if it slapped ’em across the face!