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Is Anything As Good As IN-N-OUT BURGER??!! [Moved from L.A. board]

e
ewrohde Sep 29, 2006 05:31 AM

i've come to the conclusion that in-n-out burger is the best in la. any one disagree?

  1. a
    anthonyG Dec 5, 2006 05:27 PM

    I think i posted this in the wrong spot, so i am posting agian, sorry for the double post!

    I like Carl's Jr. much better then In and Out. I am originally from the East Coast, so i didn't grow up eating this stuff, but I just don't get the draw to In and Out. I certainly understand the strong feelings people have for "their" In and out, I have lot of opinions on food establishments. It's actually funny how people in California will fight to the death defending In and Out.

    To me it a just a burger, and not a great one. Yes people try to use the argument that, "well its never frozen, it's fresh!" That's all fine and good, but if they could find a way to add flavour into that fresh meat and the fresh fries, I might then agree with them that's its great. Fresh is nice, but I'm not eating fast food for its health benefits. I eat what tastes good, and an In and Out burger is just not great. Sure it's a hamburger, and I'll eat one now and then to appease the others I am eating with, but the fanatical feelings people have towards In and Out is crazy.

    I really think people like it so much, just because other people say they like it so much. Quite sheepish if you ask me....

    My Top 5:
    #1 Carl's Jr
    #2 "Dukes Hamburgers" in the City of Orange across from CHOC.
    #3 Wendy's
    #4 Fatburger
    #5 T.K burgers (Costa mesa, Huntington)

    1. t
      TarheelFoodie Nov 7, 2006 03:48 PM

      Heaven was this Tarheel transplanted in LA 1980's for year of In N Out burgers late at night in Take Out only locations - best ever burgers with hand cut fries. Tried In N Out chain version in Phoenix recently and there was no comparison with the original. They are still a cut above run of the mill fast food, but not worthy of the cult status they have obtained. Someone offered me $50 for my 1980's In N Out T shirt.

      1. amkirkland Oct 19, 2006 06:49 PM

        I'm with therealbigtasty, it's all about what I want on a certain day. Sometimes it's late night and I get a single In-n-out with no sauce and no bun (but always grilled onions). Sometimes I want a juicy burger with a fried egg from Fatburger. Back home (TX) we have Burger Street who makes up great flat patty burgers, a bit salty though. It's the closest we have to an In-N-Out.

        I haven't noticed anyone mentioning Fuddruckers. Are people against it? I order medium-rare there and its a genuine medium-rare. The bun is a bit enormous, but it's good bread. I think they make a fabulous burger. It's expensive, but not like a boutique burger.

        2 Replies
        1. re: amkirkland
          therealbigtasty Oct 19, 2006 06:52 PM

          Thank You!

          It's so true that just one burger can't be the "best" burger. At least when you really love them. I mean, sometimes I miss the burnt hockey pucks my friends' parents made as a kid, even though I'd prefer my meat raw!

          Sometimes you feel like one thing, sometimes another.

          1. re: therealbigtasty
            therealbigtasty Oct 20, 2006 06:47 PM

            Last night I had a Wendy's burger that was damn near perfect. I hate to say this, but it was...

            It was wonderful, hot, fresh, meaty, cheesy, and everything was in the right place.

            Yes.

            I still like In n' Out.

        2. therealbigtasty Oct 10, 2006 08:54 AM

          Does anyone like ALL burgers and weigh the merits of each based on his/her preferences that day?

          I don't know, man, I like them all.

          Each supplies a need for a particular moment.

          1. caitybirdie Oct 10, 2006 08:46 AM

            ok, in pasadena, jay's burgers on walnut, its a little joint, otherwise, go expensive and go to Parkway grill on arroyo parkway and california they have a real Kobe beef burger served on a brioche bun!!! yummie!!

            1. DiveFan Oct 6, 2006 03:43 AM

              Since we're talking CHAIN here, I just had a coupon-induced revelation - RALLY'S burgers. For taste and value they beat JITB, McD and BK.
              Fatburger's - bad value so I'll visit a non-chain place instead.
              Tommy's - ditto on above recco - what kind of meat is it?
              Sonic - can't remember burger but they dropped the BLT for JITB-like process-cheese intensive crap
              Short list:
              CarlsJr - OK taste but too sloppy and I dislike the politics and business tactics of the owner (KILLED the Hardees and Green Burritos chains).
              Wendys - OK
              In-and-Out - OK but the wait sucks
              Farmer Boys - OK but I usually get the BLT
              Rallys - OK and cheap

              1. Eat_Nopal Oct 5, 2006 09:33 PM

                The more brief thread would be... "What is not better than an In & Out burger?" cuz then we could just list off 50% of the Chain burgers and get on with life.

                In L.A... there are so many places that make In & Out utterly irrelevant. Particularly noteworthy... are what I call the Greek Ghetto Burger Joints like Dino's, Astro's, Troy's etc.,

                For those that are not insiders.... Greek owned chains dominate the inner city burger joint landscape most likely because there is a substantial Greek contingent that specializes in Meat distribution particularly Ready Made Gyros, Pastrami & Hamburger Patties (as well as the Yellow Mediterranean chiles & Pickles).

                Few are the non-Greek non Ghetto joints that can compete. The only burger I have preferred over a Dino's (Lincoln Heights corner of Main St & Griffin Ave)... is a Medium Rare, Gorgonzola Sauced burger at the notoriously stinky Harrison Cattle Ranch in Coalinga along the Golden State freeway.

                Of course if we weight it on price... the Harrison Ranch ($12) burger does not compete with Dino's ($3).

                3 Replies
                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                  kiwi Oct 6, 2006 12:35 AM

                  question: is the Troy's you're talking about the one that's near (or in?) Sunland? Sorry, I don't know that area well. If so, I had a really dynamite bacon cheese burger there once. It's very high on my list of favorite burgers.

                  Ofcourse, I don't know that those options are relavent on this board.

                  1. re: kiwi
                    Eat_Nopal Oct 6, 2006 05:16 AM

                    Might be Troy's is a chain.... the ones I have eaten at are in East LA & Silverlake areas.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                      c
                      calabasas_trafalgar Oct 6, 2006 10:01 PM

                      Could be, there's one on Myrtle in Duarte.

                2. l
                  linlinchan Oct 1, 2006 12:38 AM

                  I much, much, much prefer a frisco melt at Steak and Shake to In-N-Out, but that's me. Plus, no Steak and Shake's in Cali.

                  1. Alimentary My Dear Watson Sep 30, 2006 12:38 AM

                    I don't get the Fatburger raves. They're expensive for a chain, really show their corporate stripes (despite the off-center name), and won't cook less than medium-well. Ask them for anything less than that, and you get a medium-well burger, and a lecture. Feh.

                    Not that In N Out is the second coming, but you can get your burger any dang way you want, and it'll be a minimum of two bucks cheaper.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Alimentary My Dear Watson
                      JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Oct 5, 2006 09:16 PM

                      Not at the AZ In-N-Out you can't. I've tried.

                      1. re: Alimentary My Dear Watson
                        s
                        sel Oct 19, 2006 07:03 PM

                        In the last few months In & Out counter people state that they can no longer cook burgers rare. Corporate BS!!!

                      2. Will Owen Sep 29, 2006 11:50 PM

                        As I've mentioned several times before on this board: when she was being interviewed on her 90th birthday, Julia Child admitted that she carried in her purse a list of every In-N-Out between San Diego and Santa Barbara. Now, just because St. Julia loved'em doesn't mean they're the best in the world, but it does tickle me that here's another thing we agreed on...

                        Nor are they the best, by any means, though they are to my taste the best from any chain. Part of it is due to the FRESH patties they use, part to the fact that they're cooked on a flat grill instead of an open fire. Many people prefer the latter cooking method; I do not.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Will Owen
                          k
                          kevin Sep 30, 2006 07:17 PM

                          well, she and others also liked La Super Rica but there are many others along milpas alone that are better.

                          1. re: Will Owen
                            cgfan Oct 5, 2006 09:29 PM

                            Will Owen: That's great to hear! Julia is so unassuming and honest in her approach to food. So Julia can be added along with Thomas Keller on the list of famous chefs/food celebrities that love In-N-Out...

                          2. k
                            kevin Sep 29, 2006 11:16 PM

                            B and R burgers on Rosecrans, enough said, the best fast food burger period.

                            2 half pounders,
                            pastrami,
                            lettuce, tomato, pickles,
                            hefty ground beef chili
                            fried egg

                            necessitates a fork and knife though.

                            called Royale Burger.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: kevin
                              ozzygee Sep 29, 2006 11:21 PM

                              But can you get a Royale with cheese?

                              1. re: ozzygee
                                DiveFan Oct 6, 2006 03:32 AM

                                Sure you can. IMO they should have a cardiologist referral sticker on it as well. A great 'last meal' choice!
                                I've only felt hungry and strong enough to have a King or a B&R burger, especially since their fries are so great.

                              2. re: kevin
                                s
                                sel Oct 19, 2006 06:59 PM

                                Tried it - once. Bad attitude + well done only = never again!!!

                              3. s
                                sonoria Sep 29, 2006 09:52 PM

                                I can't stomach In-N-Out's entire menu. Give me a Fatburger ANY day.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: sonoria
                                  ozzygee Sep 29, 2006 09:54 PM

                                  Well, of course, if you try to eat the ENTIRE menu...

                                  The only good thing I will concede to Fatburger is that they do offer to put a fried egg on your burger. I think they overdo it with the lettuce and runny tomatoes, though. I don't want a salad, I want a burger.

                                  In-N-Out is the best proportioned fast food burger there is.

                                  1. re: ozzygee
                                    h
                                    Humbucker Sep 30, 2006 02:32 AM

                                    I would argue that the proportions are what make In N Out a flop in my book. Way too skewed to the veggie side with way too little meat.

                                    1. re: Humbucker
                                      ozzygee Sep 30, 2006 08:01 PM

                                      But you can get as much (or as little) meat as you want! Try a 4x4 next time

                                      1. re: ozzygee
                                        h
                                        Humbucker Sep 30, 2006 10:31 PM

                                        True, but they just stack on more tiny, thin patties.

                                        Maybe I can ask them to smush 3 patties together before plopping the whole shebang on the grill.

                                2. ozzygee Sep 29, 2006 06:46 PM

                                  There is nothing better than an In-N-Out chili-cheeseburger made with Tommy's Original chili.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ozzygee
                                    kiwi Sep 30, 2006 04:25 AM

                                    are you serious?! ozzygee, I think we might be related.

                                    1. re: kiwi
                                      ozzygee Sep 30, 2006 07:58 PM

                                      Yes, dead serious. And if I keep it up, I'll just be dead.
                                      Sometimes I crave a chiliburger, but I think the meat they use at Tommy's is cardboard. So I combined forces. (It helps that in Pasadena the Tommy's and In-N-Out are only like 5 minutes away from each other.)

                                      I also like to make chili fries with Tommy's chili and In-N-Out regular fries. (I once tried chili-fries animal-style, but it was just gross.)

                                  2. c
                                    calabasas_trafalgar Sep 29, 2006 06:33 PM

                                    Better than I-n-Out:

                                    Fatburger
                                    Cassell's
                                    Apple Pan
                                    Tommy's
                                    Farmer Boys
                                    Carls Jr
                                    Burger King

                                    On an equal footing
                                    Jack in the Box

                                    Worse

                                    Mc Donalds
                                    Wendys

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                      ladius Sep 29, 2006 08:14 PM

                                      Oh yes, Cassell's is very good. HUGE! seems like a relic from the 50s with their cafteria-style operation. Fresh vegetable toppings you put on yourself, you just order the meat. If you've never tried, check it out. In K-town on 6th near Berendo.

                                      1. re: ladius
                                        s
                                        shabushabulova Sep 29, 2006 08:32 PM

                                        I gotta agree on the Cassell's. Great burgers and you can have them made with so many offered options! Apple Pan has great burgers too. In-n-out, my top 3.

                                      2. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                        n
                                        Noclue Sep 29, 2006 11:03 PM

                                        Jack in the Box????? please. Show me the fresh lettuce and tomatoes on a JITB burger.

                                        I don't think all that much of Apple Pan. But Jack doesn't no jack about burgers.

                                        1. re: Noclue
                                          w
                                          WandererLA Sep 29, 2006 11:10 PM

                                          Well the Ultimate Cheeseburger with grilled onion is a mighty burger if you ask me.

                                          1. re: Noclue
                                            c
                                            calabasas_trafalgar Oct 2, 2006 05:35 PM

                                            JITB birgers are not about salad. Try an Ultimate Cheeseburger - no veggies at all. I'm just saying that Jack and In N Out are about equal in terms of quality and taste, ergo, not much.

                                          2. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                            OCAnn Oct 5, 2006 09:25 PM

                                            DH also likes Tommy's, Farmer Boys, Carls & Booger King. Oh, and Knowlwood's.

                                            Me, I'd rather have a BLT.

                                            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                              favolaus Oct 18, 2006 01:59 AM

                                              DH says "I only concede Apple Pan. Other than that, you are most certainly on crack."

                                            2. blackbookali Sep 29, 2006 06:22 PM

                                              Try Rics at Riverside and Fletcher - best "stack" burger in town.

                                              1. d
                                                DevilHell Sep 29, 2006 06:21 PM

                                                I love In-n-Out, esp after my gf told me that I would order the meat medium rare (not all joints do it right though when they are busy). I will only eat semi-pink patty at In-N-Out for fastfood chains tho.

                                                I also enjoyed Carls Jr six-dollar burger, the spicy one.

                                                For sitting down, I like Morels (downstairs) at the Grove. Good fries help. And 26 Beach on Venice has very nice burgers too.

                                                I didn't enjoy applepan: the line + the lack of AC + pricy for what it is

                                                1. Carrie 218 Sep 29, 2006 05:32 PM

                                                  Fat Burger, on the char...

                                                  End of sentence.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Carrie 218
                                                    PaulF Sep 29, 2006 06:40 PM

                                                    I've thought about it a lot and done a lot of soul searching and I've come to the conclusion that Fatburger is my favorite fast food burger. End to end, they have the freshest sandwiches and great toppings.

                                                    They also have variety. I can go turkey if I want turkey. They have two kinds of fries. You can do the chili thing and the egg thing.

                                                    They even have good music on the juke box and are open late in my neighborhood.

                                                    I think InO is a bit of the emperor's new clothes. It's okay, but I don't love it. I prefer Fatburger and when I'm feeling in need of grease I'd rather eat a chiliburger at an Original Tommy's than a burger at InO.

                                                    1. re: PaulF
                                                      Carrie 218 Sep 29, 2006 09:55 PM

                                                      I had forgotten that they had two different kinds of fries...

                                                      I always go for the onion rings - with ranch dressing, of course!

                                                      1. re: Carrie 218
                                                        PaulF Sep 29, 2006 09:57 PM

                                                        Yep, skinny and fat.

                                                        The only real drag about Fatburger is that it's sort of expensive as far as fast food goes.

                                                        If you order big enough burgers with enough toppings, you could spend 20 bucks on dinner for two. Which isn't expensive per se, but compared to other fast food, it ain't cheap.

                                                        1. re: PaulF
                                                          favolaus Oct 18, 2006 02:06 AM

                                                          In the interest of fairness and honesty, I should let you all know that the proceeding post was not written by favolaus, but the S.O. of favolaus. Please do not attribute any snarkiness to favolaus...

                                                  2. ipsedixit Sep 29, 2006 05:17 PM

                                                    I like (but not necessarily "love") In N Out.

                                                    My favorite meal at In N Out is as follows.

                                                    Double-Double.
                                                    Order of Fries.
                                                    All of it to-go.
                                                    Remove burger from bag and unwrap. Let cool for 20 minutes.
                                                    Remove fries from container and dump into bag.
                                                    Chop up burger in 1/8 pieces and dump into bag.
                                                    Drizzle all of it with ketchup.
                                                    Shake bag.
                                                    Eat with fork.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      s
                                                      sdv231 Sep 29, 2006 05:28 PM

                                                      And how did you discover that this was the way to go ? I am not a fan of In N Out ....very overrated and IMHO Not a good burger

                                                      1. re: sdv231
                                                        ipsedixit Sep 29, 2006 05:34 PM

                                                        I've always felt that the fries at In N Out were rather lacking in mouth-feel and the burgers a bit pedestrian.

                                                        So, taking a cue from Cliff Huxtable from the Cosby Show (am I dating myself??), I conjured up this creation. Cliff used to do the same exact thing with his hamburger/fries leftovers.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          d
                                                          DreinLA Sep 29, 2006 08:53 PM

                                                          PHENOMENAL!!

                                                      2. re: ipsedixit
                                                        e
                                                        ewrohde Oct 4, 2006 08:23 PM

                                                        I love that idea!! I may have to give it a go. thanks

                                                      3. PeterL Sep 29, 2006 04:46 PM

                                                        It's not bad for a chain. There are much better burgers around LA, of course.

                                                        1. Das Ubergeek Sep 29, 2006 03:22 PM

                                                          I actually like Carl's Jr. better than In-N-Out, though I do like In-N-Out.

                                                          There ain't no burger like a Double Great burger from Great Grill across from Glendale College, though. Bacon, avocado, two patties, it's big, it's delicious, and with fries and a soda it's $5.95.

                                                          I should add that I'm not a fan of Father's Office, the Counter or the Apple Pan (for the burgers anyway).

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                            lil mikey Oct 18, 2006 02:06 AM

                                                            I also like Carl's Jr. better than In-N-Out, though I like In-N-Out.

                                                            Molly's burgers are also good. It's on Vine between Hollywood and Sunset.

                                                            And I hate to say it, but sometimes I just need a Fatburger.

                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                              a
                                                              anthonyG Dec 5, 2006 05:25 PM

                                                              I got to agree with you. I like Carl's Jr. much better then In and Out. I am originally from the East Coast, so i didn't grow up eating this stuff, but I just don't get the draw to In and Out. I certainly understand the strong feelings people have for "their" In and out, I have lot of opinions on food establishments. It's actually funny how people in California will fight to the death defending In and Out.

                                                              To me it a just a burger, and not a great one. Yes people try to use the argument that, "well its never frozen, it's fresh!" That's all fine and good, but if they could find a way to add flavour into that fresh meat and the fresh fries, I might then agree with them that's its great. Fresh is nice, but I'm not eating fast food for its health benefits. I eat what tastes good, and an In and Out burger is just not great. Sure it's a hamburger, and I'll eat one now and then to appease the others I am eating with, but the fanatical feelings people have towards In and Out is crazy.

                                                              I really think people like it so much, just because other people say they like it so much. Quite sheepish if you ask me....

                                                              My Top 5:
                                                              #1 Carl's Jr
                                                              #2 "Dukes Hamburgers" in the City of Orange across from CHOC.
                                                              #3 Wendy's
                                                              #4 Fatburger
                                                              #5 T.K burgers (Costa mesa, Huntington)

                                                              1. re: anthonyG
                                                                k
                                                                kevin Dec 7, 2006 04:17 AM

                                                                wow, duke's in orange across from choc, i can't remember the number of times i parked in that lot. though went to Hollingshead's instead. very interesting.

                                                                but i must agree w/TK's in Newport beach, great burger, if a little heavy and too greasy and a good bun too.

                                                            2. e
                                                              Ernie Sep 29, 2006 03:18 PM

                                                              It's the best fast food burger, but my favorite burger overall right now is the Big Mike burger in San Pedro. Huge thick hamburger patty the size of your fist topped with a grilled hot link and all the fixins. It takes about 20 minutes to cook but totally worth it for an amazing hamburger experience!

                                                              1. b
                                                                bdumes Sep 29, 2006 02:37 PM

                                                                After skimming through the previous thread, it's clear that opinions are as wide as the Mississippi.

                                                                However, you may have read in the LA Times a couple of months ago about a chef who loves In-N-Out burger, and thinks they are the best hamburger in the world, and is going to open up his own hamburger joint modeled on what In-N-Out does right (everything fresh and clean) but also serve wine. His only problem with In-N-Out was that he always had to get it to-go in order to have wine with his burger.

                                                                He didn't mention what wine he'd recommend with a double-double animal style, but I'm curious to see what that would be... :-)

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: bdumes
                                                                  ladius Sep 29, 2006 04:30 PM

                                                                  that guy should watch "sideways" and sneak a bottle in and pour it in one of their cups.

                                                                  back on topic, as far as chains go, Johnny Rockets is pretty good--nice thick patties, great fries and onion rings. I'm not sure if they still have it but their double rocket burger was very good.

                                                                  1. re: bdumes
                                                                    e
                                                                    ewrohde Oct 4, 2006 08:22 PM

                                                                    Do you happen to know the name? I've heard of 25 Degrees up on hollywood blvd. It's a nice sit down place and pairs burgers with wine.

                                                                    1. re: bdumes
                                                                      cgfan Oct 5, 2006 09:23 PM

                                                                      bdumes: The chef that you are referring to is none other than Thomas Keller of the French Laundry.

                                                                    2. c
                                                                      carter Sep 29, 2006 05:35 AM

                                                                      Here is a lengthy post that will discuss your question ad nauseum.
                                                                      Personally, they are no big deal, and worth no more than the price charged, yet opinions vary as you will read.
                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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