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In-N-Out Burger sucks (moved from L.A. board)

Seriously, been out here 4 years now. Is this whole thing just some big elaborate joke on me? People not only act like these burgers are edible, but that they are actually any more special than EVERY OTHER FAST FOOD BURGER IN THE WORLD. These burgers are virtually flavorless (and no, folks, dumping grilled onions on a flavorless burger does not mean it's a good tasting burger). TINY patties, flavorless fries..and that's about all they offer. Seriously, Burger King makes a better tasting burger..but I wouldn't go there either.

SO what on Earth is the hype about? Is it some LA Pride thing? "It's uncool to hate IN-N-Out burger." Is it like being a Mets fan or something? They always suck, but they're still "amazing" to the fans?

I just don't get it. If I was a 22 year old kid looking for midnight munchies, I would go to one of the good tasting drive through windows in town, not In-N-Out. What am I missing. The stuff is utterly forgettable, and I've never once craved it, even at 4AM when I was out on the prowl for munchies.

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  1. you lost all credibility when you said BK tastes better.

    srsly, just compare the lettuce between InO to BK. InO lettuce looks like it came off a fresh head of lettuce that morning. BK lettuce looks like it came out of a bag that was packed from a factory 500 miles away.

    also: double double animal style = flavorless? LOL

    just IMO.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      +1. The OP's unfavorable comparison to BK, generally speaking, damns their entire thesis... As for the straw man issue about "it's uncool to hate In 'N Out", for many detractors the phrase should read " It's hip to hate on In 'N Out"... The value at In 'N Out cannot be beaten, assuming one likes their fare, of course. And if we're gonna sling around hyperbole, try this: at other fastfood chains, generally speaking, going to the restroom to wash one's hands actually results in one feeling dirtier than upon entry. At In N' Out, one feels like the crew there give a damn about cleanliness on either side of the doors... And lastly, I enjoy the food at In N' Out, in good measure, because the employees seem OK with their jobs; they're earning a less indecent wage than at fastfood places where the employees seem to be waiting for the sweet release of suicide. For me, food _tastes_ better when the folks who make it and serve it recognize that they're making me happy....

      1. re: silence9

        "damns their entire thesis"

        Does it, brah? Because your refusal to acknowledge that even a disgusting BK burger is better than an In-N-Out, NECESSARILY damns YOUR whole thesis, as far as I'm concerned. Starting to see how this whole subjective opinion thing works now? Good, why don't we check the hyperbole at the door then.

        I don't like BK, as I said. But that, along with McDonald's, Wendy's, and pretty much any other crap burger drive-through I can think of is at least a LITTLE better tasting than In-N-Out. This is because, again, INO has NO taste, so the competition wins by default.

        I love these arguments, "their ingredients are fresh," "the workers just *SEEM* happier to me." Uh...great, why doesn't it taste good? Newsflash folks, INO is not better for you. Fast food is all garbage. French fries and burgers are horrible for you, no matter how "fresh" the ingredients are before they're fried up on a greasy griddle, or drowned in the boiling oil vat. If you are going to make the decision to eat fast food, it's a firm decision to eat crap. Accept it, and all the smiling faces at the counter aren't going to change that verdict. Therefore, you might as well go the distance and eat crap that TASTES GOOD. That's all I'm saying. Eating bad tasting fast food just seems like...I don't know, the saddest thing in the world?

        Maybe it's just an East Coast / West Coast thing after all. In NY, we had Irish Pub burgers everywhere. That's like our burger shack equivalent, because they're so ubiquitous. But they're restaurant quality burgers. Thick juicy patties, over a 1/4 lb. of beef. Thick steak fries where you can actually taste the potato. Here in LA, the LA style shack burger (which is what INO is modeled after) is that paper thin patty, and then too much lettuce and nasty condiments. The flavor of a burger is defined by the flavor of....wait for it...the BURGER. NOT the condiments, folks. If your not tasting beef in your mouth...well you get the point. Every person I know from NY feels the way I do about INO. Most of my LA friends think INO is amazing. I think it finally coms down to what kind of burger you were exposed to growing up.

        1. re: addy rourke

          Yes. Foods we grew up with, we like.

          Foods do not "suck".

          A lot of people like certain foods and you don't. There is no need to tell anyone how much you hate food we grew up eating just because you don't like the things we enjoy. None of the food any of us ate is 'sucky'.

          1. re: Cathy

            Exactly, Cathy. Addy rourke, you've made posts looking for old school NY style chinese food in LA. I think it's inauthentic, overcooked, goopy mess on a plate. Who's right? We both are -- you like it because it's what you grew up with. I dislike it because it's not the authentic stuff we get here in LA.

            You can't compare the quality of a fast food burger with a burger from a pub or sit down restaurant. Fast food burgers are a whole other animal compared to restaurant burgers (pun unintended). It's like comparing steaks from Sizzler to steaks from Morton's. Fast food is intended to satisfy the masses, quickly and cheaply.

            With In and Out, one of the reasons it's popular is because they don't use frozen ingredients like most fast food places. You don't get shredded lettuce from a bag -- there is an employee inside separating lettuce leaves form the heads. There's another person cutting fresh french fries. The burgers aren't premade, sitting under a heat lamp. In and Out, to many people, is the best of the worst. It's not healthy, because it's still fast food, (and I don't think anyone claimed In and Out is healthy) but it's preservative free, with fresh ingredients.

          2. re: addy rourke

            No one's called me brah for way too long. Thank you :-)

            1. re: addy rourke

              ah your from NY, well that explains it.

              1. re: addy rourke

                Maybe he like the burgers at Zippy's?

                1. re: addy rourke

                  You are entitled to your opinion of course, Addy, but you have revealed enough about your taste buds here to let me know I will never ask you for a suggestion about where to eat.

              2. re: ns1

                Doesn't matter what it looks like if it doesn't have any flavor, and InI doesn't, to me. The fact that it costs 5x is just icing on the cake.

              3. different strokes for different folks, i guess.

                Why so negative?

                1. What do you consider a "good tasting drive through window"?

                  In and Out is popular because everything is fresh -- they do not use frozen ingredients. They do not use heat lamps. It's a family owned company based in So. CA, so of course there is a little local pride in the company. But more importantly, the food is good. Not sure how you can say the burgers are flavorless, unless you asked for it with no spread, no onions, no tomato, etc.

                  A double-Double, animal style, no tomato and an order of Animal Fries is my splurge there. And I try to save room for a vanilla shake, ade from real ice cream. Too bad it's one of those spurges I only allow myself a couple times a year, but I do get a protein style cheeseburger occassionally.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: boogiebaby

                    mmmm, for me it's all about the 2 x 4, medium rare, animal style, extra toasted bun.

                  2. In n Out is great, to compare it to buger king is ludicrous. BK is one of the worst tasting burgers around.

                    1. For me it's the 4x4 with grilled onions and dressing only. The juice, cheese and spread just ooze out.

                      1. Never had it myself, but I have had two separate friends from the east coast try it. 1 said it was just ok, and the other didn't like it that much at all.

                        I am not making any judgment in this thread as I will try it myself someday, but just adding some personal experiences.

                        1. Our one week trip to southern California earlier this month showed us that, once again, In-n-Out rules our burger world. It defines value for money far better than any other fast food restaurant.

                          And with the money we save by eating one meal there, we get to try other pricier chow-ish places for the other meal.

                          In-n-Out reminds me of the great diner burgers of my childhood, all of which are long gone now.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: shallots

                            Value does make this more complex.

                            What's a double-double going for these days, anyway?

                            1. re: ediblover

                              $3.15 for a double double.

                              You can get a full double double meal (fries and drink) for under $6 per person.

                              1. re: Novelli

                                I'm a native Easterner and really enjoy the product and value that INO offers. I just had a d-d two days ago and I am still having flavor flashbacks. If you find INO burgers flavorless you must have a tastebud blindspot. Flavorless? I don't get it. Far from it.

                                1. re: CynAmyn

                                  I second your opinion CynAmyn - In n Out has so much more flavor in quantity and quality of flavor then any of the other fast food chains. But to ballance out the condiments you really nead a double double, a single is admitedly overwhelmed by the bun etc.

                          2. I'm a NY hound who spent a year living in Sacramento. I'd have to say I was somewhat let down by In 'n Out given the hype. The burgers are good, but the primary flavors are salt, sugar, and fat. The subtleties of the beef, cheese, bun, and fresh toppings are not prominent. Shake Shack in NY does a better version of the IO style burger, but what's really impressive about IO is their consistency across a large number of stores. I like their burgers and every now and then would get one, but they don't come close to matching the hype. And for the record, I eat maybe 1-2 other fast food burgers per year. If I'm splurging on a burger, it's gonna be big and juicy with lots of bacon and cheese involved, and it'll be from a reputable place. FYI, if you're in NY, check out Blue Smoke. You wouldn't think to order a burger there, but it's one of the best!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: powermd

                              Amen brother, yet another New Yorker in agreement. Cathy above is right, there's no point in arguing opinions dressed up as empirical fact. It's a moot exchange. But for me, INO is about as overhyped as anything could get, it's always disappointed me with taste, so I don't eat there. I like a beefy, flavorful burger. Call me crazy.

                              As for Blue Smoke, I never tried the burgy, but their mac n cheese is a miracle.

                              1. re: addy rourke

                                Read it again. He/she is not really agreeing with you.

                              2. re: powermd

                                I'm with you -- In N Out is more than over-rated. Since you're in NY, I've got to ask -- have you tried Bare Burger yet, in the Village? I was there last week and was blown away.

                              3. Couldn't agree with you more! I've never understood why In 'n Out seems to have such a following...it's almost like a cult. Their burgers are no better than McD's, Carls Jr., BK or any of the national chains. At least McD's has edible fries and drinkable coffee.

                                1. To expect a something revelatory from a meal that costs $6 is setting yourself up for a letdown. Yep, In N' Out gets a lot of hype but they're popular for a reason. They offer a simple, fresh, consistent product at a reasonable price. I think the Double Double is a great burger, it's simple and tasty. The patty is never frozen and has no preservatives.
                                  Saying that Burger King or any of the other fast food is better than In N' Out is a bit ridiculous, especially when you consider the quality of ingredients. Every other fast food chain uses frozen patties that are usually dry, full of preservatives, often reheated in a microwave and full of flavor additives and crap. That being said I actually do enjoy a double cheeseburger for what it is but I don't have any illusions about what it is.... bottom barrel ingredients that have been manipulated to taste good.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: virtualguthrie

                                    For me, the bottom line is taste. I don't think that IAO "sucks", but I also don't think their food, for the most part, tastes any better (or any worse) than any fast food. That's why I, and many others, don't get why IAO has become this almost cult thing in CA!

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      In So. California for the last several years, we have seen an explosion of 'boutique' burger places, with $12 or $15 or $18 dollar burgers, some which look askance if you deign to ask for ketchup and some that offer gourmet homeade ketchups that do not improve upon the usual bottled stuff. Status burgers, many of them quite tasty but quite expensive. So when In N' Out can continue to offer what many enjoy (the classic double-double) with consistency for just a bit over $3 dollars, then yes, perhaps folks become favorably fanatical. When a patron is positvely reinforced via the 'reward' of regular access to something they enjoy, they will frequent the establishment often and support the thriving of that source of positive reinforcement. One does not necessarily need to like their product to see this dynamic in play, yes?

                                  2. The taste of In-N-Out burgers is certainly all hype. The meat is subpar, rather greasy and salty, don't like their pasty cheese and the buns seem to compete with wonder-bread for most tasteless dough creation. Yes they use fresh lettuce and tomatoes but to be honest their sauce - 1000 island with tons of extra relish does little for me. And their limp/greasy fries are probably the worst in the industry - imho.

                                    We used to do truly blind food tastings with a group of chefs and food professionals and it was amazing that In-N-Out burgers did poorly even though many of the tasters were In-N-Out aficionados.

                                    So why are they so popular - price and marketing reputation, if you don't like them you simply are not a cool person.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                      I have two reasons to believe my fondness for In-N-Out is justified:

                                      1. Interviewed on her 90th birthday, Julia Child revealed that one thing she carried in her purse at all times was a list of every In-N-Out between San Diego and Santa Barbara.

                                      2. I love the burgers, I love the fries (pale, tender and NO SKINS!!), and the only thing that keeps me from eating them more frequently is (A) my doctor, and (B) I hate long lines.

                                      De gustibus non est disputandem, kids.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        Will. I can give you one reason your fondness is justified and it trumps the two you mentioned. You like them. That's really all that matters. You're the one who has to eat it.

                                        DT

                                    2. I am not subject to their marketing or hype because I don't live near one. But whenever I am in AZ or LA, I always visit one at least a couple of times. On the price front, many places can compete and even beat them. On the quality, freshness and taste front, for me, they are above the rest. I don't expect it to be the best food I've ever eaten, but for a fast food hamburger and fries, I think they are really fantastic. They aren't even in the same category as a frozen burger from the chain places. And I understand I'm in the minority, but I LOVE their fries. I don't like burned, hard fries, I like softer fries that are lighter colored like you get at the fair, freshly cut, and these are pretty darn close. It's a good thing they AREN'T here in the midwest as I would probably weigh 400 pounds from eating there several times a week. As it is, they are a pleasant part of my travels whenever I am near one. There's just nothing like them where I live.

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: rockandroller1

                                        I like their fries too, potatoes fried in oil... what's the problem?

                                        1. re: rockandroller1

                                          I'm in the midwest and have been traveling to California on business for the past 25 years, and have had my fair share of In N Out meals. The In N Out of 25 years ago was a much, MUCH better chain than the one today, and very much worthy of the best praises I've read in this thread. However, times have changed, and burgers that I once truly enjoyed have been replaced with miniscule discs (reminiscent of the old Wendy's "where's the beef?" commercials) and mostly condiments. Yes, the meat is fresh, but it's not close to the quality it was years ago, and it's hard for me to understand the praise given to the burger of today. And to "rockandroller1", if you're from the midwest, I suggest you locate the nearest Culver's if you want a better-tasting burger patty than what's now being served at In N Out.

                                          Fries still suck no matter how they're cooked -- normally limp and slightly oily, and dried-out and mealy when well-done. That's what happens when you make fries the way they do. It's a gimmick that has worked for decades, so...it isn't going to change. It is what it is.

                                          Seems to me that the model which worked well in 1986 is not working that well today. In N Out is at a crossroads, and it's unlikely they can expand much more using the current business model without destroying the brand. Given the very noticeable drop in quality in the past few years, it could be argued that they have already expanded too much.

                                          1. re: Mizer

                                            ">>That's what happens when you make fries the way they do. It's a gimmick that has worked for decades,<<""

                                            Huh? They take fresh whole potatoes. They push them through a cutter. They drop them into hot vegetable oil. What gimmick?

                                            Am I missing something here?

                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              They are greasy and limp...that's what you are missing. It doesn't matter how fresh the potatoes are or the quality of the oil, if they are cooked poorly they will not be good!

                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                But how is that a gimmick? "Shitty Fries for Fifty Years! Still only $1,000,000!"

                                                I don't get it.

                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                I've watched workers at INO make French Fries. They cut fresh potatoes and then rinse them in water to remove some of the starch (to achieve a crisper french fry). Next, they use a towel to dry the cut potatoes. But the problem is they don"t dry the potatoes sufficiently --one towel is not going to adequately dry the large pile of cut potatoes. The reason INO French Fires are limp is that they are too wet when they are placed into the oil.

                                                1. re: Norm Man

                                                  I get that. The fries aren't the best. I still don't see any "gimmick."

                                                  1. re: Norm Man

                                                    I order them well done, not limp at all.

                                                    1. re: Norm Man

                                                      I''ve suspected for some time that McD's and Ore-Ida have figures out some way of partially dehydrating their potatoes, through low-temp convection or freeze-drying. In Ore-Ida's case, there's no way you can take raw and cut potatoes, freeze them at home, and put them in a 375 oven, and get fluffy-inside, browned outside fries.

                                                      Harold McGee, Jacques Pepin and others have described two-stage deep oil frying, first at ca. 300 F to cook the insides, and doing second-stage browning at 350.

                                                      This works. You can make delish regular-cut and thick-cut steak fries at home with two-stage cooking. You might think the first stage would make them absorb too much "grease", but interestingly it doesn't.

                                                      InO could certainly do their fries differently to make them fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

                                                  2. re: Mizer

                                                    There's no culver's here. At least a 12 hour drive away. My sister lives in WI and I have tried them over the years in visiting her and I don't really like them. That "butter" taste just doesn't go with burger to me.

                                                    I'll say it again - I LIKE limp fries. Have you ever been to a county fair? Fresh cut, limp, very light colored hot fries doused in vinegar and salt, that's heaven to me.

                                                    To be fair, I haven't had In&Out for about 4 years, which was the last time I was in AZ. But it doesn't sound like from your post anything has changed in that time frame.

                                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                                      I've been to quite a few county fairs and have had fries of the type you mentioned. We definitely have different ideas of what constitutes great fries. If those are what you consider great fries, then I can easily see why you like the fries at In N Out. And I hope you can see why I do not.

                                                      As for Culver's, the butter taste is in the bun, not the patty, which is why I specifically said Culver's burger PATTY was better-tasting than at In N Out. The closest Culver's is a 12-hour drive from you, and you say you're in the midwest? Based on the following map, I guess we have a different idea of what constitutes the midwest as well!

                                                      http://culvers.know-where.com/culvers...

                                                      1. re: Mizer

                                                        I thought they were only in WI where my sister lives. Still, the closest one is 100 miles away and in a state I've never been to (MI) except to drive through it on the way to Canada, so probably won't stumble across one soon.

                                                        But yeah, we'll agree to disagree on the fries. I grew up on those limp county fair fries and they are like heaven to me, but I do understand why they wouldn't be everyone else's favorite.

                                                2. I'm surprised by the amount of posts in agreement. Well, I know I'm not alone here. Nothing wrong with liking what you like, I just needed to make sure I wasn't missing something huge--like the special "off menu" secret order of added flavor.

                                                  I get the whole fresh ingredient thing, but when it doesn't improve the food's taste, and when the thing in question is a greasy burger (bad for you no matter who makes it) I say, go for flavor. If you want to be healthy, get a salad, not a cheeseburger.

                                                  1. Full disclosure...east coaster here.

                                                    First I&O last November in NV, a double-double. I ate about half of it and did not get the hype and threw out the rest.

                                                    Last month in Sf and someone told me about animal style so I tried a double-double animal style. And I thought it was better. But if you need to coat a burger in mustard and grill it to give it flavor, not a good sign.

                                                    I do not understand all the hype.

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      another east coaster here ! I had same feelings as you on double-double, and "animal style" version ...
                                                      (and I must've tried those burgers at least 5 times already...
                                                      and the animal style was the only way that made them taste a little more special to me...

                                                      But, those FRIES ! Ugh, they taste like SAWDUST to me ! JMO !!!!!!

                                                      1. re: ellen4441

                                                        They're just potatoes. Fresh-cut single-fried potatoes. No additives, no flavorings besides a dash of salt. And they're fried in plain ol' vegetable oil. If you don't like plain fried potatoes, you won't like In-N-Out fries.

                                                        Some famous chefs prefer frozen fries for consistency. Others would add coatings and flavorings. And few would dispute that double-frying (once at low temp to cook, again at high temp to crisp) will result in a superior product. But that's getting beyond basic fried potatoes.

                                                        I happen to prefer my fries a bit crispier and with a bit more salt than the In-N-Out standard. Wherein lies the genius of the place - ask for "well-done fries, extra salt" and they'll make them just that way for you.

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                          tnx, alanbarnes, I'll try "well done, extra salt" on those fries next time !

                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                        jfood said: " But if you need to coat a burger in mustard and grill it to give it flavor, not a good sign."... I get it, jfood, not your cup of tea. But the concept of grilling or roasting red meat or poultry with mustard is neither bizarre nor uncommon. Thomas Keller has a recipe for short ribs braised-then-baked with a mustard glaze; and rack of lamb roasted with a mustard coating is nearly ubiquitous. Perhaps those ingredients are more exalted, but the principle of roasting/grilling meat in mustard for extra flavor is certainly understandable, even if not to one's personal taste...

                                                        1. re: silence9

                                                          I am a fan or mustard on meats (so no disagreement whatsoever) and i could eat many mustard covered meats til the cows come home. but if a burger "requires" a slathering of grilled mustard to make it good, then it is not good without the mustard.

                                                          If i had not eaten the animal style i would have placed the I&O into the "whats the big deal" bucket, but the animal style made it better

                                                          Granted it is not my cup of tea and if people love it, go for it, but I am not on the greatest thing since sliced bread bandwagon.

                                                          BTW - the TK mustard topped braised short ribs sound great.

                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                          jfood,

                                                          Today you say: "Last month in Sf and someone told me about animal style so I tried a double-double animal style. And I thought it was better. But if you need to coat a burger in mustard and grill it to give it flavor, not a good sign."

                                                          But earlier you said: "Ketchup" is a "must" on a burger, and that you "really like" "bacon or caramelized onions" and that if they are "available" you'd also opt for things like "pickle chips, tomato, lettuce, mayo" because "they are adding additional flavors to complement, the salty, spicy, sweet... philosophy" (Link here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7745...

                                                          )

                                                          Hmm, so which is it?

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Totally consistent

                                                            First line in the linear program:

                                                            Taste of burger meat = good <enter>

                                                            Once that occurs I think ketchup is a must because i love ketchup on a burger, if there is bacon within reach, please add, and caramelized onions, getting close to heaven.

                                                            But there is a difference between those flavors "complementing" the flavors of the good burgers I love versus a mustard glaze that is "required" to make it edible. The naked meat at I&O could not stand up when I tried it in NV (even with cheese and ketchup) while the burgers that make the "good burger" list can do so out of a paper bag eating with my fingers.

                                                            Hope that clears any confusion.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              Well, ok.

                                                              If it makes sense to you, I guess that's all that matters.

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                I get it.

                                                                DT

                                                        3. Yep. If only In-N-Out would ditch the fresh-ground pure-beef patty and start using frozen crap with "grill flavoring," they might be as good as Burger King. Everybody knows that factory-formed "fries" are better than fresh-cut potatoes. And lettuce is always better when it's been shredded before being shipped by truck from the other side of the country.

                                                          Still, I'll be the first to admit that In-N-Out is overrated. Much as I love the place, the stuff they serve can't hold a candle to a **real** burger. It's just a fast food restaurant that punches above its weight.

                                                          Those who claim that this is the best burger ever and those who claim they can get a better burger from McDonald's or Burger King have something in common. There's a reason they're prowling for munchies at four in the morning.

                                                          11 Replies
                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                            Where's the "like" button? Great post Alan, lets try and keep things in perspective.

                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                              Yep. If only In N Out would ditch the factory-ground high-fat fresh patty and start using a frozen patty of higher-quality meat, there would never be a comment comparing them to Burger King. Everybody knows that cut, blanched, IQF fries are light-years better than watery, fresh-cut potatoes. And lettuce is always better when it's not so watery from washing that it makes the burger soggy.

                                                              What worked 50 years ago, with smaller crowds of people willing to wait for a quality product, doesn't work today. That's why I call it a gimmick. Corners have been cut to accommodate serving lots more people who want their food immediately, if not faster. I would prefer to see In N Out make one of two choices: keep the same price point and start using good quality frozen patties and fries, or go to a higher price point, keep their current business model, and do it the RIGHT way -- the way it was done when the model was originally created.

                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                You can't get "original-flavor BK" anymore. They used to fresh-flame-broil their meat at order. After the Jack-in-the-Box E coli debacle, now they pre-cook the patties in centralized facilities, then do some kindof reheat. Today's BK burgers are entirely different from what they used to be.

                                                                It would be great if somebody would insist on strict hygiene at the mass-meat-packing plants, and then for extra precaution, insist on immediate post-grinding flash-freezing. BK's big enough to do this. JITB and CJ/Hardee's could piggyback.

                                                                1. re: MarkKS

                                                                  i haven't been to BK in several years but this is terrible news.

                                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                                    So you haven't been to BK in several years. Switched to vegan? Crap, E coli, with nasty genetics, has crept into veggies.

                                                                    There's a growing Find Sources You Can Trust, or if you can't do that, DIY Grow/Raise it movement, or some combination. Both of these cost more than the industrial-production paradigm.

                                                                  2. re: MarkKS

                                                                    This is completely incorrect. I worked at BK in the mid 80's. Beef patties were flame broiled and held in warming trays. They were then zapped in a microwave for about 10 seconds.

                                                                    DT

                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                      My condolences.

                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                        PDK. It was one of the most fun jobs I ever had.

                                                                        DT

                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                          Good, then. Make any Lugy Whoppers? Being a registered sea kayak guide would be my best. There is n I&O up in the Land of the Hockey Puck is there. Whimpy Burgers, a British chain? Is there a Canadian burger chain?

                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                            Harvey's. They're terrible. They used to be good a way back when but over expansion and continual down turn in quality have made put them below McD's IMHO. We also have one around here called Hero Certified Burger which is honestly some of the worst food I've ever eaten. Bad on a level you have to strive to meet.

                                                                            And no, no lugy Whoppers. We were actually continually winning the quality award from our owner. He owned a few dozen BK's and always ate at ours.

                                                                            DT

                                                                      2. re: Davwud

                                                                        I wouldn't dispute your on-site experience.

                                                                        When you worked there, BK was giving up quality, too many "industrial efficiency" stupidities.

                                                                        But they actually used to grill the patties to order, before your time. Even during the 80s, some franchisees continued to do this. The BK in Roseburg OR was doing selling fresh-off-the-grill burgers as late as 1989. One we went to in Dana Point CA was still doing it right in the early 90s.

                                                                        Did they capitulate after that? With the JITB E coli debacle, and ripple-fear changes in the fast-food-burger-industry they had no choice. Which is why your-best-tasting burger today is at some places that grind their meat onsite, or do it yourself, and build as hot a fire as you can.

                                                                  3. Y'know, if you're going to bash In N Out, at least see how much you know about the place before you go all bonkers on it.

                                                                    Go ahead, test yourself here: http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/s...

                                                                    1. Tried INO this year for the first time on a trip to SF. Im a NYer. Both regular and animal style.
                                                                      Animal was clearly better and a nice change from the typical fast food burger. The regular one left a lot to be desired. I understand what the OP is saying. When you get a whopper or a big mac, there is a lot of flavor there-although it is mostly due the large amounts of fat and salt. The regular INO burger was very bland. I could see why someone would say BK is better-notwithstanding the different prep methods and ingredients.

                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                      1. re: AdamD

                                                                        What's really surprising is that decent fast food hamburgers are truly hard to find. Like most food, it's mainly about ingredients. I can go to a local market, buy good quality ground round or sirloin (usually ground fresh to order if it's for guests), ordinary hamburger buns, a few onions and tomatoes and that's it. I fire up the grill, toast the buns, grill the onions, slice the tomatoes, and grill the burgers medium rare. With just the basic condiments, my homemade burger beats any fast food burger by a mile. It's no magic, it's just ingredients. Good quality ground beef is not that expensive. With their enormous buying power, staff who are mostly teenagers earning minimum wage, and huge profit items such as soft drinks and fries, there's no reason other than greed that the fast food chains can't give you a really good burger for under 5 bucks! Unfortunately none does.

                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                          Unlike other fast food chains, In-N-Out doesn't buy ground beef. It buys chuck primals which are butchered and ground in its SoCal facility, then delivered fresh - never frozen - to stores around the west. As far as other ingredients, lettuce is leafed, tomatoes cut, and onions sliced and chopped every day in the store. So how is this any different than what you do at home?

                                                                          As far as minimum-wage employees go, there aren't any at In-N-Out. Starting employees make at least $10.00 per hour, they promote from within, and the average store manager makes over $100,000 per year. Maybe the place is exploiting its employees, but if that's the case teenagers are lining up for exploitation - according to my 17-year-old daughter, it's one of the most coveted jobs out there.

                                                                          At the risk of repeating myself, I believe that In-N-Out is overhyped by some. It isn't the best burger in the world. But IMO it's the best fast food burger by a mile. And for under two bucks? You're not going to find anything close.

                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            Perhaps IAO pays more than minimum wage, but I'd bet that many of the other fast food chains do not (explains why as you say teenagers like working there).

                                                                            All I'm saying is that even buying retail at Gelson's or other expensive markets, I can make terrific hamburgers at home for way less than $5 per...and IMHO they are much better than any served at any fast food restaurant in southern CA (certainly including IAO). And I'd be surprised if you can't also...no great skill is required, just good ingredients. I know you say that what IAO does is no different than what I do at home, but I can't believe you truly find an IAO burger as good as what you can grill at home. You don't agree?

                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                              You cannot compare the two. Its a discussion of fast food chains. Even if you can whip em up in a minute. :)

                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                I agree completely. I like to bake my own buns, grind my own meat, and use tomatoes picked just outside my back door only moments earlier. Those burgers aren't just better than In-N-Out, they blow away the ones that cost $15 at upscale restaurants. But that isn't the point.

                                                                                My point was that I disagree with your claim that "it's mainly about ingredients." In-N-Out uses fresh ingredients, but they make a burger that falls well short of greatness. That, and that you mischaracterized the business model.

                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                  Of course a grilled hamburger on a bun is largely about ingredients. If not why would my home grilled ground round or sirloin burger on a store bought hamburger bun, with freshly sliced tomatoes and onions, and the usual store bought condiments taste infinitely better than the burgers at any fast food place including IAO!

                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                    You make a hamburger with fresh-ground meat and put it on a bun with freshly sliced tomatoes and onions. So does In-N-Out. That tells me that the difference isn't the ingredients.

                                                                                    But you say you're grilling the burger - that's different than cooking it on a flattop, and has nothing to do with the meat. Ditto with leaving the patty mid-rare instead of cooking it well done. And presumably you're making them larger than two ounces, hopefully with a minimum of excess handling.

                                                                                    None of these things has anything to do with ingredients. It's all about technique.

                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                      Of course, it's about technique. And as was said upthread I think it's nonsense to compare totally homemade to any chain. Mercy :)

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        Fired up the grill for the first time in a while tonight. Store-bought buns, but I ground the chuck this afternoon. (Reggie [see avatar] is still out back with the big bone.) Doesn't get much better.

                                                                                2. re: josephnl

                                                                                  Replying tp josephnl - I am sure almost anyone can make a quality hamburger at home, but when your out and about, shopping, etc. and want a burger and don't have a lot of time then it comes down to some fast food place and in n out is one of the best choices IMHO.

                                                                                  1. re: malibumike

                                                                                    Malibumike...I don't disagree that there are times when we all need and sometimes enjoy a fast food burger. My only point is that I think the main difference between a fast food burger such as IAO and those I make at home is ingredients. I have no special skills as a grill chef, nor any special equipment other than a grill pan and a gas barbecue, nevertheless a burger than I can make at home...imho...beats any fast food burger I've had including IAO. Thus I am of the opinion that it's mainly about ingredients

                                                                                3. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                  Al, Lotaburger weeps for you.

                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                    True, not the best burger, but the best fast food burger by a regional burger chain for sure and the rest of their food is really good for a fast food joint. All of it very fresh. Much better than the national fast food chains like McDonalds and Carls. And, when you take into consideration the price point of their food, the super fast and friendly service ....In 'n Out is tough to beat for a fast food chain.

                                                                                  2. re: josephnl

                                                                                    Besides the hip factor, I think a lot of people prefer INO because of the freshness alone and not necessarily the taste. People say its the best because the meat, fries and toppings are made fresh as opposed to the industrially engineered, chemically preserved product served at McD and BK. I have to say that Id prefer a McD double over the regular INO for the taste alone and basically because when I crave fast food (usually after a long international flight) I want that soft salty savory flavor.

                                                                                    You can find a good fast food burger if you have a decent local drive-in/snack bar/lunch counter/deli-with-a-grill style restaurant in close proximity.
                                                                                    Shake shack for example. I think their burgers are 10x better than INO.

                                                                                    And IMHO you really cant compare good burgers made at home, the pub, the diner or the restaurants making "gourmet" burgers to those made at fast food chains.

                                                                                    1. re: AdamD

                                                                                      I can't even eat the hamburger meat at McD. The meat they use for their angus burgers is so terrible.

                                                                                    2. re: josephnl

                                                                                      The only risk of ordering fresh ground beef is ensuring the market's tools have been well-cleaned.

                                                                                      I like the Kitchen-Aid stand mixer with grinder attachment. It doesn't take long to clean with a bottle brush and toothbrush, and give a bleach-water quick soak.

                                                                                      I never grill 4-oz burgers at home. I do 1/3-1/2 pounders. The former for people who want their meat brown all the way through, the latter for people who like medium-rare or even rare.

                                                                                      Lat night we had sirloin burgers with eaters-choice bacon, cheese, grilled white onions, raw red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, portobello shrooms, thousand island, or browned-in-butter (like grill cheese sandwiches) ciabatta-roll-buns.

                                                                                      Since burgers cook quickly, you may want to "flame it up" to get a nice tasty crust. Some butter dropped on the grill and dropping through to the coals for briquettes, some poured oil, or pre-coating your patties with some melted butter or oil, or cooking over hardwood chunks instead of charcoal, will give you a tasty flame-flavored result.

                                                                                      Everybody said, "This is GOOD!"

                                                                                  3. Can I jump into this old thread instead of starting a new one? Last week I finally ate at In-n-Out after hearing about it for years. The double double really is a fine burger for the price point. I think the main thing that sets it apart is attention to detail in assembly. It’s the only fast food burger that looks like the advertising pictures. Every bite gets you a little bit of everything in the burger and you never end up with a mouthful of just bread, or just onion, etc. The beef on its own is frankly no better than a McDonald’s patty but the burger works because as a whole it is so well balanced and assembled.

                                                                                    The fries are neck and neck with Wendy's as the worst fast food fries available. Leathery on the outside and pasty on the inside, I would not order these again.

                                                                                    So I think all the praise is somewhat deserved. The closest comparison I can think of here in the Midwest is Steak n Shake and I would trade all of our Steak n Shakes for one In-n-Out near my house.

                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                      In-and-Out, never been impressed. BK, JOB, CJ's used to be better. After the JOB E coli disaster, all these places went to "safety" measures. Bad news for tasty burgers. It would be nice if they would use "clean" meat-packers, and do DNA anti-contamination tests, and make great grill-flame onsite burgers. But they don't, so your best-tasting burgers are at some "local" places, and grill them yourself. Even grind your own beef and making patties just before throwing them on the grill.

                                                                                      1. re: MarkKS

                                                                                        Agree. Really see no difference between any of the hamburger chains including I&O. They're all fine if you're on the road and need a quick snack, but I never go to any if there's an alternative.

                                                                                      2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                        For you, the beef seems to be secondary to the toppings, and that's fine. But for me, the beef is paramount (it's why I order a burger!), and the quality of the beef is much better at Steak n Shake. But honestly, you can't compare the two chains. Steak n Shake is set up as an old-fashioned diner with your burger served on a real plate with real silverware, and it's technically not fast food.

                                                                                        I think the closest comparison in the Midwest to In n Out is Culver's, and I would take a Culver's burger over In n Out every time. Again, it's all about the beef...which brings us back to the first post in this topic, talking about the quality (or lack thereof) of the beef on an In n Out burger.

                                                                                        1. re: Mizer

                                                                                          I know that In n Out does pride themselves on using only fresh, 100% pure beef which is free of additives, fillers and preservatives of any kind.

                                                                                          According to what I've read they own and operate their own facility to turn out the patties, using only whole chucks from "premium" (whatever that term means in actuality I can't tell you) cattle and they have in-house butchers remove the bones before they grind the meat themselves and then produce the patties for the burgers.

                                                                                          Their beef is never frozen at any stage of the process from what I understand.

                                                                                          1. re: Mizer

                                                                                            Hi Mizer. As far as toppings vs beef, it depends on the kind of burger I am eating. If we’re talking about a fast food place then toppings are of course more important because fast food beef all tastes pretty much the same. That’s what In-n-out is very good at: attention to detail in burger assembly and topping proportions. ‘Fresh-ground’ it may be, but I don’t find their beef to taste much different from the little patties at McDonald’s.

                                                                                            I use Steak n’ Shake as a comparison because their basic double burger has a similar price point as the Double Double. I went to that place all the time in high school and - among my circle of friends anyway - most of the SNS love comes from nostalgia and not because the burgers are any good. I’ve never had a burger from there that wasn’t dried out with limp toppings. I will say that the Frisco Melt is a fantastic hangover killer though.

                                                                                            Never eaten at Culver's but I will remedy that soon.

                                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                              "‘Fresh-ground’ it may be, but I don’t find their beef to taste much different from the little patties at McDonald’s."

                                                                                              seriously? night and day to me.

                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                The beef on both seem pretty similar to me. I think inO is all about hype and being cool. Can't understand what the fuss is all about.

                                                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                  Different people have different frequency gain settings in their taster controls; a scent that sends me out of the room you might notice as something faint and fresh, while something that tastes savory to me could either not register at all with you, or conversely make you gag. Beefiness has to be pronounced for me to notice it, and In-N-Out burgers are just over my threshold for that. But McDo patties to me taste only of their condiments, and a little residual fat.

                                                                                                  If they took that meat and dry-aged it the burgers would have much more flavor, but they wouldn't be $3 or less any more …

                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                    hey man, if you can't taste the difference no sweat off my back - just shorter lines for me.

                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                      Go to McDonald's and buy a hamburger with no toppings, just bun and meat. Go to In-n-Out and buy a hamburger, no toppings.

                                                                                                      Take both home, remove buns.

                                                                                                      Taste the two room temperature burger patties next to each other. If you can get someone to cut the meat patties on separate plates so you can do a 'blind' tasting, even better.

                                                                                                      Report back.

                                                                                                      "My" In-N-Out is in the East County of San Diego, not the beach or mall section of town. The place is filled with families and kids walking over after mass or Bible Study from the church across the street. There is a CHP station as well as a Sheriff office within a two mile radius and many of those Law Enforcement personnel eat there. The rest of the area is industrial. The vehicles in the parking lot range from motorcycles to SUVs but by far the majority are pick up trucks. No 'cool' factor. Good food in an area with 12 other choices of good food within 3 blocks.

                                                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                        Same here, Cathy. My In n Out is in the Porter Ranch/Chatsworth area of the San Fernando Valley (greater Los Angeles). The demographic dining here comprised largely of middle class hispanic families, teens and tweens sporting clearasil and braces, and the misplaced oddball like myself and wife driving a sun-faded beige car approaching 200,000 miles on the odometer. Chatsworth, by the way, is home to the nation's porn video/dvd industry, and not even the porn stars here are considered cool... I'll tell you what is terribly unfashionable at In n Out: the counter staff, mostly young folk, are polite, friendly and helpful. It is my belief that their courteous behavior and lack of edgy attitude brings out similar demeanor in the customers, even curmudgeons such as myself... As for the Double-Double, I eat one per month x 12 months/year x 28 years . That is nearly 350 Double-Doubles over three decades. I've never had a 'bad' one, not once. I must be a very lucky guy. That said, I do get it -- some people like 'em and some people don't. That's fine...

                                                                                                        1. re: silence9

                                                                                                          Our tastes obviously vary quite a bit. Out of curiousity, do you also like their fries...I don't like them at all?

                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                            Well, I certainly better understand the issues some folk have with the In n O fries: complaints range from limp to pale to lacking flavor. Or that they don't retain heat and prematurely become cold and (when requested 'well-done') hardened. I often order my fries animal style, so from a textural point of view, they intentionally arrive somewhat limpened (is that even a word?) from the heat and weight of the 'animal sauce'. As for the issue of _needing_ animal saucing to impart flavor on those fries, I think there has been enough of a precedent set with the humble potato benefitting from flavor accoutrement universally, whether it is butter/sour cream/chives/bacon on a baked potatoe or merely catsup or garlic aioli on frites; even the plainest potato chip will usually have a dusting of salt to enahnce flavor.; I believe the yukon gold potato is the exception, as I can enjoy them both unenhanced and raw... That said, my biggest complaint against the In n O fries has to do with the size of the finished product: simply too short in length. Their fries are, at best, the length of one's pinky finger, and often survive the cutting process and frying process at half that size. I eat all fries _one fry at a time_, which means that with In n O fries, I'm grabbing for tiny one or two inch pieces _dozens_ of times in the course of a meal. I think it makes sense that so small/short a parcel of potato will not hold much heat for very long. I wish their potato gadget could be set to twice the length or that they sourced a longer potato, if such existed. One and two inch fries are frustrating, unless one plucks several at a time in a wad toward their ascent and trajectory to orifice docking. A fry should be at least as long or longer than a stick of gum, and most In n O fries fail that yardstick. OK, there you have it - - my one complaint about In n O...

                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                              I'm an InO regular and IMHO the only way to eat their fries is well done.

                                                                                              2. Can't say I'm with you on the Burger King thing. If I were going to eat a fast food chain burger (I haven't in over 3 years) it would be Carl's Jr. BUT I am sooooooooo with you on the In-n-Out thing.

                                                                                                I think it's mass hysteria combined with people who have never had before i-n-O it repeating the mantra. Their fries suck and the burgers are ordinary at best.

                                                                                                If you're in LA and you want the best fast-food-type burger the place to go is Carney's. They have train car burger joints on the Sunset Strip and on Ventura in Studio City. They serve really good fries and great burgers that come with a really nice thick slab o' tomato and chili as well as the regular stuff. You can also ask for grilled onions (which to me is the ONLY reason to ever have an In-n-Out).

                                                                                                1. I too find I&O over hyped. I generally avoid all burger chains, except New Mexico's Lotaburger green chile cheeseburgers. How can one take any chain seriously if it doesn't have a green chile cheeseburger? When you burger chainheads die, if you were good, you'll go to New Mexico. Forget the Stairway to Heaven, The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail is heaven on earth, he says w/ a small touch of hyperbole.
                                                                                                  http://www.newmexico.org/greenchilech...

                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                    I love the thought and some of them looked great, but I was turned off by most of them (In the video), especially the 1 lb burger. When you've got that much beef, what's the sense in making it so thin when you could make it thicker in order to be able to cook it to rare to medium.

                                                                                                    My favorite one shown is the middle picture, with the onions and chile teasing and a curiously appealing bun.

                                                                                                    1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                      I agree about the big burgers. I've never been to any of those hyped places. We live near Laguna and Bibo, two very rural and unassuming burger joints. The Laguna Burger is a 1/2 lb. burger, smothered in green chile w/ a side of Maine potato French friea (A big surprise for me.) for $3.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing deal. the Bibo Bar, a real cowboy/old Hispanic watering hole, advertises "The best burger out of cell phone range." I love it.
                                                                                                      http://www.fourcornersgeotourism.com/...
                                                                                                      http://www.dondean.com/bibo-bar.htm

                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        Well that's great if you're in the area of Laguna Burger.

                                                                                                        The joy of InO is that you can walk into any InO and get a great, consistent burger combo for $6 (except somehow the LV location sucks with customizations. maybe too many people?)

                                                                                                        Seriously regarding that Laguna Burger rec, that's like saying the best chinese food in the world is at the base camp to Mount Everest.

                                                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                                                          I have eaten I&O in LV and Orange Co., and in a word, meh. I ain't got no I&O in NM and am not sorry about it.. Why is the idea of a GCCB hard to comprehend? Chainitis is an insidious disease.Mydol often helps.

                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                            touche friend, touche.

                                                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                                                              Thanks. personally, I'd rather look 3 hours for a really good burger than eat a chain. I was asking my 27 year old son about I&O. He was a prof. restraunteur in LV. He felt that I&O, were better than MD & BK, but on a par w/ Wendy's and preferred Carl's Jr. & Fatburger But felt why, a burger chain when there are so many other good food options around. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree does it?
                                                                                                              We visit California yearly and really enjoy the myriad of food options.
                                                                                                              ps tacos al pastor are one of my favorite foods as well.

                                                                                                            2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                              Sorry...what is GCCB?

                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                Green Chile Cheese Burger Yum.

                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                  Sounds great. Maybe if InO were to have one, I'd give it a try. But until then, unless I'm on the road, firing up my gas grill and cooking a great cheeseburger at home is what I'll do. Chain burger joints in southern CA are imho all pretty much between pathetic and mediocre, and not worth my time or money.

                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                    Roast and peal some NM or Anaheims at the same time and throw them on. It's what I do in Maine.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                    Totally Yum. In fact, the GCCB shouldn't even be on the same thread as I&O and the others. It's certainly in a class by itself.

                                                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg: please clarify your reference to Mydol. What is being implied? Was that an attempt at humor?

                                                                                                                  1. re: silence9

                                                                                                                    He was obviously channeling California's recent "paternally prolific" Governator who enjoyed impugning the character of those who dared to disagree with him as "girly men"

                                                                                                                    1. re: silence9

                                                                                                                      Yes. I only try to enlighten the burger karma w/ no hot dog-ma.

                                                                                                            3. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                              G-d...I just watched that video and my mouth is watering. I need to plan a trip to NM soon, if nothing else but to have some good green chile cheeseburgers. Sadly, I've never had one, but need to explore this taste treat without delay!

                                                                                                            4. I won't agree with you but based on hype I was totally underwhelmed. It was an incredibly average burger. Nothing all that special about it.

                                                                                                              DT

                                                                                                              1. 13 bucks for 3 bugers, 2 fries, 2 drinks @InO last night

                                                                                                                I'm pretty sure that's the price of 1 single combo @ 5guys or Shake Shack (yes I've been to shake shack, can't go to 5guys)

                                                                                                                New discovery last night: WHOLE GRILLED ONIONS

                                                                                                                Our standard order is now..

                                                                                                                #2, animal style both kinds of onions, x-toast bun, fries well, XL lemonade
                                                                                                                Cheeseburger, whole grilled onions, extra grilled onions, x-toast bun
                                                                                                                Vanilla shake

                                                                                                                gloooooooorious

                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                  I'll pay more for something I prefer.

                                                                                                                  DT

                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                    Agree about paying more for something decent...or paying less for the best burgers in town at home! IAO is a joke!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                      I've eaten every reputable burger I care to and flew 3k miles to have a shake shack burger, and I still <3 InO

                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                        Good for you. I on the other hand do not.

                                                                                                                        DT

                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                          good, now can we move on?

                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                            That's up to you.

                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                        2. re: ns1

                                                                                                                          What are you saying? What do you mean by <3 I inO? Do you like I in O or not?

                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                            He "hearts" it (look at it as a sideways emoticon)...so I think you can assume he likes it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                              i less than 3 in n out.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                How much less? ;-D>

                                                                                                                      2. The only reason I read this thread is because the OP said In n Out sucks.

                                                                                                                        NO it does not. Not at all. Not much more needs to be said. My standard order is a cheeseburger (double double is way too much for me) with grilled onions, protein style (no bun, just lettuce wrapper). I learned a few years ago about animal style fries (well done) from my son who was at Cal and learned up there. Oh, yes, and a Diet Coke.

                                                                                                                        Cheeseburger in Paradise. Does not suck.

                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                          Come on...even if you like InO, it certainly is not "cheeseburger in paradise". I personally am not a fan of InO, but I respect those who enjoy their burgers...and it's hard for me to accept the opinion of anyone who would refer to their burgers as "cheeseburgers in paradise". I cook pretty decently, but I'm not a trained chef, nevertheless IMHO if I buy good ground round or sirloin at my local market, and buy ordinary hamburger buns, a nice onion, tomato and lettuce...in 10 minutes I truly think that I (or anyone with the most primitive cooking skills) can make a cheeseburger that will be 1000x better than the InO cheeseburger. For anyone to say that an InO cheeseburger is a "cheeseburger in paradise" is IMHO totally weird!!! InO is typical fast food and the unbelievable hype surrounding the brand is absolute silliness!,

                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                            "For anyone to say that an InO cheeseburger is a "cheeseburger in paradise" is IMHO totally weird!!! "

                                                                                                                            Well, hit my head and call me weird. Oh, you did.

                                                                                                                            1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                              laliz...are you not able to make a far better cheeseburger at home with very little effort? I certainly can, and although I'm a decent cook, I'm by no means a skilled chef. That's why I can't understand this "cheeseburger in paradise" business.

                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                You can, but not in <15 minutes and not @ $3 for one single cheeseburger (can't buy 1 hamburger bun, 1 slice of cheese, 1 patty...)

                                                                                                                                I'm a huge proponent of cooking at home, but unless you want to eat 6 cheeseburgers or have a large house to feed, making things at home is not always the most economical solution.

                                                                                                                                ...and let's be real here, I've made more than my fair share of terrible cheeseburgers (smart n final ingredients + college BBQ's).

                                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                  I sill think that referring to an InO cheeseburger as a "cheeseburger in paradise" is silly, and i truly can't imagine how anyone who has had a good cheeseburger at home can say this.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                    fair enough.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                      I don't think it is "fair enough".
                                                                                                                                      A person has called me both wierd and silly; a person who is determined to convince anyone who will listen that a home cooked burger is somehow preferable to a fast food burger.
                                                                                                                                      I didn't tell her she is wrong, I didn't argue with her on a personal level, I really really really do not care what she thinks.
                                                                                                                                      The title of this thread, therefore the topic as far as I'm concerned, is the premise that in and out burger sucks. Not a word about home cooked burgers, which has nothing to do with anything.

                                                                                                                                      I strongly disagree with the OPs opinion and said so.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                        laliz...just to set the record straight, I did not say that you were either weird or silly. I was referring to specific statements made by both you and others on this thread extolling the virtues of InO (alone, and as compared to homemade burgers) as IMHO both weird and silly. I will absolutely acknowledge that others may consider some of my statements, both on this site and in life, as weird and silly. Disagreement is part of life, and sort of fun. Lighten up!

                                                                                                                            2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                              The poster could be saying that the restaurant chain "Cheeseburger in Paradise" does not suck.

                                                                                                                          2. I have watched In-N-Out employees make fries, and I agree that they are made with good ingredients. What I don't understand is how they start with such good ingredients and end up with fries that taste and have the texture of wax. I believe that, if they soaked them longer, and added salt to water, they would be better tasting. I also think they should be fried once at low temp and once at high temp in a better tasting oil.

                                                                                                                            Their burgers also seem to use high quality ingredients, but they leave me feeling dissatisfied. Try "The Habit", which is a nice chain out here. Better yet, get some good hamburger, gently form a 1 inch thick burger, cook slowly just until the pink is gone, and put the burger on a heavily buttered roll and add a good amount of salt.

                                                                                                                            Screw the chains, eat at home.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: sacwoodpusher

                                                                                                                              Just what I have been saying all along. InO burgers are no better than pretty much any fast food burgers and are pretty much junk when compared to any home made burger. InO excels in only one area, and that is marketing. The hype surrounding their product is amazing, and their marketing group deserves accolades in buckets!

                                                                                                                              1. re: sacwoodpusher

                                                                                                                                I'm not sure double frying the fries is practical in a fast food environment.

                                                                                                                                DT

                                                                                                                              2. I couldn't agree more. I'll take a nice flame broiled BK or Whataburger any day.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                  Agree x10. I can make a million times better burger than INO in 10 minutes with fresh ground round from any local market, decent rolls or bread, and lettuce, tomato & onions which we always have at home, or can pick up nearby. I, of course, when on the road will occasionally have a fast food burger, but In & Out is all hype. It's no better than any other fast food burger around, and certainly not in the same league as any home-grilled burger.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                    +1 on Whataburger ....

                                                                                                                                  2. So, I am not the only one who doesn't quite get the adulation for In-N-Out.

                                                                                                                                    Maybe it's partly because I did not know until reading this thread that they only use fresh (never frozen) beef?
                                                                                                                                    I'm not sure that I would easily recognize the difference in taste between fresh and previously-frozen beef patties in a burger (or that if I did recognize the difference, I'd always say the fresh beef tasted better). I'd tend to think that other factors, such as cut, fat ratio, and handling/cooking method would have a bigger impact.

                                                                                                                                    Most assuredly not impressed by the fries (never tried them "well-done" though), or the buns and toppings.

                                                                                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                      One of the biggest differences between In-&-Out and their competitors is that, because they have confidence in the quality of their beef, they are willing to cook their burgers to less than "well done." I think that alone speaks volumes about their company and it's penchant for quality in all their ingredients. I like my burgers medium rare. I can get them that way at In-&-Out. I can't get them that way at 5 Guy's.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                        I like my burgers good.

                                                                                                                                        DT

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                          Right. And over cooked is not good.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            Nor is In n Out.

                                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                              Every element of their burger is good. Everyone. They make a good (and damn cost effective) burger that is cooked right (that is to say "to my specification"). If you can come up with some factual basis that this isn't the case I'm willing to listen.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                Fact: I ate one and it was very average.

                                                                                                                                                DT

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                  Above average ingredients and willingness to cook the burger less than well done = above average burger + low price added in and you've got one of the best fast food burgers anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                    Glad you like it. You're the one who has to eat it. But it's average at best.

                                                                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                      Then that simply means that the rest of the field is way, way below average.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                        Can I orderi it raw, ask for a raw egg in the center and get the cheapest steak tartare around?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.

                                                                                                                                                          Or, if you would prefer, hold the chicken between your knees...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                            In Five Easy Pieces?

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                        Well, of course it's 'average'. It's a fast food burger...nothing more, nothing less.

                                                                                                                                                        I can't help but wonder why you have such an axe to grind with In-N-Out... I mean, it's __only a hamburger__.

                                                                                                                                                        I've only eaten there a few times, and will agree that it's no culinary mecca but I thought the food was "ok" for a quick, cheap lunch, even if it's nothing to write home about (though it's a notch better than a few other of the trendy chains that get a lot of attention these days).

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                          Completely agree. Can't understand why others are so protective and defensive of INO. As you say, it's a fine fast food alternative, average at best...nothing less and nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                            No axe to grind. I just can't seem to figure out why people think this is such and awesome burger.

                                                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps it's just because McD is so bad.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                      Serv is right on, it is a very tasty burger especially if you order a double double "Animal Style" nothing average about this burger.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: malibumike

                                                                                                                                                        The opinion of the naysayers doesn't pass the "smell test" for me. Top flight ingredients prepared the way each person likes it equals a much better than average fast food burger.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                          Well the opinions of the die hard's doesn't pass the taste test for me.

                                                                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                            I have the personal integrity and sense of taste to say that the fries at In-&-Out are really poor examples of the genre. No kool-aid swilling for me...either on the positive side of the ledger, or the negative.,

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                              "Well the opinions of the die hard's doesn't pass the taste test for me."
                                                                                                                                                              ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                              Wait, so the opinions of "diehard" In n Out fans who have eaten dozens upon dozens of their burgers couldn't possibly provide a more nuanced sense of what might make the burger really good and worthy of closer consideration? As opposed to the opinion of someone who tried it once or twice, and didn't see what all the fuss is about?? You know, I went to Hawaii for a few days 20 years ago as part of a crappy tour group, and couldn't see what all the fuss was about in regard to Hawaii's paradisical reputation. All well and good. But if someone tells me they been going to Hawaii twice a year for the last 20 years and have had some outstanding experiences there, I'm likely to reconsider my own brief miserable time there as an aberration, and would at least be willing to give the "diehard" fan of Hawaii a bit more weight in his expertise as to what makes going to Hawaii worthwhile. I believe thoughtful reconsideration of my limited exposure, when compared to an afficianado, might provide greater insight than simply stating "My opinion is as valid as yours"...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: silence9

                                                                                                                                                                silence9...I've read your post several times, and I honestly am not sure that I understand what you are saying. As is obvious from my many posts on this thread...I'm not a fan of In 'n Out Burgers, and I personally am unable to understand what others find so appealing about this fast-food chain.

                                                                                                                                                                It's your comparison to Hawaii, that confuses me. I've been to Hawaii perhaps 10-12 times and I've although I've had poor experiences there, at other times I've thought I was in heaven. I love Hawaii. There is such a wide variety of resorts in Hawaii from the simplest Motel 6 type of place on Waikiki that many might find dreadful, to the Four Seasons on the Big Island or the Lodge at Koele on Lanai, both of which are as close to paradise as I'll ever be. My point is, that the range of accommodations on Hawaii is probably as great as you'll find anywhere on Earth...likely something to please most anyone. On the other hand, one In 'n Out, is pretty much the same as any other. If you like one, you'll probably like them all, and if you don't, you'll likely like none. Nuance in the cooking at In 'n Out?? I don't think so.

                                                                                                                                                                So please...and I don't mean to be disrespectful, what are you trying to say?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                  Just saying that I'm willing to reconsider my own dislike of something that I've had very limited exposure to, when I read that someone else had the opposite impression (based on a fan's much more frequent experience). That's it...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: silence9

                                                                                                                                                                    Let us know if your opinion changes after further tries of InO burgers. To give them the fairest test possible, you should also try some of their "off menu" items easily found by googling. I've done so, and although some are a bit tastier than others, my overall impression of mediocrity has not changed.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                      Ive tried In-N-Out about a half-dozen times over the years in LA and San Diego. And none of those tries impressed me. I kept going back because I figured I must have not had a "good" (ie representative) one yet, since so many chowhounds were raving about them.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                          In two different blind taste tests that we conducted INO burgers performed poorly when compared to other fast food burgers.

                                                                                                                                                          Even die hard INO fans were surprised that they didn't pick them.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                            Here is one I found on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTQSZ8...

                                                                                                                                              2. I know EXACTLY what the problem is. It is the quality of meat. I moved from Miami to Atlanta 22 years ago. I haven't had a decent hamburger in the State of GA yet, and, of course, never will. That includes expensive restaurants. Where I lived in Miami, PRIME meat was the norm. Hamburgers on the grill (at my house) were ground sirloin or ground chuck and they were wonderful. Restaurant (not fast food) hamburgers usually were delicious because the meat was so good. Obviously, the lettuce, tomato, onion, etc., should be good quality.

                                                                                                                                                In earlier years (1962), McDonald's hamburgers were good. Today, fast food restaurants are serving inedible food, and that includes every one I've tried (never had an In-N-Out burger and would like to try Five Guys). I seldom go to fast food restaurants because I'm honestly afraid of what they are calling a hamburger. I know McDonald's adds some kind of filler. Interesting point: We hadillegal Mexican laborers move us and I agreed to go out and get lunch for them. The made it CLEAR that they could not eat hamburgers or tacos from ANY fast food restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                I see two problems that will cause this unfortunate situation to continue (possibly forever). (1) Today's population have accepted poor quality as normal and don't know the difference, plus they probably have never tasted a good quality hamburger. (2) Cost. Apparently it's too expensive for the fast food restaurants to serve quality. I wish it could at least be edible if I'm hungry, which it isn't.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: linddr

                                                                                                                                                  Part of the problem too is the JITB Ecoli lawsuit, it reset hamburger-prep rules. Like BK used to make a good burger, nice flame-broiled surface, pink and juicy inside. Their fries were crap, but burgers good.

                                                                                                                                                  I like doing burgers at home. Grind your own sirloin or chuck. Make 1/2 in patties. Heat a Weber wih coals 1/2 to 1 inch below the grill, 30-45 seconds per side. If crumbling's a problem, pre-freeze the patties or use a basket.

                                                                                                                                                  Or super-heat a cast iron pan on the range. Grill-ridge interior or plain flat-bottom both work.

                                                                                                                                                  Seasoning, you figure out what spices and herbs and salt you like. Blend in seasonings when knurling your ground meat, or just put it on the surface after making your patties. Lawries is tasty. So is Paul Prudhomme's Salmon Seasoning. I have an herb garden, I chop and mortar-and-pestle-grind stuff.

                                                                                                                                                  After charring on high heat, put the meat to off-heat and add cheese, cover to melt the cheese. (Pre-brown onions, portabella mushrooms, avo-slice /guacamole topping. Pre-brown ciabatta buns with butter in a pan.)

                                                                                                                                                  The inside is pink and juicy.

                                                                                                                                                  Caveat: It's an $8/burger. Not cheap. But everybody says, "This is delish."

                                                                                                                                                  Caveat 2: I'm mostly a vegetarian.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MarkKS

                                                                                                                                                    I totally agree about BK. Back in the 70s when I was a kid, it was always a treat for me when I could get a BK burger (never figured out why my parents didn't really like BK -- I guess they just preferred McD). That char flavor was ambrosial. And the burgers would come off the fire as you ordered them.

                                                                                                                                                    Now the patty you get could have been sitting around pre-cooked for heaven know how long. They throw it in the microwave for a few seconds. The stuff that comes out is a sad imitation of what the real stuff used to be.

                                                                                                                                                    Also have to agree with linddr about the younger generations not knowing any better. They accept these "french fries" that are a joke from the fast food restaurants. McD's fries used to be incredible -- I'd regularly list them among my favorite foods as a kid, even! I can only barely tolerate them now about 1/3 of the time. And the ones from Wendy's and BK are much worse than McD's.
                                                                                                                                                    I guess it's for the best, since that's one less food item to have to worry about calorie-wise.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MarkKS

                                                                                                                                                      I also remember that flame-broiled BK burger from the mid 1960s. That was the whole point of going to BK. I've only gone to BK a few times since they dropped that. Now I live in In 'n' Out territory, which is my preference on the rare ocasions when I eat that sort of thing.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I'd wager that most of the people whom dislike In-N-Out burgers are those types that refuse to order any toppings on their burger because they think those ingredients are "icky". So all they taste is the meat, maybe some cheese and ketchup. God forbid there might be a stray piece of onion in there - or they might throw up. They wouldn't order mustard either because they think that's icky too. Just like a little kid who has an unrefined palette, and won't eat anything unless it's plain. People with food aversion disorders have no right to critique cuisine. So comparing a bunch of fast food places where one is just tasting bread and meat - well.. I don't think it's going to taste all that spectacular. Why not carry around a bottle of Montreal Steak or Sweet Mesquite seasoning with you if you want big flavor from your plain burger? In-N-Out is superior to most other chains because of the entire package: the beef and the way it is prepared (selectable), the toppings, the bun, the presentation, the packaging and the courteous staff serving it to you - it's all fresh. It doesn't matter if it's bad for you, because everyone knows that moderation yields good health and a strong constitution.

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MaxSeven

                                                                                                                                                      A great burger, made with freshly ground good quality beef, needs nothing more than minimal garnishes to taste delicious. The fact that most fast food burgers (including InO) require so much doctoring to be even edible is certainly not a testiment to the quality of their most important (I almost erroneously said "main") ingredient, ground beef!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                        In the end, it's only a hamburger....and a fast food burger at that.
                                                                                                                                                        Better than some, not as good as others.
                                                                                                                                                        But really, not too bad a value for what it is, even if its nothing really particularly 'special'.
                                                                                                                                                        With judicious use of the myriad of toppings offered, it can even be a pretty tasty and comparatively cheap lunch.
                                                                                                                                                        But to many (myself included) it's really no more special...or particularly better... than a good ol' sack of White Castles.
                                                                                                                                                        Actually, the White Castles might even win in the flavor department.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                          I respectfully disagree. In the last few years, the few times I've tried a fast food burger, I couldn't eat if even though I was starving. Something is definitely wrong. In the past, at times I've really enjoyed a big mac or a Wendy's burger. I used to stop and get the McDonalds's cheesburger (very small, just a snack) when I was driving and didn't want to take time to stop at a restaurant. I've had to ditch the hamburgers from BK, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hardy's, and Steak for Shake. I used to be able to eat a hamburger from Checker's (4 to five years ago), but the last time it was inedible.

                                                                                                                                                          This really is not acceptable. These fast food chains are doing something very wrong. Sadly, they may be getting the new generation to accept this junk as what a fast food hamburger is supposed to taste like. It's just wrong.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linddr

                                                                                                                                                            I really can't disagree at all with the last paragraph of your post.
                                                                                                                                                            And I probably should have qualified my remarks be adding that I very rarely eat fast food burgers. I can enjoy one for what is is, but never seek them out. Usually it's just a quick "last resort" kind of food.
                                                                                                                                                            In short, I wasn't defending the fast food burgers (not by a longshot), just saying that some satisfy me more than others. None of them, nor any fancy and overpriced "steakhouse" burger, comes anywhere even remotely close a home made one anyway.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                          I agree - but, we aren't evaluating ground tenderloin here. There are four typical grades of ground beef: Beef, Chuck, Sirloin and Round. I believe INO uses Ground Chuck, and that is 80/20 lean/fat. It's fresh, not frozen. Frying a patty of Ground Chuck, unseasoned, is not going to be very flavor rich. INO uses black pepper and lots of salt to season their beef. If they were to start introducing other seasonings into the beef, people would complain. They have a winning formula, which is CLEARLY not solely about the flavor of the beef, but the interplay of all the ingredients combined (American Cheese, Toasted Bun, Fresh Tomatoes, Iceberg Lettuce, Onion Slices, and Pickle-rich sauce). All I say, is one mustn't evaluate a plain INO burger, because that is not what they are famous for - it's the entire design of the burger.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I believe the major problem with all fries is the oil that public resturants are now required to use.
                                                                                                                                                        It leaves them flat, limp and tasteless.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: subal

                                                                                                                                                          I kinda think the restaurant as a whole is pretty "cool". I get my hamburger with two meat patties because one isn't enough. I dig the simple old school never changing menu and I appreciate the unique concept of fries made from fresh cut potatoes (not frozen typical chain stuff). I really like that they don't bow down and copy the other chains. I dig their uniforms and old school hats, aprons and service. I like that they have stayed true, and "kept it real" unlike all of the other chains. When I want a fast food burger, fries, and suicide (all the beverages except for diet) for about $5...In-N-Out is for me.

                                                                                                                                                        2. This is by way of confession.

                                                                                                                                                          I had had an In-n-Out burger and fries on one occasion some time ago and didn't get the fuss. I'd been privately attributing our son's (who is in the food biz & cooks for a living) love of In-n-Out as the kind of nostalgia we all feel for fare we grow up with, food that maybe stirs up familiarity and history, but isn't "objectively" that good.

                                                                                                                                                          I've known about the secret menu for some time. But last night, for the first time, I ordered from it: a double-double animal-style w/ chilies and fries, well-done.

                                                                                                                                                          And I thought it was all great. Not the highfalutin Bay-Area-artisanal burger sourced from a pedigreed cow. But for a chain, first-rate. The flavors and textures and balance of the burger were terrific (those chilies the best add-on!)--the well-done fries (which, cooked to their standard degree of doneness on my prior visit, were meh) were flavorful and crispy, almost MacDonald's quality before they changed out their cooking oil to something healthier.

                                                                                                                                                          This revision is a problem for my diet. But need to apologize to my kid and everyone else: I get it!

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sundeck sue

                                                                                                                                                            Ya, I need to take another crack at InO. I had a couple different burgers from the same place a couple years back and just didn't see it as anything more than mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sundeck sue

                                                                                                                                                              What precisely are you confessing to?

                                                                                                                                                              I am annoyed that their aren't any In-N-Out Burger stores in Michigan, so I can immediately try what you have described. Reads as a damn good burger.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sundeck sue

                                                                                                                                                                This post totally nails why In N' Out is good. I like your line about the flavors and textures and balance. It's a really solid burger for what it is, no more, no less. I don't get all the people who say it's overhyped or overrated. Nobody is saying it's high cuisine or better than a truly gourmet burger (well ok, some might say that but their opinion is not to be trusted), it's just a really solid burger at a very reasonable price.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: virtualguthrie

                                                                                                                                                                  How can you possibly say it's a solid burger when the patty is so thin you cannot taste the meat on a plain InO burger. It seems like most of the fans of InO order at least a double burger and grill it with onions and mustard (is that what animal style is?) so that it has some flavor. Perhaps the quality of the ingredients is fine, but when you can't taste the meat in a burger, it's far from being "solid" IMHO!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                    "How can you possibly say it's a solid burger when the patty is so thin you cannot taste the meat on a plain InO burger."

                                                                                                                                                                    Easy. Synergy.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                      in-N-out = OVERRATED!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                        Whether at In-n-Out or McD's, any serious burger eater will get a double. The single small patty hamburgers are for grandma and small children, so aren't really relevant to whether In-n-Out is a good fast food burger or not. Similarly, it doesn't attempt to compete with the fat burgers that try to impress with size.

                                                                                                                                                                        The only meaningful comparison, in my opinion, is: when you want a fast drive-thru burger, is it the double (with or without cheese, as you prefer) at In-n-Out or McD's?

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I agree with Andy. In-N-Out is just another paper-hat fast food operation churning out greasy meat on a bun. Next...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I have lived in So Cal all my life and I don't like In-N-Out. I have a lot of other better fast food places local to me that as we speak make my mouth water 10x more than INO. And me and my friend have also said that if we had to choose between INO burger or BK burger, we would go for the BK (even though we don't like BK burgers).

                                                                                                                                                                      Plus the lines to get one is just not worth it. Some people wait an hour in lines just to place their order at the INO here.

                                                                                                                                                                      And I don't think it's nostalgia, cause I remember being dragged to INO constantly and having to force down their super salty burgers and fries.

                                                                                                                                                                      Telling people that I don't like In-N-Out tends to result in people yelling at me, calling me a moron, and occasionally how I need to move out of California. I don't care if they like eating there, but don't get mad at me after asking me if I want to go to INO and I say no because I don't like it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I happen to love In-N-Out, but I've been raised in So Cal my whole life. Though I have met many non-native Californians appreciate and really like In-N-Out, I think to truly "love" it you must have been raised with it. Though it's not perhaps the "best" burger in the world, there is something absolutley unique and irreplaceable in a Double Double.

                                                                                                                                                                        I have tried 5 Guys Burgers to see what was so great about it, and sort of thought "meh" to the whole thing, while East Coasters often swoon. Again, I think it's just what you were brought up with.