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In N Out Burger question for a newbie

steakman55 May 13, 2012 05:15 PM

Okay, I have heard of these burgers for years and understand their cult following. They just don't make'em here in Florida. I will be in California this October and will have at least one. I have heard there are lots of ways that are not listed on the menu. What would you recommend on how to order it? Thanks

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  1. r
    randyjl RE: steakman55 May 13, 2012 05:49 PM

    My recommendation? Don't! Perfect example of hype over taste. Tried it 3 times here in Texas and wont go back.

    26 Replies
    1. re: randyjl
      The Professor RE: randyjl May 13, 2012 06:04 PM

      Right. It's your basic fast-food burger. Probably better than some (marginally), maybe worse than others. White Castles are far less fancy, but far more interesting.

      It's only a hamburger.
      And one of the most popular toppings is _hype_.
      Same with Red Robin, Five Guys, etc., etc. None are particularly 'special'.

      1. re: The Professor
        RetiredChef RE: The Professor Jun 2, 2012 11:16 AM

        The Professor has it correct. I lived in SoCal for 30 years and never got the hype either but many people swear by them. Funny thing is when we did blind taste tests of burgers INO didn't do very well and it angered the devotees who thought INO would win hands down.

        1. re: RetiredChef
          h
          HastaLaPasta RE: RetiredChef Jun 6, 2012 10:47 AM

          The main thing is that everything is fresh, including the meat, at a reasonable price point. Its not going to blow away a burger at an upscale restaurant, but its much better than the other major fast food chains - Mickey D's, Burger King, Carls Jr., Fatburger, Jack in the Box, etc.

          As for ways to order - I'd stick with the plain Double-Double, or get the Double Double "Animal Style", where they put mustard into the patties and grill the onions. Possibly get your fries "Animal Style" as well - which are sort of like chili-cheese fries minus the chili but with enough stuff on them that you won't miss it.

          1. re: HastaLaPasta
            RetiredChef RE: HastaLaPasta Jun 6, 2012 12:23 PM

            The "Fresh" claim is part of the marketing hype, and when you consider most chains use fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc. and Wendy's, Fat burger, Five Guys Shake Shack and a host of local chains all use fresh meat. INO is not breaking any 'fresh' barriers.

            As far as INO being superior to other chain burgers here is a blind taste testing that a group of so-cal chefs and foodies did comparing local fast food burgers.

            • We were given a list of 12 different burger places that the burgers "could" have come from and then each participant was to guess as to where the burgers actually came from. (NOTE: This group had done this tasting 4 years prior and INO did very poorly so we were pretty sure that INO would be one of the six burgers to prove that they were the best!)
            • Before the tasting you wrote down your top three burgers from the list of 12 possibilities and then you wrote down which three burgers you thought you could pick out of the list.
            • The taste tests were conducted blindfolded.
            • Burgers were cut into small squares and only the center of the each burger was served for consistency.
            • Burgers were served on toothpicks so you were not allowed to touch the burger only taste it.
            • Each burger was tasted twice, but every taster received them in a different sequence (example I may have had #3 first but the person left of me had #5 and the person to the right had #2).
            • We recorded the score for each burger.
            • Then we tasted all six again but in a different order from the first.
            • All burgers were single a patty, with lettuce tomato and raw onion, first tasting was no cheese, second with cheese.

            Overall Rankings (number in parenthesis are the ranking from test 1 /test 2)

            #1 Carl's Jr (1/3)
            #2 Del Taco (This was supposed to be a ringer) (2/2)
            #3 Fatburger (5/1)
            #4 Farmer Boys (3/4)
            #5 In-N-Out (4/6)
            #6 Wendy's (6/5)

            The most misidentified burger was #2 Del Taco, no one identified it as such. However some very curious things happened; 1) It was the most "incorrectly" identified burger of the group with the majority of people claiming it was In-N-Out's. 2) If you said INO was your favorite and claimed you could identify it you were much more likely to have picked this burger as INO than those who just said INO was okay. 3) INO aficionados rated this burger much higher than non INO aficionados.

            Another interesting note is that INO was the only burger who's numerical score given by tasters went down in the second round when cheese was added to it.

            Only three people identified the In-N-Out burger correctly in both tests and ironically 2 out of the 3 had proclaimed that they did not think INO was anything special.

            The second most misidentified burgers was #1 Carl's Jr, most people claimed it came from a local sit-down restaurant that was known for excellent burgers that was on the list of 12. Only one person identified it as Carl's Jr.

            I can tell you this, doing blind tastings is a hoot, we have done lots of these and the results when you don't know what you are tasting has always surprised everyone. Examples - Imitation crab cakes were preferred over real crab cakes by a 7:3 margin, the cheapest pasta in a taste test ranked the highest, Pepsi really does win the blind taste test, most people cannot identify strawberries without the sense of smell or sight, etc. etc.

            1. re: RetiredChef
              r
              ricepad RE: RetiredChef Jun 6, 2012 12:48 PM

              Interesting. How many testers were there?

              1. re: ricepad
                RetiredChef RE: ricepad Jun 6, 2012 02:43 PM

                This was a popular tasting and there were over thirty tasters so the sample size was pretty decent. The group had done this before and about 4 years later did it again (neither of those times was I present) and each time INO was in the bottom half of the results.

                1. re: RetiredChef
                  r
                  ricepad RE: RetiredChef Jun 6, 2012 06:20 PM

                  Wow. Big population! Must have been quite the logistical challenge.

                  One comment on the methodology, however. Some burgers travel better than others, and since the samples were presumably given at the same location, burgers with a shorter 'flash' will suffer more than those with a longer shelf life. Of course, if the intent was to compare how burgers compare when you take them to go, the methodology works just fine. I have opined elsewhere that a Double Double is a better product than a INO hamburger or cheeseburger, and since the testing was limited to single-patty burgers, some of them were flagship burgers, and others were lesser stars in their particular galaxies. Still, there are conclusions to be drawn.

                  I'd like to be invited when this group does a beer or steak tasting!

                  1. re: ricepad
                    RetiredChef RE: ricepad Jun 7, 2012 01:40 PM

                    You comment is well taken, we were a person's house that had each of these places within a ten minute drive, six groups of two people left the house at the same time and drove to their assigned burger place. Ordered the burgers and drove home.

                    Actually time from when they left to the first tasting happening was about 17 minutes (I think???) After those were tasted, the groups then left again and bought cheeseburgers, so it was a pretty involved process but it is true that the burgers did sit for while, but they all sat for the same amount.

              2. re: RetiredChef
                g
                GH1618 RE: RetiredChef Jun 6, 2012 01:42 PM

                In-'n'-Out was not represented by the Double-Double, so the results hardly matter.

                1. re: GH1618
                  RetiredChef RE: GH1618 Jun 6, 2012 02:44 PM

                  Ah yes, one patty and the burger sucks but add another patty and it becomes an orgasm of the mouth - hey whatever mental gymnastics works for you ;-)

                  1. re: RetiredChef
                    g
                    GH1618 RE: RetiredChef Jun 6, 2012 03:51 PM

                    "Single patty" is not a standardized unit of measurement. If you are comparing burgers made with patties of significantly diffetent size, that introduces bias. You haven't given enough information here to document the controls in the experiment. I tried to find the weight of a Carl's Jr. Patty online and couldn't find it. They have many products, one of them containing about 6 oz. Of meat in a "single patty" (In-'n'-Out has about 2 oz. patties). Comparing squares of equal size on a side, but different thicknesses (and weight) of meat is a pointless comparison.

                    It may be that some attempt was made to compare similar sized burgers, but you haven't documented it so I won't assume it.

                    Edit: I just looked up Farmer Boy's. It's 1/3 lb!

                    1. re: GH1618
                      RetiredChef RE: GH1618 Jun 7, 2012 01:36 PM

                      The comparison was simply the basic hamburger and basic cheeseburger that each place offered, they all go the places regular condiment (sauce) and lettuce, tomato and raw onion only.

                      The assumption is that if the chain is serving it, they are proud of it and would like it to stand on its own merits.

                      1. re: RetiredChef
                        g
                        GH1618 RE: RetiredChef Jun 7, 2012 04:40 PM

                        You can count on surveys such as these to be done without any understanding of scientific method, of controls or of confounding factors, therefore meaningless.

                        1. re: GH1618
                          RetiredChef RE: GH1618 Jun 7, 2012 09:36 PM

                          GH,

                          You sound a little defensive - the fact is people tasted and people choose, you favorite didn't fare to well, that's life.

                          1. re: RetiredChef
                            g
                            GH1618 RE: RetiredChef Jun 7, 2012 10:28 PM

                            No, I am not defensive. I rarely eat any fast-food burger anymore. I just object to invalid conclusions being drawn from flawed experiments. It is pointless to compare a two-ounce burger to a five-ounce burger, and absurd to pretend that the ratio of ingredients (meat to bun) is irrelevant. It's like an auto test comparing a four-cylinder economy car to a mid-range BMW. Of course people are going to prefer the luxury Eurosport sedan. It's not a meaningful or useful comparison.

                            A straight-ahead comparison is In-n-Out Double Double to McD Double Cheeseburger — similar weight and cost products. When I worked recently in a neighborhood with both nearby, the difference was obvious even to someone nfamiliar with either. At lunch time, the drive-through lane for In-n-Out was backed up off the lot and down the street, every day. At McD, there was never more than a few cars in line. That's a survey with a sufficiently large sample size to draw a meanongful conclusion.

                            That's not to say that there aren't better drive-through burgers. I'm sure there are, but I'm not familiar with those restricted to S. California (neither are most people). My objection is not that they can't be better, only that if they are not selling something in the same weight and price class as a Double-Double, and compared with that, then the comparison is a sham.

                            It's all just personal opinion, anyway. Nobody decides what they like based on somebody's survey. My favorite burger is one I make at home.

                            1. re: GH1618
                              RetiredChef RE: GH1618 Jun 8, 2012 04:14 PM

                              GH,

                              I'm sorry that you feel that the INO standard burger is subpar (or should I say a sub-compact) and we shouldn't have compared it, I personally don't think it is but to compare the STANDARD burger that each chain has is a completely apt comparison. For you to assume that chains do not take into account the ratio of ingredients and optimize it for their offerings is silly, they do and they try to put out the best product they can in each price category. I also think it's very telling that you want a comparison between McD's vs INO, are you suggesting that for INO to come on top it can only tested against McDonald's?

                              I think you need to realize that this Blind Taste Test was done NOT once, NOT twice but THREE different times with INO being one of the burgers tested all three times including the Double Double being also tested alongside other burgers. In each test INO burgers came out in the bottom half of the rankings. I can see that this disturbs you, as it did for some of the INO aficionados that participated in the tests. But the facts speak for themselves.

                              Cheers

                              PS Your assumption about the weight of the Farmer Boy's burgers that we tested was wrong and since that is what your argument really is about there isn't much more use to continue. You may have the last word in defense of INO.

                              1. re: RetiredChef
                                Servorg RE: RetiredChef Jun 22, 2012 01:21 PM

                                I replied to you and linked a "blind" taste test of an I&O burger (along with several other popular fast food burgers) done by a guy in Texas in another thread that I found. I&O bested the other burgers in that particular "test". His video showed exactly his method (along with his voice over explanation at each step) of how he went about this. So, to try and draw any conclusions from your test (as though it were any sort of definitive exam) is, undoubtedly, specious at best.

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  RetiredChef RE: Servorg Jun 24, 2012 09:22 AM

                                  I remember, the video had ONE guy tasting vs 20 people on this taste test (NOTE: This test was run three times with different tasters and similar results) and you conclude our results are specious and this single guy in his single test is definitive?

                                  Just FY, there is another topic titled " Which fast food chain has the most cultish (and maybe even divisive) following?" here on chowhound, maybe you ought to weigh in there ;)

                                  Cheers

                                  1. re: RetiredChef
                                    Servorg RE: RetiredChef Jun 24, 2012 09:37 AM

                                    Since Chowhound is all about what "one guy" thinks...each one of us..supposed blind taste tests prove absolutely NOTHING (my point). Any attempt at convincing us otherwise is a non starter. Maybe we need a "rational approach to making a point" thread and I'll weigh in on that one...

                2. re: RetiredChef
                  h
                  HastaLaPasta RE: RetiredChef Jun 6, 2012 03:42 PM

                  Can't argue with the results of a blind test. I can only tell you that to my taste buds (and to whatever other senses of mine might be influenced knowing where the burger came from that I'm eating), In-N-Out is the 2nd best chain fast food burger that I've had in LA, with "The Habit" being a bit better but not having many locations they're a bit out of the way for me. So if I'm succumbing to In-N-Out's marketing, who knows. It just tastes good.

                  1. re: HastaLaPasta
                    Davwud RE: HastaLaPasta Jun 6, 2012 03:49 PM

                    I haven't had Carl's Jr. but have had Hardee's and I'll take them over InO everyday.

                    I've had a Del Taco burger and it was surprsingly good. Also ahead of InO.

                    DT

                    1. re: Davwud
                      RetiredChef RE: Davwud Jun 7, 2012 01:49 PM

                      The Del Taco burger was put in as a joke by the organizers, everyone assumed it would come in last so suffice to say we were all very surprised about this, especially how close it came to winning and how many people picked it as their #1 or claimed it was so good it had to be the INO burger.

                      1. re: RetiredChef
                        Davwud RE: RetiredChef Jun 7, 2012 03:02 PM

                        Mine was way cheesy. Again, I can't tell you how surprised I was with the burger.

                        Supposedly DT was started by a burger lover and a taco lover.

                        DT

                  2. re: RetiredChef
                    r
                    rasputina RE: RetiredChef Jun 25, 2012 07:30 AM

                    In n Out is the most quality consistent IME. Carl's Jr and the rest, it really depends on the location and who is working. I've never gotten a poorly put together burger and In n Out. I can't say the same for any of the other fast food places. I can't stand a burgers that is a soggy sloppy mess of too much sauce and not enough fresh lettuce and veggies. Which is what I often end up with at the other FF places.

            2. re: randyjl
              mrgreenbeenz RE: randyjl May 14, 2012 09:32 AM

              I just had a friend move from TX and say the same thing - then he tried the burger in CA and had a completely different opinion. The important thing to understand is that what made In n Out special was that they had a 'never-frozen beef' distribution apparatus in SoCal, Vegas and a few spots in AZ. Everything was processed through the mother-warehouse in Baldwin Park. I guess they've tried to recreate that in TX but it's likely a somewhat different setup (maybe frozen, certainly different beef) out there.

              That said, In n Out is not the be all end all of hamburgers. Its more that its the same price as McD's or Wendy's and a vastly superior product. It's only slightly worse than Five Guys which is at least three times the price.

              1. re: randyjl
                iL Divo RE: randyjl May 26, 2012 06:58 PM

                born and bred in southern Calif.
                there are a lot of I&O's around.
                no one in our family likes them or eats them, requests them or cares to run in and get one.
                that said, it's often times the mission itself.
                it is for me anyway. I usually find when something comes highly touted, it's a disappointment regarding the taste. The Lady&Sons comes to mind. < but the quest to rent a car from out of state drive 137 miles one way,, get lost-end up in Macon Georgia and have crazed allergies....still it was the quest.

                you know what, I'd say give it a try. you may well love their burgers.but report back

              2. chris2269 RE: steakman55 May 13, 2012 06:03 PM

                In and Out makes a good Fast Food Burger. They use good ingredients and make to order. They are not the end all of burgers you can get a much better one at a local Brewpub (though it will cost you more)
                I like an "Animal" style Double Double with extra crispy fries. Animal Style burgers include pickles, extra spread, grilled onions, and mustard fried onto each meat patty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chris2269
                  w
                  wadejay26 RE: chris2269 May 13, 2012 06:16 PM

                  Agree with Double Double animal style for me, but not for a first trip to In-n-Out. Double Double with extra crispy fries is a good first trip order.

                2. mucho gordo RE: steakman55 May 13, 2012 07:42 PM

                  I'm hooked on their 4x4 with grilled onions, chopped peppers and the spread.

                  1. RealMenJulienne RE: steakman55 May 13, 2012 11:41 PM

                    I've only had it once, in Vegas, and it was worth the hype. Close to the top of the regional burger chains, in my opinion. Their strength is in their simplicity; every ingredient tastes like something you can buy at the grocery to make your own simple burger at home. No weird-tasting, over-salted, or over-processed flavors. They are also very good at balanced assembly. The burger actually looks like the one in the advertisement and every bite gets you a little cheese, sauce, beef, onion. I would say just order the original double cheeseburger (whatever it's called) to appreciate the fresh ingredients.

                    Under no circumstances order the fries.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RealMenJulienne
                      w
                      wadejay26 RE: RealMenJulienne May 14, 2012 06:17 AM

                      Since you've only been there once, did you order the fries extra crispy? If you ordered regular fries, I can see why you say don't order them. Fries have to be "well done".

                    2. Boston_Otter RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 06:05 AM

                      Get a Double-Double Animal Style with 'well done' fries. Best fast-food burger I know of.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Boston_Otter
                        r
                        RB Hound RE: Boston_Otter May 14, 2012 11:42 AM

                        It is interesting how many people migrate towards the DD animal style / well done fries combination. It is almost like In-N-Out's version of the Big Mac combo.

                      2. c
                        Cathy RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 06:22 AM

                        Try what is on the menu. There are two choices: Single or Double. You can have with or without cheese and with raw or grilled or neither or both types of onions. You can ask for a packet of yellow peppers when they hand you the burger.

                        Then, if you go back and want something different, check the website for the "not so secret secret menu" (or use a search engine to see 7 million links to the 'In-N-Out secret menu') and see the various combinations of the same basic ingredients with pickles and mustard added into the mix.

                        1. Davwud RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 07:14 AM

                          First off ignore all who say "Don't bother." The simple fact is, you're curious and the only way to satisfy your curiosity is to try it. I did. I didn't think it was nearly as good as the hype but I'm certainly glad I tried. I also plan on trying again. Just to confirm my early opinion.

                          As for your question, go with a double double. It's how it was intended to be eaten. It's the default burger so start there. If you decide to go back, then worry about the secret menu.

                          The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to clear your mind of any preconceived notions on whether or not it will be good, bad, indifferent or dog food.

                          DT

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: Davwud
                            m
                            malibumike RE: Davwud May 14, 2012 07:39 AM

                            Yes INO is the best fast food hamburger around no contest, get the double double animal style.

                            1. re: malibumike
                              Davwud RE: malibumike May 14, 2012 08:05 AM

                              Disagree. I like 5 Guys better.

                              DT

                              1. re: Davwud
                                d
                                drewpbalzac RE: Davwud May 14, 2012 09:19 AM

                                5 Guys doesn't have a drive thru window so they do not count as fast foods . . .and their fries suck . . . and they don't have milkshakes. . . .

                                1. re: drewpbalzac
                                  Davwud RE: drewpbalzac May 14, 2012 09:45 AM

                                  Don't like drive thru's

                                  Fries are infinitely superior to InO

                                  Milkshakes would be nice.

                                  I don't get the protectionist attitudes of InO fanbois.

                                  DT

                                  1. re: drewpbalzac
                                    carolinadawg RE: drewpbalzac May 14, 2012 09:58 AM

                                    Sorry? Who decreed that without a drive-thru window, it doesn't qualify as "fast food"? I must have missed that memo.

                                    1. re: carolinadawg
                                      majordanby RE: carolinadawg May 16, 2012 02:37 PM

                                      it's in the bible. psalms, i think.

                                      1. re: majordanby
                                        RetiredChef RE: majordanby Jun 2, 2012 11:17 AM

                                        LMAO

                                      2. re: carolinadawg
                                        d
                                        drewpbalzac RE: carolinadawg Jun 22, 2012 11:16 AM

                                        if I have to park my car, get out, walk in to order . . . it is not fast. Hence it cannot be fast food.

                                        5 guys fries suck becasue they are soggy. Nothing fried that brown should be soggy. Fries should be crispy, Five Guys are not. I have been eating at Five Guys since their first store opened in Arlington,Virginia. Good burgers, bad fries, free peanuts, no milkshakes, no drive-thru . . .

                                        1. re: drewpbalzac
                                          a
                                          alwayshungrygal RE: drewpbalzac Jun 22, 2012 04:37 PM

                                          "if I have to park my car, get out, walk in to order . . . it is not fast. Hence it cannot be fast food."
                                          -------------

                                          How about a comparison?

                                          (a) I drive to my favorite burger place, park, sit down, order from waitress, meal is delivered in about 20 minutes (if I'm lucky and the kitchen isn't in the weeds or the server incompetent).
                                          (b) I drive to (choose any one of the following) In & Out, Mickey D's, Wendy's, Burger King, 5 Guys, park, order from counterperson, meal is delivered in about 5 minutes.

                                          Are any of the choices in (b) not considered "fast food" if they don't have a drive thru window or serve milkshakes? Of course they are, unless you redefine the basic meaning of "fast." There is a Burger King in my local mall (drive to mall, park, order, food delivered in 5 minutes). Is it not fast food, since it doesn't have a drive-thru?

                                          1. re: alwayshungrygal
                                            r
                                            RB Hound RE: alwayshungrygal Jun 22, 2012 05:08 PM

                                            "Is it not fast food, since it doesn't have a drive-thru?"

                                            According to drew's definition, it is not fast food. I don't think any Subway would be fast food, either (unless there is one somewhere with a drive thru).

                                            1. re: RB Hound
                                              a
                                              acgold7 RE: RB Hound Jun 22, 2012 05:15 PM

                                              I have redefined fast food to now mean that I don't even have to stop the car. They need to throw it in the window as I pass.

                                              And with the pouches detailed in the NY Times this week, I don't even have to chew.

                              2. j
                                jcattles RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 07:41 AM

                                Count me as an In n Out Burger fan. I don't care what others say, I like them & if I'm in a city where they have one, I'm gonna eat there.
                                For your first time I would order just the regular burger - cheese & onion are up to you. My favorite is a cheeseburger animal style. I like their fries. Ask for a couple sauce packets to dip them in. I've never tried the hot peppers but they look good.

                                http://www.in-n-out.com/menu/not-so-s...

                                1. Delucacheesemonger RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 07:59 AM

                                  Had them twice on a few LA visits and while not my type of burger, l like big thick juicy ones, for a fast food style it was fresh, hot, comfortable seats, and you should certainly try it. In a pinch, l would try again.

                                  1. meuri RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 08:09 AM

                                    It's a good basic fast food burger. I agree, if you're curious, you need to eat one or you'll always remain curious. If it's your first, start with the regular burger (or Double double) and eat it fresh. If you eat it and like it, then you can join the craziness:
                                    http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: meuri
                                      Steve Green RE: meuri May 15, 2012 08:31 AM

                                      "If it's your first, start with the regular burger (or Double double) and eat it fresh."

                                      This is key. If you pick it up and eat it elsewhere, you'll be disappointed -- they don't travel well. That said, I agree with many of the other posters: Start with a Double-Double for the best ratio (I like onions both ways* on mine) and WELL-DONE fries. If you like it, go back and try variations.
                                      *raw and grilled

                                    2. g
                                      GH1618 RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 08:42 AM

                                      I would say get the double-double or double meat, depending on whether you want cheese or not. Get it the normal way first, then "animal style" next time if you liked the first enough to want another. Get the fries either way, but don't use ketchup (wretched stuff!).

                                      Remember that the proper comparison is to other low-end drive-up chains, not the fancier burger places.

                                      1. d
                                        drewpbalzac RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 09:05 AM

                                        Enjoy a Double Double and some well done fries and decide for yourself if it is worth hype. . . .

                                        They are very good burgers. Worth the hype? . . . . that is subjective.

                                        I wouldn't go very far out of my way for one, but when given the choice of an In-N-Out burger over the competition . . . . In-N-Out is the way to go.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: drewpbalzac
                                          r
                                          randyjl RE: drewpbalzac May 14, 2012 11:51 AM

                                          Oh yes, they do not offer mayo to those of us that hate mustard! (at least at the location I have been to)

                                          1. re: randyjl
                                            a
                                            acgold7 RE: randyjl May 14, 2012 12:56 PM

                                            If you don't want mustard, don't order it. Their spread is a thousand island knockoff and doesn't contain mustard (that I can tell). I don't like mustard on burgers either and have never tasted it on a standard INO burger.

                                            Hard to believe they don't have mayo somewhere in the building, even in packets, but I suppose it's possible.

                                        2. r
                                          ricepad RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 12:27 PM

                                          If you know you may only have the opportunity to eat at an In-N-Out one time, go with the flagship burger, the double double.

                                          My standard order is a double double with onions both ways (grilled and raw) and fries. I much prefer McD's fries, because In-N-Out fries are limp and undercooked. Well done fries, however, remind me of canned shoestring potatoes, and I'm not big on those, either. I've tried cheeseburgers and 3x3s, and I think the double double is the perfect ratio of meat to cheese to bun to lettuce and tomato. A cheeseburger isn't enough, and a 3x3 is too much. Of course, my son, who is 20 and has the metabolism of a hamster (sleep habits, too), likes 3x3s, and if I'm paying for it, will try to talk me into letting him order a 4x4. If I so much as look at a 4x4, my cholesterol count goes up 10 points.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ricepad
                                            mucho gordo RE: ricepad May 14, 2012 04:57 PM

                                            Look at it this way, ricepad; the 4x4 is just 2 double doubles on one bun. The one I can barely put down is Fatburger's 3x. That's a pound and a half of meat

                                            1. re: mucho gordo
                                              r
                                              ricepad RE: mucho gordo May 15, 2012 03:02 PM

                                              I know what a 4x4 is, and if I'm really hungry, I'll order two double doubles instead of one 4x4. Preserves the ratios of meat to cheese to toppings to bun. But I usually can't eat that much without feeling bloated and overstuffed.

                                            2. re: ricepad
                                              m
                                              malibumike RE: ricepad May 15, 2012 07:51 AM

                                              I agree with Ricepad, The double double is the perfect ballance, a single burger is overwhelmed by the other ingredients .

                                            3. rockandroller1 RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 01:02 PM

                                              Another vote for start with the Double-Double and then make a return trip to get something different/secret menu. It's a good solid fast food burger, as another poster said, no fakey, chemically-tasting stuff.

                                              I am one of the tiny percentage of people who actually loves their fries. I hate hard/crisp/very dark brown fries, I like 'em the way they do them at In & Out and my waist is very glad we don't have one where I live.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: rockandroller1
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                                                laliz RE: rockandroller1 May 15, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                FYI, my sister loves their fries too. We just had this discussion on Sunday. And there is one near my house.

                                                1. re: laliz
                                                  rockandroller1 RE: laliz May 16, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                  Hooray! I'm not the only one!!!

                                                  1. re: rockandroller1
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                                                    rasputina RE: rockandroller1 May 18, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                    My husband likes them. Although my daughter agrees with me that they suck. No problem though, I'm not there for the fries, I'm there for the awesome burger and either a shake or lemonade.

                                              2. Savour RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                I like In n Out. Is it burger nirvana? No. But it is kind of the starting point for what a fast food burger should be. As to what to order, I think the fries are meh even well done (though salt does improve them). Animal style has more sauce, the patty is "mustard grilled", the onions are chopped and cooked, and it contains pickles. I happen to like it -- it's a gooier cheeseburger. The regular cheeseburger has raw onions and no pickles and less sauce, and is a good example of its type. Order whichever more closely matches your preference. The milkshakes are very good, too (I like "Neapolitan" which is a blend of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry), or you can order a root beer float.

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                                                  acgold7 RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                  For my 15-year-old son and myself, the 4 x 4 plus pickles is the standard order. He likes his onions grilled but I prefer the standard raw. We tried the animal style fries and while they were good, we weren't blown away. Maybe overkill, even for us. Neither of us likes mustard on our burgers so we passed on the animal style burgers.

                                                  On our recent trip to CA we each had 4 x 4's every day for a week. The younger kids had double-doubles. The wife, a tiny little thing, likes the single cheeseburgers. We call these appetizers.

                                                  Worth it to note that a 4 x 4 is about the same price as a Five Guys regular Double. Not bashing FG at all; we like them as well. On the fast food burger scale we consider FG a 9 and INO a ten. Or maybe an eight and a nine, respectively. They are, after all, just burgers. But pretty darned good ones.

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                                                    AdamD RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                    Double double animal style no lettuce/tomato.

                                                    I took the path suggested by others and just ordered the basic double on my first trip and I was underwhelmed.

                                                    Tried the animal on the next visit and I find myself craving it on occasion.

                                                    But as others have said, its just a better fast food burger.

                                                    1. g
                                                      gator28 RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                      My favorite is a single cheeseburger, with spread, no onions, mustard-grilled, with chopped chilis. And extra spread to dip my fries in (I also get ketchup - I like the variety).

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                                                        nosh RE: steakman55 May 14, 2012 05:15 PM

                                                        In'n'Out's double-double is a very good burger. The patties are hot off the grill, the cheese is a bit thicker sliced than most, the lettuce is cold and crisp, the tomato usually good. But the secret -- don't tell -- is the bun. It is nicely toasted on the burger side and really soft and light on the outer sides, always very fresh, really superior to the buns at competitors.

                                                        1. ericthered RE: steakman55 May 15, 2012 08:33 AM

                                                          Get the double-double with onions

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                                                            laliz RE: steakman55 May 15, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                            Another in n out devotee here.

                                                            I order a cheeseburger, with grilled onions, protein style. That's one burger with all the usual fixins, on a lettuce leaf instead of a bun. I miss the bun.
                                                            Fries well-done, animal style.
                                                            And Diet Coke (of course)

                                                            1. Keith Gilabert RE: steakman55 May 15, 2012 04:22 PM

                                                              Get a number 2 and enjoy the taste of heaven!!

                                                              Enjoy,

                                                              Keith Gilabert

                                                              1. giulialatini RE: steakman55 May 15, 2012 08:21 PM

                                                                Has anybody else but me noticed that their meat patty has gotten a lot smaller over time? I used to go some years ago, then went overseas, came back, tried it again and I was underwhelmed this time! The fries were tiny (maybe I got the scrapings...) the tomato was mushy and the end piece almost, the sauce was invisible and the bun was ok... Escondido In N Out, but I guess they're all the same?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: giulialatini
                                                                  PommeDeGuerre RE: giulialatini May 25, 2012 03:03 AM

                                                                  In 'N' Out's patty is the same size it's always been.

                                                                  1. re: PommeDeGuerre
                                                                    giulialatini RE: PommeDeGuerre May 27, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                                    Actually I've returned a couple of times since to the same location and they've returned to the usual size so it must have been an off day for some reason. But thanks for setting me straight!

                                                                2. hill food RE: steakman55 May 15, 2012 08:40 PM

                                                                  look at it this way: if you're in CA and are going to eat a fast-ish burger and there's a location convenient, then GO. but if you're not and you don't, you'll live.

                                                                  within those parameters it is one of your better choices. and as somebody upstream mentioned there are plenty of official and unofficial websites that spell out the crypto-menu options.

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                                                                    rasputina RE: steakman55 May 18, 2012 08:39 AM

                                                                    I just get the double double with onions( or the single if I'm not that hungry) and usually a shake. The fries suck IMO. And I completely disagree with others saying it's all hype. I haven't tried the TX locations as I'm not in the Dallas area. But I grew up in CA and lived in NV and they are awesome there.

                                                                    1. Llamalicious RE: steakman55 May 22, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                      I think the reason why people end up disappointed from their first experience is because they haven't discovered the non touristy side of the menu. Like animal style fries and burgers, protein style (lettuce wrapped burger), grilled cheese, Neapolitan shakes and extra crispy fries.

                                                                      1. s
                                                                        sarahintexas RE: steakman55 Jun 2, 2012 04:55 AM

                                                                        People in Texas do this thing with Whataburger and other drive-through burger chains where they pick up a burger/fries/shake, go back to the office or home, and eat maybe 15-20-30 minutes later. As someone pointed out, a burger place with no drive-through signals to eat there so people feel differently about it -- and eat immediately. The Texas In-N-Outs don't have that much table space so it's a little annoying to stand around like a vulture waiting for a table to sit down, but you can't comfortably eat in your car without the engine running.

                                                                        Whereas, in California, it seemed like so many people would get In-N-Out and eat in the parking lot (engine off/windows down) or at the restaurant patio; in Texas, they often drive-through and eat somewhere with air conditioning. And, no, 20 minutes later, it's not that good. I think that's why I hear all the time that other fast food places are just as good or better. In-N-Out doesn't travel as well because it's fresher.

                                                                        Anyways, OP, go! Eat there right away. It's a great fast food burger. I get an animal style burger, no salt. Chiles on the side. Extra spread on the side. If you just want to try it, get it cut in half, too. For what it costs, why not?

                                                                        1. m
                                                                          mike0989 RE: steakman55 Jun 22, 2012 11:26 AM

                                                                          If you are only going once, double doube and fries - light well. If you go a second time, try the double double animal style. I also like to get a root beer float when I go.

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                                                                            randyjl RE: steakman55 Jun 30, 2012 03:51 PM

                                                                            Went to my local location for the 3rd time. 3rd time is the charm? Nope. Ordered it animal style. the patties tasted like shoe leather only drier! Ordered the bun toasty and it was burnt and black. The fries and Dr Pepper were great. I will never go back except for some drive through fries on my way to Costco. I can't understand the loyalty to this chain.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: randyjl
                                                                              Servorg RE: randyjl Jun 30, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                                              I always order my double double done medium rare (which other fast food places refuse to do). That keeps the burger patties nice and juicy.

                                                                              1. re: randyjl
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                                                                                GH1618 RE: randyjl Jun 30, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                                The loyalty is based on comparison to McDonald's which is the direct competition for product, price, and drive-through service in many places. It is not based on being the best burger of any type at any price with any type of service. Do you think McD's is better? Maybe your In-n-Out is subpar.

                                                                              2. Gumbogirl RE: steakman55 Jun 30, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                                                Please take the time and go check out In-N-Out. Yup, burgers and fries are all about personal taste, but IMHO, nothing beats In-N-Out. I love their Double Double with grilled onions. I am just stunned by all the negative reviews posted here about In-N-Out. Five Guys burgers taste like they are steamed. Their fries are not all crispy. But if you like sugar on your fries, go for Five Guys. The Habit out of Santa Barbara is creeping up the coast into Nor Cal but In-N-Out still beats them hands down, even over the original stores in SB. Burger King, Carl's Jr, or McDonald's are inferior to In-N-Out and are not worthy of a comparison.

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