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Jul 13, 2012 01:27 PM

What is the closest New England equivalent to an In-N-Out burger?

Hello! City of Angels 'hound here. I've been asked by the kind folks at CH to post this here, rather than on the L.A. board. The logic escapes me a bit, but I respect Chow regardless.

Anyway...a friend has asked me to find out what is the nearest New England equivalent to an In-N-Out burger. You're welcome to voice your like or disdain for any or all, but the friend's young nephew has fallen in love with I-N-O while he's been here, and he'd like to relive some Cali moments when he's back home (where that is, I know not).

Thank y'all!

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  1. Probably Flat Patties in Cambridge, followed by Five Guys.

    1 Reply
    1. re: crowdingthepan

      I gotta give a vote to UBurger - I think it's SO much better than 5 Guys (especially the fries). You might want to check out the Boston board too kauma - they has a similar question a little while back.

    2. So, the two responses so far have assumed the Boston area. Is that what you mean? If not, then what area do you mean?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Morganna

        Hello, crowdingthepan and southie_chick and Morganna! Thank you all for your responses...your generosity is heartwarming. I'll send all responses to my friend here in SoCal.

        Crowding...I've heard of Flat Patties, but I can't remember the source. Saveur, maybe? Regardless...thank you!

        Southie...UBurger? New to me!!! I've have Five Guys here, and I was not impressed. (My nephew just told me they have free peanuts...?)

        Morganna, my dear, I wish I knew where the young man lives; I don't. All that I was told initially was that it was New England. Only when CH told me that I had to choose did I...have to choose!

        My dears, thank you. I have to go now, and find peanuts for my nephew.

      2. I guess I'd have to say Five Guys is the closest to In & Out, in that the fries are the same idea, and you can customize your 5G burger to pretty much replicate your I&O burger.
        Mmm.... now you've got me jonesing for I&O.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cringle22

          Thanks, cringle22! Sorry about the jonesing...

        2. I tried an In-N-Out burger for the first time in Feb. - have to say my first reaction was that it reminded me of Wendy's burgers... with Five Guys a close second.

          6 Replies
          1. re: citygrrll

            Speaking of Two Guy's burgers.... I guess this is as good a place as any to squeeze in this quick review. I've never been to In-n-Out so I can't compare. When I was in San Diego last year it was on my list, but didn't have time to squeeze it in among my other eating duties. (Some great meals were had in San Diego, though.)

            I hit the Nashua, NH Two Guy's location today. Nutshell: I really doubt I'd ever find a reason to go back. It wasn't necessarily bad or horrible, but I found few redeeming qualities. I didn't realize the standard burger was two patties. I would have been happy with a "single." I did ask upon ordering if I could get a more rare burger, as I had read they overcooked their burgers and that was the only option. Cashier confirmed I could have it any way I wanted, as long as well-done was the way I wanted it.

            Standard burger (no cheese, bacon, etc) with a small fries was nearly $10 including tax. Took quite a while for my order to be ready, and it was not a busy time of day. Okay.... cooked-to-order (as long as you want it grey), is fine I guess. I just didn't realize this wasn't "fast" food. After I received my order, I was a little dismayed that there appeared to be no 'for-here' or 'to-go' option even though I realized this after-the-fact, so everything is just stuffed into a paper bag even if you're eating at a table in the restaurant. I really disliked having to dig out all the fries just to get to my burger, with my hands now all greasy before I can even get my food out and commence with eating. Why the hell not a 'for here' option so your food is on a tray and not such a mess to deal with as it is from the brown paper bag?

            Burger was absolutely well-done to a full gray color as promised. And even though it was well done, still very greasy. The fries were pretty good, but way too many of them. Good fries... but not what I would call great fries. And over-salted too. An extra, extra-small fries if they offered it, would have been MUCH better.

            I found nothing special other than the amount of grease, or delicious, about the burger. Even after throwing away half of my fries, I left far too full. I really would have preferred to have the option available to get HALF the amount of burger and fries. This is a crazy statement, but I left wishing I had gone to Burger King. I actually find The Whopper fairly tasty for an ultra-fast burger. Or if I wanted a great burger, driven up the road (101A/Amherst St.) a few miles to Longhorn and had a medium-rare with a nice pink inside, and very tasty beef sans the grease dripping down my arm.

            1. re: Dave B

              Thanks Dave B - I kinda thought there was something wrong with me since I didn't like the 5 Guys burgers & everyone else I know raves about them. I work near a UBurger in Boston (I keep asking them to open one up here!), & they blow them right out of the water - especially the fries. UBurger cooks them when you order them, & they're the thin cut fries - YUM! Just make sure you don't just throw salt on them before tasing them - they salt them pretty good so I find I don't need any additional salt.

              And, if you want a takeout burger in the Longhorn vacinity, try Bentley's - they make a good "North Shore" (hot, fresh sliced) roast beef too. The fries are the frozen/batter dipped type (which I like) - as are the rings - but everything else seems to be home made. Nice people there too, & you can eat there (both inside & out) if you feel like it.

              1. re: southie_chick

                Thanks, southie. I'll keep my eyes open for UBurger. I have had a nice roast beef sandwich at Bentley's, but I haven't tried their burger. My only (small) complaints about Bentley's are the rather pronounced aroma of seafood in the air, at least the day I was there, and the rather sterile environment. I love seafood but somehow the smell of it wasn't working for me while eating beef. Maybe it's not always like that and the day I was there they happened to be cooking a bunch of seafood at that time.

                A little addendum..... in discussion with a friend, they pointed out to me that 5 Guys has a children's menu with smaller burgers. If for some strange reason I end up back there, I would probably go with that option. I looked at their website and didn't see a mention of a smaller-sized fries option though. I'm sure their very generous "small" fries appeal to some, or would be great shared.... but for me it was just way too much. I feel wasteful throwing out food, and it's not like fries make very good leftovers to take home.

                And just a day later I find myself ordering a burger at a golf course (Red Tail, Devens, MA) after the round, and it was delicious. Pink inside like I ordered, and tasty beef flavor. It seems strange that a golf course can make a tastier, less greasy burger cooked the way I want it, as opposed to a place that has the word 'Burgers' in their name.

                1. re: Dave B

                  Unfortunately Dave, the closest UBurger is in Boston (I keep BEGGING them to open one in Nashua - the empty space next to Chipotle at Exit 8 would be nice!) but so far no luck. I'd even be happy if their folks opened a branch of their restaurant there - they own Tony's Clam Box in Wollaston (Quincy). Hope something good goes into that spot - sad to see that it's still empty.

              2. re: Dave B

                If 5Guys had normal sized portions, I'd be a regular. Unfortunately, their huge portions are only suitable for the obese. I like their topping options, lower salt content vs. typical FF burgers and although its seems to vary greatly, their fresh cut fries. Now if I was trying to feed a family of four, a single burger, fries and drink would probably be fine.

                1. re: Clams047

                  Order the kids portion which is one slab of beef instead of two...You can always throw away 1/2 of the fries -- can't you?
                  I don't eat bread, so the double (standard) hamburger is a great size for me, and I just love the fries, but after a handful, I throw away the rest.

            2. The closest comparison for overall quality is Stanley's Hamburgers in Central Falls, RI. No chain in RI will come close.