HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it

In n Out in Austin?

Garrett Jul 17, 2005 04:11 PM

P. Terry's Burger Stand (NW corner of Barton Springs and S. Lamar) is darn close. Seriously, if you close your eyes and try the fries or the double cheeseburger you might be fooled. The menu is damn near identical AND SO ARE THE PRICES!!! Only thing missing is the service (training issue). One warning, the drive thru has a very very tight left turn.

  1. f
    feh Aug 9, 2010 11:23 PM

    Nothing could be further from the truth, unless by "service" you mean the ingredients uses and how the food is prepared. I LOVE IN N Out, and was told by Austinites that P. Terry's was "the same". The menu looks the same, but the food was so vile that I threw most of it away. The beef is low quality, the burgers are really greasy, the potatos used to make the fries aren't the right kind and were actually soggy and greasy tasting. Definitely NOT In N Out.

    28 Replies
    1. re: feh
      TroyTempest Aug 10, 2010 09:20 AM

      go back to CA, we're all tired of hearing about in and out

      1. re: TroyTempest
        NWLarry Aug 10, 2010 08:34 PM

        I have been looking forward to the in n out "backlash".

        1. re: NWLarry
          gilintx Aug 10, 2010 11:38 PM

          I've never been to In N Out, so I have no dog in this fight, but I was surprised to hear that they are known for their high quality, lean beef and their crisp fries. My understanding (from other reviews) is that they are basically your typical greasy skinny burger joint with a secret menu (that's posted on their web site).
          That said, why is there so little love for Dan's or Fran's hamburgers on this board? Yes, it's just a griddle burger, but it's properly seasoned, and it never disappoints.

          1. re: gilintx
            NWLarry Aug 11, 2010 05:44 AM

            There's a good bit of love for both:

            1. re: gilintx
              texangurl Aug 18, 2010 02:26 PM

              I LOVE Dans. I was born in austin and lived here all my life and have been eating there since I was little- with my grandparents and parents. Love the cheeseburgers - so much flavor and the vanilla shakes are amazing. Normally go the the manchaca and ben white location...yum.

              1. re: texangurl
                amysuehere Aug 19, 2010 05:36 AM

                I'm actually like Frans' better. Not as greasy as Dan's with just as much flavor. There's a Dan's just over on North Lamar that's reasonably close, but I'll drive clear across town to get a Fran's.

                1. re: amysuehere
                  achtungpv Aug 22, 2010 08:26 AM

                  My vote goes to Fran's also. So much better than Dan's. Plus, they have some of the best onion rings in the city.

                  1. re: achtungpv
                    rudeboy Aug 22, 2010 11:55 AM

                    For breakfast, Fran's (at least out on 290 and Cameron) has a Certified Angus Beef steak that you can get with your eggs. It's not much of a steak in terms of size/thickness, but if you want steak and eggs, they purport that it is CAB. Mine was pretty good, but I'll need to figure out how to tell them not to cook it so much.

        2. re: feh
          willtryanythingonce Aug 10, 2010 09:26 AM

          Actually, soggy and greasy tasting would make them right on par with In-N-Out. Their burgers are pretty decent (if overrated, this Texan will take Whataburger any day) but i defy anyone to say In-N-Out's fries are any good.

          1. re: willtryanythingonce
            Chefdavis Aug 10, 2010 05:58 PM

            This Texan will avoid whataburger at almost all costs, but to each his or her own.

            The fries at In-n-out were potatoes a half hour before they are served.

            Animal style is my favorite way, but the staff will cook them to meet requests.

            1. re: willtryanythingonce
              tom in austin Aug 10, 2010 06:59 PM

              I've always liked the In-N-Out fries more than any other fast food chain. Wacky. Sometimes too salty, and of course anyone can undercook fries and make them suck, but overall my favorite for a fast food joint.

              1. re: tom in austin
                sqwertz Aug 13, 2010 10:41 PM

                If you like I&O's fries then you'd probably like Hyde Parks undercooked and bland fries.

                1. re: sqwertz
                  tom in austin Aug 14, 2010 08:18 AM

                  I must be really wrong about In N Out's fries. I haven't had them in maybe five or six years I guess, but as I recall from my last trip to CA:

                  Take fresh, peeled potatoes, slice them into fries, fry them up, salt heavily. The fries themselves are fairly skinny, not waffle-cut, pretty much what you thought of as a kid when you thought of fast food fries. Eat with a cheeseburger. Hold onions on that burger if you're heading into wine country as they're odiously raw, pungent and will mess up your palate for the next several hours.

                  Compare to Hyde Park's fries, which (if I recall correctly) are big, thick, long, and heavily battered. Served with some sort of cream sauce or flavored mayonnaise or something.

                  I mean, am I just completely wrong in my recollection of In N Out? Are they really battered fries like Sqwertz asserts? If so, I hereby give myself one Foodie Shame Point.

                  Actually, I lived in L.A. in the nineties and I ate at In N Out more than I should have, so if the fries are battered, and always have been, I probably should see some sort of neurologist or something.


                  Edit: Google image search to the rescue. Turns out I'm not crazy.

                  In N Out fries:

                  Hyde Park fries (w/ accompanying sauce):

                  1. re: tom in austin
                    verily Aug 14, 2010 02:06 PM

                    I think it depends on the fry cook. I've been to an In N Out in San Francisco that was just awful. It made me wonder why people lauded praise upon a pretty mediocre fast food joint.

                    Then, I tried In N Out again in Utah and it was a completely different experience. The fries were very, very good. Crisp and salted just right. They were definitely not battered; I don't understand the comparison to Hyde Park...Five Guys would be closer.

                    That said...I think Austin has a sizeable number of good fast food burger joints. I think I'd still rather go to Elevation, Burger-Tex, Top Notch, or Dan's/Fran's than an In-N-Out.

                  2. re: sqwertz
                    Philly369 Aug 14, 2010 10:11 AM

                    Hyde Park's fries " Bland" ? That is surprising - I've always considered their fries to be among the best I've had... Anything but bland !

                2. re: willtryanythingonce
                  sqwertz Aug 13, 2010 10:40 PM

                  I'm with you on the fries. Pitiful, even if you order them well done. I've never been indicted into the I&O cult, having eaten there in many cites in Northern CA. The $1 Jumbo Jack was the better deal, IMO. (OK, so now it's probably $1.29 - haven't had either for a couple years).


                  1. re: sqwertz
                    marfaboy Aug 14, 2010 09:35 AM

                    So, "sqwertz", just curious - who makes the best french fries around in your opinion? You've indicated your distaste for the fries at In-n-Out and Hyde Park Bar & Grill, and I'm certain that we'd like to know what you consider a superior fench fried potato offering....

                    1. re: marfaboy
                      bloody hammer Aug 14, 2010 12:35 PM

                      i too am not a big fan of In-n-Out's fries (but really used to enjoy their burgers when i lived in Culver City, Ca).

                      i also dislike the fries at Hyde Park Grill..... for me the batter distracts from the potato.

                      about a week ago i ate at Five Guys and the burger was pretty good but the fries were GREAT. I like fries that taste like potatoes.

                    2. re: sqwertz
                      LakeLBJ Aug 14, 2010 01:55 PM

                      I gotta say I'm torn with In and Out coming to Austin, or even Texas (one is going in up in the Dallas area, for the uninformed).

                      I try to avoid burgers and fries in general as much as possible. When I travel to Calfornia, Arizona, or Nevada, In and Out is the first place I stop when I leave airport. So good with a chocolate shake.

                      But if we had an IN and OUT in Austin? It's a west coast thing. Just wouldn't be the same here, for me anyway. And, it would just inspire a bunch of hating on this board because it's from CA and it's a chain.

                      1. re: LakeLBJ
                        rudeboy Aug 18, 2010 11:32 AM

                        I think I'm going to not have any fries for a while - they seem to generate a lot of emotions.

                        I agree with LakeLBJ. I drove around LAX for an hour trying to find an In N Out. I've had really good burgers there, and so-so burgers there. But I don't really need them to come to Austin.

                        I'm also surprised that the area between downtown and 183 isn't called "Burgerland." You can't swing a dead cat w/o hitting a burger joint.

                        There's all sorts of factors with fries. I love a good, crispy pile of fries, but you can never ensure that you are going to get exactly what you want. You might tell the person to make them "crispy." They come out burnt. Or they'll say, "well, they are really crispy." And they aren't. At fast food places, you can never tell how long the batch of fries has been sitting in the bin. You can ask for "unsalted" fries , and this will force them to quickly drop a new basket of fries. However, they are then in a hurry to get you through, and they pull them too soon. And you can never get fries "to go" and judge them, because once they're in a paper bag, they steam out in just a few minutes. Man, I'm feeling emotional about this......

                        1. re: rudeboy
                          texangurl Aug 18, 2010 02:28 PM

                          Huts- I love their half fries/half onion rings basket...

                          1. re: rudeboy
                            thebodytx Aug 18, 2010 03:44 PM

                            I rarely eat tries out in restaurants; at best they're pretty tasteless and at worst (Hyde Park?) uneatable. I do order fries at Daily Grill; they are freshly cooked, perfectly salted shoestring fries and pretty much irresistible.

                            1. re: rudeboy
                              bloody hammer Aug 18, 2010 07:13 PM

                              "I agree with LakeLBJ. I drove around LAX for an hour trying to find an In N Out"

                              there's one on Sepulveda.... close to where Lincoln ends.

                              1. re: rudeboy
                                amysuehere Aug 19, 2010 05:39 AM

                                Best fries in town for me are at Cover 3. Shoestring, but still have a bit of a crisp and covered in garlic, salt and parmesan.

                                1. re: amysuehere
                                  texangurl Aug 19, 2010 09:25 AM

                                  Houston's had good fries when they were around. I like P.Terrys too.

                                  1. re: texangurl
                                    danny_w Aug 19, 2010 12:01 PM

                                    Aren't they (Houston's) still around under a different name? I have never been there though.

                                    1. re: texangurl
                                      f2048 Aug 19, 2010 02:01 PM

                                      Houston's is now Bartlett's. Menu and food are the same.

                                    2. re: amysuehere
                                      rudeboy Aug 19, 2010 09:57 AM

                                      oooh - they do have some good fries.....I've had em twice, and they were great both times.

                                      bloody hammer - the sad thing: I had been to that In N Out before - I knew it was there somewhere. I was just being a goofball.

                          2. b
                            Buck Jul 18, 2005 07:44 PM

                            Somebody tried that in Arlington and got sued.

                            Go while you still can.

                            1. n
                              nypb Jul 17, 2005 06:54 PM

                              Thanks, I'll check it out. I was just looking for a good burger today, I stopped by Hut's (too big for the car) and wound up trying Sonic for the 1st time. Not bad.

                              Show Hidden Posts