Saturday, August 13, 2011

In-N-Out Burger. The Maiden Voyage.

Like you, I have heard the reports. Like you, I have seen the crowds, and yes, I have watched the videos of mile-long lines. I scoffed and I mocked . . .

But I had never been . . . to the In-N-Out Burger.

Marian enjoying our exciting date to In-N-Out Fort Worth.

Until tonight when Marian and I made our maiden voyage to Fort Worth's, 7th Street In-N-Out Burger.

Our Verdict: an excellent burger and fries.

Is it over-hyped? Is the hamburger/fries combination really better than the average fast food restaurant? Well, yea, it kind of is.

I don't mean it's a gourmet hamburger like M&O just down the street. But for the money, what you get at In-N-Out is a pretty good deal: fresh never frozen hamburger patties, an excellent freshly-made bun, fresh, crisp iceburg lettuce, a real tomato slice, and real potato french fries cooked perfectly, all for about six bucks if you get the double. If you get the single the cost is about five dollars. Not bad because the food is good. As my son says, it's a perfect combination of ingredients where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I like the simplicity of the In-N-Out operation. They sell hamburgers, fries, and shakes. If you want a latte or chai tea go somewhere else. In-N-Out has made good on simplicity and freshness. Years ago, while McDonald's (a company I admire, by the way) was freezing and franchising it's way across the country, In-N-Out was plodding along with a couple stores in California and a rock solid commitment to freshness. It caught on in California and built a loyal, read, very loyal, even annoyingly loyal following.

Now 60 years later, expansion has finally reached past Arizona into Texas and by the looks of things their reputation has spread with the expansion. On the second day of opening in Fort Worth the drive-thru line was 25 cars long at 6:30 PM when we visited and the walk-in line was 50 people. But from the time we got in line to the time we got our food we waited just under twenty-five minutes. Not bad.

So to Travis and Stephen, thanks for the advice, we're now a part of the In-N-Out family. And I'll be going back.

Addendum or Part Deux.

I just returned from my second visit with a better idea how to order. I ordered a double/double with grilled onions and green chilis, extra cooked french fries. Wow. My companion had the french fries "animal," which is fries with their secret sauce, cheese, and grilled onions. Fantastic. 3 of us: $18.



Lynn said...

Good fries (like Smashburger's seasoning better). Way-better-than-OK burger. Delectable vanilla shake. As you said, good value for the money. I did the drive-thru about 10:30 after picking up cookies for treats for my Primary class tomorrow. Ten minutes, maybe? Wendy's, et al, should fear and tremble. Chop House Burgers has nothing to fear. (word verif is "nonsines"; I wonder how they file about cosines and tangents?)

Lynn said...

P.S. the tomato in my burger was not a mere nod toward nutrition. It was an election-campaign handshake, i.e., *ripe*.

Francis Shivone said...

Lynn, no Chop House and M&O are in a separate category. And Smashburger as well. But for the money, it's a a good deal. I loved the fresh, crisp lettuce and red tomato. Thanks.

cd0103 said...

It is a fast food place. You comments on how long make me feel like I might go there. Double, Double, animal style, sub whole grilled onion and add chiles.. Fries- well done.... Squee!!!

Jake Good said...

One my coworkers decided to grab a dozen burgers to bring back to the office... So I got to sample them...

Burger was better than any other fast food burger in town... Fries, at least the ones I had, were meh. I'd have to have them fresh instead of delivered to get the full effect.

So next comes the "Urban Legend"... the "secret menu"



Francis Shivone said...

Jake -- I think you will like the fries when they are just out of the fryer. They're real potato cuts and mine needed salt but they were very good. Oddly, I think I expected the hyper-flavor of a McDonald's fry and wondered why they didn't have that. But it's a real potato which is needs seasoning.

But I loved the burger assembly and combination of flavors.

Thanks for the links. I need to learn the cult vocabulary.

John said...

Well, you've convinced me to give them a try, but maybe not until they open a location more up here toward the airport. (Or maybe once the airport-ish locations open the one on W 7th will be less crowded and I'll get one for lunch.)

I had one in Tucson several years ago and recall it as being good but not necessarily remarkable. I guess it's time for refreshing my memory.

Thanks for taking the 25-minute wait and sharing.

Francis Shivone said...

John -- I appreciate the comment.

It's pretty normal in one sense, I mean it is just two thin beef patties, but in another sense, it is kind of exceptional because of the fresh ingredients.

The double/double was a really good cheeseburger meal for six bucks. I can see why people choose them over the competitors, I think I will. But I have only been once so that's hardly conclusive.