Saturday, April 9, 2011


Every time I go back to L.A., I make it a point to go to In-N-Out. Despite In-N-Out's empire of locations, In-N-Out is entirely unique. It's a relatively cheap alternative to other fast food joints, but you get so much more bang for your buck. It's a place everyone grew up on, and since it's not like the radioactive and questionable products at other fast food places, you can still eat here as an adult and get all nostalgic without feeling like you're giving up a few years of your life. It's still one of my favorite burgers in L.A., despite its ubiquity.

So everyone knows In-N-Out, personally or through a friend, by now. Still, whenever I meet someone and he or she finds out I'm from L.A., In-N-Out makes its way into the conversation. That conversation almost always includes the question: "What do you get?" So I thought I'd share my go-to meal at In-N-Out.

First things first, you have to get a burger. I prefer a Double-Double with Grilled Onions. Everything about this burger is perfect: the toasted buns, the addictive pickles in the special sauce, the surprisingly crispy lettuce, the gooey cheese, the caramelized chopped onions, and the perfectly chargrilled patties. I prefer the grilled onions because otherwise, they put on a thick slice of raw onion. I love onions, but if I have the choice, I always take grilled over raw. I love the way grilled onions sweeten up the burger a little bit and take away the sharpness of a big chunk of raw onion.

Next up, Well-Done Animal Style Fries. I can't go to In-N-Out without getting these. The main thing people complain about when it comes to In-N-Out's fries is that they get soggy towards the middle because of the heat. If you have to have your fries nice and crispy all the way through the whole batch, get them well-done. If you're getting Animal Style Fries, definitely get the fries well-done. This is really the only way the fries stand a chance against the melted cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce. I love how the rustic potato skins comes through in each fry and I love how that combines so well with the acidic pickles and sweet onions. So good.

Unfortunately, you can't go having a full plate of fries if you have diabetes. So consider sharing the fries with a friend, or only eating a quarter or a half of the fries, and get your burger Protein Style. It's just as delicious with three times the amount of crisp. I know, I was skeptical at first, too. But trust me. It's still just as good.

The last third of my In-N-Out trifecta is a Vanilla Milkshake. I can't really get a whole milkshake now, but I'll still indulge by having a few sips of someone else's. I wish I had a picture to illustrate this, but I'm sure you know already how thick and ice-cream-like the milkshakes are here. Some places just make milkshakes way too thin. In-N-Out's milkshakes make you feel like you're drinking an old-fashioned milkshake from a classic diner.

No other cheap and relatively local chains have surpassed In-N-Out. Maybe it's because I grew up in L.A. and I can't separate nostalgia from my preferences. And I can understand why burgers from Dick's in Seattle, and other cheap, local establishments find their ways into their communities' hearts. But all nostalgia and hometown pride aside, let's face it, In-N-Out wins.

What do you get?

Multiple Locations

GET: Double-Double [Protein Style] with Grilled Onions; Well-Done Animal Style Fries; Vanilla Milkshake.


  1. DOUBLE DOUBLE. MMMMM. I haven't tried it protein-style, but that's a good idea! Balance out some of the meaty goodness. It's just not the same if you get a single. Kind of like Shake Shack in NY, and getting double shack burger. Single just seems flimsy.

  2. That's my order, too. So tasty...

  3. they make grilled cheese sandwich btw haha, I usually get 4x4 protein style+pickles

  4. Oh man, good call with the pickles. I have a vegetarian friend who always gets the grilled cheese, haha. A 4x4 sounds really good right now..


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