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California Burger Wars: In-N-Out Burger Review

By • Mar 19th, 2011 • Category: Burger Blog

Our California Burger War kicks off with the reigning champion, In-N-Out Burger.

Part 1: The California Burger War
Part 2: In-N-Out-Burger Review
Part 3: Five Guys Review


On a recent weekday, I paid a visit to In-N-Out’s new Redwood City, CA location. Opened a mere couple of months ago, this new branch has the same general layout as most locations.

The menu you see at the counter looks surprisingly simple, but hang around the counter long enough, and you’ll hear In-N-Out veterans reciting orders from the “secret menu.” It has long been a rite of passage for In-N-Out visitors to tweak their orders with stuff from the “secret menu”, and it only strengthens the ties this west coast institution has with its customers.

Today, it’s an easy #1. A double-double (two beef patties, two slices of cheese), fries, and a soda. While the burger itself comes with lettuce and tomato, I add the secret menu’s grilled onions to the burger.

In N Out Burger Review

In-n-Out prides itself on freshness, and that no burger hits the grill before its ordered. The beef is never frozen, and always emerges from the grill very juicy and moist. While solid, today’s version seemed to be outweighed by the vegetables, and by all means, an exacting patty to extras ratio is critical to a good burger.

In-N-Out Burger Review 2

The cheese is always well melted, and the spread is basically Russian dressing. No real surprises here. They add to the burger, but don’t overwhelm it.

In-n-Out fries are unique in that most times, you can see the Associates (yes, they’re called Associates, NOT employees) actually running the potatoes through the slicer. The fries are small but crispy and tasty with a hint of salt. Sometimes they do put too much, though, so one ought to be a little careful about the salt on the fries.

In-N-Out Burger Fries

In all, the meal is substantial and not overwhelming, which was what I was after today. The burger was nice and flavorful, and the fries were very noshable. Did not opt for a shake today, but many customers do, even if it comes pumped from a machine (Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, or if you fancy, Neapolitan). In-n-Out has great fundamentals and good consistency across all of its locations, making it the longtime favorite it has been.

But can it stand a challenge? Stay tuned.

Part 1: The California Burger War
Part 2: In-N-Out-Burger Review
Part 3: Five Guys Review

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