Hello burger lovers,
For the first time ever I am reviewing a burger outside of Luxembourg, I hope you’ll like it.
While on holiday in California, I had the pleasure of trying a lot of different burgers; some of them in fancy restaurants, others along the road while travelling through California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona and of course the mandatory stops in well-known fast food temples. But there were a handful of burger joints that captured my attention, one of them being the infamous In-N-Out.
During my first visits to California, I’ve never visited In-N-Out. I have no idea why, maybe there wasn’t this kind of burger hype ten years ago. This time it was on my top 10 to-do list.
For all of you that have never heard of In-N-Out, it’s a family owned burger joint which operates 300 burger joints on a regional level, mainly in Southern California, but also in the neighbouring states.
The statement on their homepage sounded very promising: “From the first bite of your burger to your last french fry, quality is the most important ingredient of all at In-N-Out. We don’t freeze. We don’t pre-package. We don’t over-process. We just make things the old-fashioned way.”
It’s true, a striking difference between fast food in the US and fast food in Europe is the pre-packaging. Every single burger I ordered in a burger joint in the States was cooked to order. In fast food restaurants in Luxembourg I see prepared boxes waiting to be handed out.
I thought the decor on the inside was very cool as it reminded me of an old-fashioned diner. White and red tiles adorn the counter, lit up by the bright neon yellow In-N-Out sign. Red leather booths and white tables complete this modern retro diner.
The simplicity of In-N-Out Burger’s menu is striking. It features only four items: hamburger, cheeseburger, double-double (double cheeseburger) and french fries. The prices are very low. Given the popularity of In-N-Out Burger in the States, I fail to understand their low pricing. I mean, you pay less than three dollars for a cheeseburger. Insane!
You might have heard of In-N-Out’s secret menu. While queuing at their restaurants you hear customers order items like Grilled Cheese, Animal Style, Flying Dutchman or Cheese Fries which you fail to see on their menu. You wonder what that’s about. To me it seemed to be a clever marketing strategy but apparently, customers came up with those names and made it popular via social media until it became common knowledge.
''We've always prepared a burger any way you want. Our customers came up with the names. '' Interesting …
Does it live up to the hype?
To me it does. The meat was very tasty and juicy. The burger includes a slice of tomato, fresh lettuce and "spread", a sauce similar to the well known Thousand Island dressing. In addition, I was asked by the burgerette if I wished to add raw or grilled onions (I declined). The staff was very friendly and helped me out during my first attempt at ordering something off their menu.
The only downside was that the waiting line was long, and it took quite a while to finally get the burgers. The price performance ratio is very high though and I would wait any amount of time for these burgers.
To me, it was an incredible burger experience which I renewed nearly every time I passed an In-N-Out roadside billboard sign during my holiday. At some point, In-N-Out emerged as something more compelling than a mere fast-food joint. It is nothing less than a cultural institution with a hysterically loyal cult following. Today, In-N-Out is as much a part of Southern California as the Hollywood sign or the graceful palm trees that line the streets of Los Angeles.
When in California, make sure to pay a visit to In-N-Out. You won’t regret it.