Review: In-N-Out Burger, San Francisco

I’m going to take a small break from Cincinnati stuff to share some food finds from my travels in the past few months.  I’ve been, let’s see… a lot of places.  I lose track.  Since November, I have been near an In-n-Out Burger no fewer than four times, but only actually *got* some twice– once because I took my tush to Fisherman’s Wharf and accidentally ended up in one (it was the coffee from the Buena Vista that did it…) on my birthday.  Yeah, I figured I could drown the fact that I was alone, traveling for work on my birthday with french fries, Animal-style.

I’m not the biggest fast food fan, but there are a couple of small chains I like:  Five Guys is one, and In-N-Out is another.   It’s not super-fast food, not like McDonald’s, and they seem to have– well, standards.  They cut all of their own potatoes, their meat is fresh and not frozen, and food is made to order.  They also, as many foodies know, have a “secret menu”.  A few of them are pretty interesting:

  • Animal-style, which involves their “special sauce” (essentially 1000 island dressing), pickles, mustard grilled into the patty, and grilled onions
  • Animal-style fries, which tops an order of fries with a slice of melted cheese, special sauce, and grilled onions
  • Wish Burger– no meat or cheese
  • Grilled cheese– burger, no meat

You get the idea.  So I decided to top off my Buena Vista Irish coffees with an order of Animal-style fries, which I hadn’t had before (before my trip in November, I hadn’t been to the West Coast since about 2003).

IMG_0510

I’m pretty sure I had to sign a release to order these– but oh-so-good.  They don’t franchise outside of the west coast, so unlike Five Guys, you’ll probably never see one in Ohio.  Too sad.

In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

  • http://getinmahbelly.blogspot.com liz

    i love love love in-n-out. my favorite thing to get is animal style burger + animal style fries + vanilla shake. then i usually have a heart attack.
    .-= liz´s last blog ..tuna taco nirvana =-.

  • Rhonda

    Ah, In-n-Out Burger!!! I visited a family member out in SF a few years ago. We stopped and InO after leaving the airport. Heaven! I’m glad at least Five Guys is here now. Great stuff!

  • http://www.myinflammatorywrit.com Kari

    I went to that very same In-N-Out burger, where I decided that In-N-Out burger was tremendously overrated. Maybe I got them on a bad day?

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

      I only had fries at that location. I’ve had actual burgers in W. Hollywood (with Morgan… before her wedding if I recall correctly) and in Fresno. I like ‘em because they’re fresh, kind of creative and use actual ground beef, actual potatoes, etc. They’re not the same as a Terry’s Turf Club burger here, or, say, BLT Burger, but they’re darn tasty.

  • d$

    one of the things that I miss most about California and Arizona….I remember them being the place to be on a friday night for high school kids, yet no matter how crowded they got, you always got great service and good food…you forgot about the fact that they’ll honor any request of number of burger patties on one sandwich…i love 3 x 3’s animal style. I miss the x-shaped palm trees marking the spot of the treasure outside the store!

  • CincyCapell

    I loves me some In & Out Burger! Why can’t they bring I&O to Cincinnati???

    Do you know about In & Out’s secret menu?

    http://www.in-n-out.com/secretmenu.asp

    Some of the best chefs in the nation rank I&O as their favourite fast food:

    http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/top-fast-food-restaurants-0909

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Yup, I do know about the secret menu… like the animal style fries I have a picture of? :) Delicious stuff– they won’t franchise farther east than I think Nevada because it’s a family-owned company and they don’t want to lose control over the product. I have to respect that.

  • John

    If Steak & Shake changed their fries to what they serve at Penn Station or 5 guys and offered a 1000 island dressing type of secret sauce, that would be pretty close to In-N- Out Burger experience.