Saturday, February 10, 2007

In and Out

So seriously folks, what can be better then combining probably the best fast food restaurant with one of the greatest movies of all times, The Big Lebowski. There is an annual event called the Lebowski Fest and when I did a GIS for In-N-Out Burger to start this post, the above photo came up.

How cool is that?

A few weeks ago I posted about my trip out to Cali. I mentioned dinning at In-N-Out Burger and T.W. Barritt of Culinary Types fame mentioned that he had never eaten there and was looking forward to a review. Since I missed Thursday's post due to being a a sales kickoff event this past week, I figured it was a good time to catch up and give T.W. the run down.

First, I know that he was in Vegas a while back and he could of hit up one of the three locations out there. If he had, this is what we would of experienced-

The last time I ate at In-N-Out Burger was probably ten years ago when I was again in California for business. The hotel I was staying at for 2 weeks was across the street from an In-N-Out Burger. I remember going through the drive through and ordering a cheese burger, fries and a strawberry milk shake. I was hooked!

They had me at 'please drive ahead'

Despite this love affair, my travels to California are often framed around a specific purpose. A trade show, a serious of meetings at corporate etc and all of those usually include eating dinner with the people I work with. That is fine and I have had some really nice meals that I have not had to pay for but I did miss getting a cheese burger, fries and a strawberry milk shake.

This is what you will find at In-N-Out Burger. First the menu is very simple. Burgers, Fries, Shakes, sodas etc. Fairly standard fare. There is also a 'secret menu' that expands to a variety of combinations and of course you can do the pickle tomato what ever.

I order my cheese burger with cooked onions, some special sauce, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. Having worked at McDonalds (yes I did thank you), the main difference in that the burger's at In-N-Out Burger are cooked fresh meaning no frozen patties. When they cook the onions and then build that burger all the yummy goodness oozes together.

The fries my friends, well they are really what sets the place apart. Back in the day at McDonalds, the fries come in these big brown bags and you fill this rotating basket holder with the fries. The fries then thaw out during the course of the morning , day hour whatever. The fries go in frozen and cook for three minutes. Much to the annoyance of family and friends, if I see old fries at McDonalds, I always ask for new to be made. I would rather wait 3 minutes then have some crappy old fries.

At In-N-Out Burger, the fries are made fresh. Made fresh as in cut the potatoes there and make them. That is some serious french fry love going on!

The shakes are also fantastic. Not too think, not fake milk, just the right balance.

In closing, it seems that the success of In-N-Out Burger has a lot to do with the old fashioned basics of business. Make a few things really well and do it with a smile. I highly , highly recommend visiting one the next time you are out West.


T.W. Barritt said...

Well, clearly I missed out while in Vegas! Us "East Coast" types should start a coalition to get "In and Out" out here. I think you nailed the secret -- fresh ingredients, freshly made. I will be sure to make a pilgrimage next time I'm out West. I believe my colleague Splint McCullough is already a fan. Thanks for the info!

wheresmymind said...

I love the Dude