In the first post of The Bite, I told you the two places you must eat to truly experience the culture of L.A. were In-N-Out Burger and Kogi BBQ. Well, Kogi had its moment, now it’s In-N-Out’s turn.
You’re not a true Angeleno until you’ve gone through the rite of passage of sitting in your car at an In-N-Out drive-thru on a Saturday night as a cool breeze carrying the intoxicating scent of hamburgers and French fries comes sailing through your window. It’s like standing at the Pearly Gates except instead of waiting for God; you’re waiting for a Double-Double.
|Those palm trees and neon are welcoming you to Heaven.|
What’s a Double-Double, you ask? Why it’s In-N-Out’s signature kick-ass burger. It’s two hamburger patties, two pieces of cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce and their spread. It is Double-Double-licious.
The thing that makes In-N-Out so special is that it may be fast food but it’s quality fast food. The hamburgers patties are 100% pure beef. The produce is garden-fresh. The French fries are hand-cut fresh and aren’t too oily or salty.
|The Double-Double & those amazing fries!|
Nothing at In-N-Out is frozen. No dry burgers that taste like rubber. No French fries that could survive a nuclear war. Even their milkshakes are made with real ice cream. The In-N-Out I go to has a huge glass window in the drive-thru and you can see them making the burgers and fries. It’s like watching food porn.
In-N-Out has figured out the simple secret to success: They treat their customers with respect by keeping the prices low and the food delectable. For them, it’s all about quality. The company is family owned and they refuse to franchise because they don’t want to ruin their legacy. That’s why they’re only on the West Coast. They don’t even call the people who work for them employees. That’s a four-letter word in the hallowed halls of In-N-Out. They have associates they treat like family members.
|The In-N-Out Associates making those kick ass burgers and fries.|
Since they have such a high quality product, unlike all those other fast food pinheads, they never need to add things to their menu to get new customers. You won’t find any No Way That’s Really Chicken nuggets here. All they’ve served since they opened in 1948 are hamburgers, French fries, soda and shakes. Their following is so fiercely loyal; they don’t need to spend millions on advertising. They don’t even do TV ads, just radio and print.
|The bag says it all.|
It’s almost like a SoCal religion. No need to become a Scientologist when you can be an In-N-Outologist. Why get involved in a movement that makes you watch the director’s cut of Battlefield Earth while giving John Travolta a massage when you can be sipping a creamy chocolate shake instead?
|Don't let this happen to you. Go to In-N-Out.|
Just like any religion, In-N-Out has its secrets: A secret menu. Okay, so it’s not all that secret anymore since they put it on their website. I’m not going to spill the beans though. Go to their site (www.in-n-out.com) and check it out for yourself. However, I will reveal that my favorite thing to get from the secret menu is a Double-Double animal style.
|Get your own. These are mine.|
In-N-Out is so legendary that a few years ago some people played a cruel April Fool’s Day joke on New York City. They dressed up like In-N-Out associates and stood in front of an empty storefront in Times Square with signs proclaiming that In-N-Out was opening in NYC and hiring associates. The city rejoiced and the internet was ablaze with excitement.
That is, until the nice lady at their customer service center had to break the bad news that it was indeed a hoax. What kind of sick and twisted psychopath would do that? Isn’t it bad enough the place smells like urine in the summer, some creeps had to add insult to injury by putting a worm in the Big Apple?
So if you’re visiting the City of Angels, make sure to drop by and try those tasty burgers. Because if you haven’t experienced In-N-Out, you haven’t really been to Los Angeles.