In-N-Out’s Second Chance

In-N-Out

3102 Sports Arena Blvd
San Diego, CA

Last time I had In-N-Out in my adult life, I blogged about it and pretty much expressed severe disappointment. I was just in San Diego for A.C.’s graduation (congrats!!!! feasting on Xi’an’s noodles when you get to NYC) and the first thing we ate when LAW and I landed was In-N-Out. It was 11:00PM when we arrived and we drove straight from the airport to In-N-Out.

Heeding the advice of all my Facebook friends who left hateful comments on my last In-N-Out blog post, I got the Double Double Animal Style. The first time I went I had a Single Animal Style, not knowing how thin the patties are. With the double, the ratio of bread to meat is much, much better. In-N-Out tastes like a GREAT backyard BBQ kind of burger. The meat isn’t as beefy tasting as Shake Shack’s, but it is also less greasy. The vegetables are super fresh and they are certainly generous with it (not one, but two slices of tomatoes).
Fries are, as everyone knows, also very fresh. They are very light and crispy, almost airy. I didn’t get the Animal Style fries this time because I already knew I loved them from last time.

I finally understand the rivalry between Shake Shack and In-N-Out more now. They are two excellent burgers, both offered at great fast food prices, but are two entirely different animals.

In-N-Out is a burger that when you bite through, you feel the crispness of the lettuce and taste the juice of the tomatoes drenching the thin patties (double is the way to go). The bun is just dense enough to not die of sogginess from the vegetable juices and secret sauce (aka thousand island sauce). Shake Shack, on the other hand, tastes a little more premium. The beef is better quality and is thicker, like a real juicy burger. In-N-Out’s patties pale in comparison. Hmmmm… so it really depends on what you’re in the mood for. Burger with fresh, crisp veggies and mediocre patty? Or potato bun with juicy beef patty and not-as-good veggies?

My conclusions:

If both were existed in NYC, which would you go to more often?

edit:// To clarify my stance on this very quickly written, convoluted blog post, I do love Shake Shack more. But before this meal, I didn’t even know why or how In-N-Out could be compared to Shake Shack. Now I kind of understand the comparison and taste preferences better.

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