I am using a bit of time that I would have had before my original flight (now cancelled due to a blizzard) to have my first In-N-Out Burger experience. The regional chain is a mecca – friends of mine who have eaten there make it a destination whenever they’re near one and drool at the thought of travels to a town that might hold one. Mention it in the company of people from the area and their eyes light up. “You have to try. It’s great!” But it’s hard to tell how often they really partake.
I enter the small fast-food place. It looks slightly retro and the kitchen is very open to view. The menu is simple. Burgers with and without cheese, in various numbers of layers, with fries and drinks. I have been informed of “secret” items not listed on the menu, but they seemed more in the realm of a classic Rochester Garbage Plate to me, and weren’t of interest. Everything is customizable, which is good since I don’t normally care for all the stuff piled onto burgers. I order and I’m given a number.
Numbers are called when the order is up. With each order, the counter person calls out “Number [x], please”. Please!
Everything at In-N-Out is made fresh to order. Buns are toasted. Burgers are half wrapped in a napkin and paper wrapper, which makes them easy to eat neatly. Fries are chopped from the potatoes at that moment.
Overall, I found In-N-Out very cool. I wish others would follow the fresh/ polite/ adaptable model. This restaurant was very busy at 3 on a Tuesday – I have to figure they do good business.