Thursday, September 11, 2014

No In-N-Out Urge


Today's post will enflame many of you.

That's because I know many Californians worship at the altar of In-N-Out Burger. I am not one of you.

In addition to testosterone, the Kardashians, and the excessive use of the word, "cute", it is among the many things that separate myself from my wife and two daughters.

I can't remember a single road trip without the obligatory, over-enthusiastic pit stop at an In-N-Out.

Frankly, I don't get it. Their burgers are not great. They're not even good.

If you were to de-construct an In-N-Out burger you'd see the patty was no better than the gruel served at McDonalds. It's thin. It's grey. And it's flavorless. So flavorless that it needs to be enhanced with lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles, onion, mustard, Thousand Island dressing and a thick bready bun better suited for drying spilt milk off the counter.

People who enjoy In-N-Out burger are really eating a salad, that's been flavored like a hamburger.

When I was in college, I had many jobs. Of course when you attend an expensive private university and your parents shoulder you with the tuition bills, full time employment is more of a given than an option. One year I found myself working as a line cook at a gastro-pub  -- they were just called bars at the time -- in South Syracuse.

I believe the name was PJ's.

PJ's was home to the 10 ounce, Grade A, sirloin burger. Each patty was hand weighed, sculpted to perfection and then flame broiled over a scorching hot grill. Unless requested otherwise, each burger left the kitchen a perfectly pink Medium Rare, guaranteeing maximum juicosity.

Similarly, every burger went out unadorned.

Pickles, lettuce, tomato, onions, or any other accoutrement was placed on the side. Though many were ordered with a thick slice of perfectly aged, perfectly melted, sharp cheddar cheese.

If I've used the word perfect too much it's only because this burger was.

I know the comparison is unfair. Just as the praise heaped on your precious Double Double is unwarranted. Fact is, that burger isn't worth the paper it's wrapped in. Frankly, I wouldn't feed it to my dog. Of course my dog had her gall bladder removed 6 months ago and is on a very restricted diet.

But even if I did, I like to think she has good taste and wouldn't go near it.

I know I won't.



1 comment:

George Tannenbaum said...

Before New York turned into a strip mall, there was a place on 111th and Broadway called Happy Burger. It was right next to Happy Donut.

You sat at a counter and ordered one of about 200 different burgers. Not sure if they were 10 oz of meat or not, but it was a damn good burger at a good price.

If memory serves, you could get a burger with sauteed onions and mushrooms on a kaiser roll and a chocolate milk shake for under $5.

Then there was a place on105th, between Broadway and Amsterdam called the Abbey. Theirs was good too. You could get a beer for 75 cents and a burger for $3.