What Is It About In-N-Out Burger? Be An Insider, Know The Secrets
A mere 10 minutes from my house is an In-N-Out Burger (Rancho Santa Margarita). This is wonderful because before that, I had to drive about 40 minutes, round trip, for my burger. You might think this is a long way to drive when on every street corner is some kind of fast food....but anyone who has grown up in Southern California knows that In-N-Out is ALWAYS worth the drive.
Let's start with the quality of the food. In-N-Out has total control of their product. They bake their own bread, they use only the best, local produce and they own and operate their own patty-making facility where they create fresh 100% beef patties. Nothing is frozen! While you are in the drive through, you pass picture windows of a sparkling clean white kitchen and can see the happy employees press actual potatoes into fries.
The published menu is pretty simple; burgers, fries, shakes and drinks. But locals know that is just where the fun starts. Of course a Double-Double is a great meal.....double meat, double cheese with sauce and fixins, but where is the fun in that? The best part is the secret menu.
The secret menu is a right of passage for the youth in our area. Non of these options are on the menu, which as you can see is pretty simple. Feel like a Root Beer Float? No problem! Like mustard on your burger? How about mustard grilled where the cook will slather the burger with mustard before grilling, the flavor seeps in during cooking.
Here are just a few of the special menu options that the happy employees will create for you...just for asking.
In-N-Out Secret Menu
Burger 3-by-3 or 4-by-4: 3 patties and 3 slices of cheese, ditto for the 4s. When I was young there was no limit on the amount of patties and cheese slices and some of the big guys I hung out with would routinely order 10-by-10s. Eventually they limited it to 4. :(
Burgers: As I mentioned before you can ask for the mustard grill and also medium rare.
Animal Style: For a burger, this is extra sauce, extra pickles and a mustard grilled patty. For fries it's different. Animal style fries are covered in cheese, grilled onions and special spread.
Buns: All buns come toasted, but you can also ask for "no toast" or "extra toast"
Protein Style: Any burger combination on crisp lettuce instead of a bun.
Flying Dutchman: Want to take the low-carb to another level, this is only meat and cheese. Order this Animal Style and you'll get grilled onions added to the cheese and pickles and spread on the side.
Onions: You can order anything with chopped raw or grilled onions, or whole raw or grilled onions.
Chilies: They will put chopped, grilled hot chilies on any burger or fries order. You can also ask for a bag on the side.
Fries: As I mentioned above, you can order these smothered in cheese, spread and onions which is Animal Style. But if you are a fries aficionado, get more specific. You can order them well done, lightly done or my favorite....two-minute. At two minutes, you get them crispy on the outside and still a little soft on the side.
Soda Fountain: Shakes and drinks, of course. As I mentioned above, you can get a Root Beer Float just for asking which is half a cup of Root Beer topped with Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream. You can also play with the shake flavors, Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. How about a Black and White or Neapolitan.
So what is MY order? Assuming that I'm ready to lay on the couch for the rest of the night and not move:
Double-Double with grilled onions and chilies
Fries two-minute Animal Style
Black and White Shake
Ice Tea (necessary to get through the rest)