First trip to In-N-Out

Posted on 16. May, 2011 by

Six years on a trip to run a marathon in San Diego, I passed up my first opportunity to gobble up the phenomenon known as the In-N-Out burger.
Instead of following suit with the rest of my traveling party after a 26.2-mile run, I held to my then strong will power and decision of not eating red meat.
Now that ban of red meat is long gone — though I still prefer chicken or turkey if given the choice — and upon hearing that the California burger chain was coming to Texas, I was determined to see what the stir was about.
Last week’s media frenzy and reports of several-hour waits caused a bit of trepidation, but Sunday morning after a workout I was going all in for In-N-Out.
After fighting through traffic on Preston Road, we finally arrived in the parking lot to find cars snaking around cones leading to a drive-thru and a long line was already out the front door an hour and half after opening.
Walking towards the building, we asked an employee directing traffic how long the wait was.
“Two hours,” he said, pointing to the drive-thru.
An insane wait given gas is near $4 per gallon.
Luckily, the wait for dining in or carry-out was half that.
Once in line, I felt more like I was waiting to ride a newly opened roller coaster than to eat a burger.
The wait gave me a little time to look up the “secret menu” and then rehearse ordering, so I didn’t sound like a In-N-Out newbie.
After 42 minutes, I was at the register.
“I need to get a double-double, animal style with no pickles or tomatoes, animal style fries and a large Diet Coke?” I state with a bit of questioning if I got it right.
The girl taking the order even giggled a bit, making me feel like I had messed up somehow.
In a jam-packed restaurant, a table final came open a little before our No. 83 was called out on the loud speaker.
Fifty-two minutes after arriving in Frisco, the moment that was 33 years in the making was here —my first taste of an In-N-Out burger.
Upon the first bite, I couldn’t resist quoting Jules from “Pulp Fiction”: “Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.”
I quickly demolish the two-mustard-grilled patty burger with extra Thousand Island spread, cheese and grilled onions.
Then, I take out the Animal-style fries — fries topped with cheese, grilled onions and more Thousand Island dressing.
After all that grease and carbs, all I wanted was a nap, which unfortunately wasn’t in the cards.
My first In-N-Out experience was tasty and fun. And as with most things, I left thinking we still do things a bit better in Texas and give me a Whataburger.

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