In-N-Outrage: East Coast Writer Pens Lame Takedown of California's Favorite Burger

Categories: WTF?

In-N-Out_instagram.jpg
Anna Roth
Just looking at this makes me want an Animal-Style Double-Double.
The only thing more boring than another article about $4 toast is another East Coast writer complaining that In-N-Out isn't worth the hype. This tired trope has been revisited again and again, and the latest is this diatribe from Business Insider politics writer Josh Barro: "I Went To In-N-Out Burger And Found It To Be Overrated." While we're sure that Mr. Barro is fine at covering the political arena, his food criticism leaves something to be desired. Let's break down his argument, sentence by sentence.


"You may have noticed that people who used to live in California won't shut up about how much they miss In-N-Out Burger."

Sure, I was one of those people for a few years. But I also noticed that people who had not lived in California loved to take the opportunity to enumerate the ways in which In-N-Out is overrated, which was at least as tiresome. (Also, people from the East Coast love Dunkin' Donuts something fierce. I didn't grow up with it and don't understand it, but far be it from me to criticize something that brings them pleasure. What is it about the cult love for In-N-Out that drives East Coasters crazy?)


"Here's what I found: Burgers from In-N-Out are good. They're much better than McDonald's. They're not as good as what you can get at Shake Shack or even Five Guys Burgers & Fries."

I will concede that a Shake Shack burger is better than an animal-style Double-Double. But until Shake Shack has nearly 300 locations in five states, and you can get a Shake Shack burger via drive-thru on a road trip, I will not accept the comparison. A Five Guys burger costs twice as much as an In-N-Out Double-Double, and has made zero impression on me the few times I've tried it.


"[T]he burger was... fine. It tasted like its ingredients: beef, American cheese, tomato, pickles and Thousand Island dressing. It actually had too much cheese on it."

First, the writer neglected to try animal-style, which is his own damn fault. Second, a burger should taste like its ingredients, and I'm not really sure why that's a mark against it. Finally, there is no such thing as too much cheese on a burger (and Barro's later statement that he only ate half of the burger because of caloric concerns calls into question his trustworthiness as a burger reviewer). Moving on.


"The burger came in a wrapper that brags about what's inside. This is a sure sign of insecurity about product quality."

This weird, grasping argument concerns the burger wrapper's boasts about how it's different, and much more fresh, than its fast food brethren, which isn't really insecurity as much as a simple marketing technique a la Chipotle.


"The fries did taste very potatoey, but they didn't have the texture french fries should have: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were just fried sticks of hand-cut russet potato. They weren't craveable. And they didn't come with enough salt."

In-N-Out's fries are a divisive issue. All I can say is that they grow on you, until you come to worship their pure potato flavor over all the additive-laden fries at competing chains. And there are usually plenty of packets of extra salt next to the ketchup if you miss the sodium.


"I won't be eating there again on my next trip to California."

Look, Josh Barro, and all the other East Coast writers clamoring to take down the burger chain: In-N-Out is nothing more, and nothing less, than a damn good fast food burger, and light years ahead of the rest of the options by the side of the road. Until you have driven the 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, or the 15 between L.A. and Vegas, or any other long stretch of highway in the vast, beautiful-but-sometimes-excruciatingly-boring state of California and seen the yellow arrow of the In-N-Out sign in the distance and known that it's pointing to salvation, you will never understand.

And that's okay! Just stop complaining about it. In-N-Out is not overrated and it is not underrated. It is simply rated, and no better or worse than it needs to be.






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109 comments
thelilyqueen
thelilyqueen

Bragging on the bag? I've never noticed. But this makes me laugh, because Five Guys = the kings of bragging on themselves. Last time I was in one, they had more framed copies of compliments to themselves than they did actual customers.

harukoz001
harukoz001

A complaint complaining about a compliant. Journalism at it's finest. Haha

sww914
sww914

Josh Barro is a pinchy joto.

rob035
rob035 topcommenter

The Original Tommy's is much better than In-N-Out.    You have to go south to get it.

westcoast
westcoast

"They're not as good as... Five Guys Burgers & Fries." ""The burger came in a wrapper that brags about what's inside. This is a sure sign of insecurity about product quality."


Have you seen the goddamn WALLS inside Five Guys?

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Five Guys wasn't good to me.  Now Get the Burger in Big Bear, California and Teddy's Bigger Burger on Maui are the best I've had.

Jonathan Hauptman
Jonathan Hauptman

Really, did he have to poo poo Dunkin? You won't hear me bragging about their dry, over sweetened product either, but when a west coaster is attempting to tell me why west coasters got it better...it helps if they don't insult east coast cult, I mean culture while they do it! I'm just sayin.

Edgar Vargas
Edgar Vargas

Lol! All the high school kids have a new hang out!! Nothing ever live up to hype. Better then whataburger tho

Toy Milazzo
Toy Milazzo

OMG! They are putting a new in-n-out near my house and I am not happy, Too close for comfort. I could walk, make up for the calories. Yeah!

Mel Greene
Mel Greene

A burger is just a burger. Hell, I CAN MAKE A BURGER!

John Vargas
John Vargas

So. It's just food. I liked my bacon burger from Wendy's better, but it's still just food.

Leo Trebotich
Leo Trebotich

Fuck that triple triple animal style shits on errything. And the price of $3.85 is great. And also the secret menu is free no charge . I don't know of anywhere else where you can add stuff to your burger for free!!! I'm from California so in n out is dank as fuck

fernandez.josh
fernandez.josh

A dumb article about a dumb article. Good move. 

ben.totanes
ben.totanes

Super Duper Burgers in San Francisco and San Jose is much better than any of the fast food burgers, organic with free home made pickles.

Betty Turtledove
Betty Turtledove

I'm afraid I've gotta agree with the guy; I've had better burgers. It's certainly better than Mickey D's, but it's not the Alpha and Omega of burgers. I was really looking forward to my first one five years ago; I was underwhelmed.

Kim Swofford Lakey
Kim Swofford Lakey

I personally like In-N-Out so much better than Five Guys. Unfortunately we only have Five Guys where we now live and they are too expensive. I guess the reason there are so many different burger places is because we all have different tastes. I would love a cheese burger right now. :)

Slobodan Dimitrov
Slobodan Dimitrov

I think East-coasters (anything east of the Rockies) should have to apply for a visa to come California. Ungrateful wretches!!!

Diane Ball Lilly
Diane Ball Lilly

He's just used to frozen food. :-( stay in your own area and leave in and out and Cali alone. Buh-bye.

Alex Boykin
Alex Boykin

Ha explains it coming from a texan loving a 10x greasier burger copy cat. That's why almost everything is bigger there.

David Short
David Short

Whataburger and their catsup. Word...

Roy Waggoner
Roy Waggoner

Tried the new In-N-Out in Dallas, and it was pathetic. I really do not get the hype. But then again, does anyone really expect Californians to have good taste in food? They eat weirdo nonsense. Five Guys is tons better, with actual good fries. Any steakburger place like Culver's, Freddy's or Steak 'n Shake utterly destroys both 5 G and In-N-Out though.

Angel Torres
Angel Torres

It's good, but at the end of the day, it's still a fast food joint. What do you expect? Either way, East Coasters think thin greasy pizza that collapses into itself is the standard by which to judge other pizzas. They don't know nuffin.

Alex Boykin
Alex Boykin

dunkin donuts makes horrible coffee. I'll still look forward to going back to CA for some In-N-Out

Stephanie Barraza
Stephanie Barraza

Anthony Bourdain approves of In-N-Out. Every other opinion on the matter is irrelevant.

James Ward
James Ward

I'm sorry East Coast people can't have valid opinions on hamburgers. They rave about White Castle burgers, which are vile.

Kamilah Santos
Kamilah Santos

You have to get their fries WELL DONE. World of difference.

Ali J Flosswurm
Ali J Flosswurm

if you're not ordering from the secret menu then you don't know in-and-out

Joey Williams
Joey Williams

so you people are saying you'd rather eat a stale mcdonalds or BK burger over an In-N-Out animal style burger AND animal style fries AND a neopolitan shake. or pay twice as much for a five guys (which is good but its a totally different style) because if thats the case you are just jaded and your opinion is just plain haterish. and ive never been to a "Shake Shack", but it sounds like the place harold and kumar skipped on their way to white castle.

Suzanne Yada
Suzanne Yada

I'm a lifelong Californian and I agree. In-N-Out is overrated. It's good, but not THAT good.

Christoph Chavez
Christoph Chavez

In n out is good but it's just another fast food place. Take away the "spread" (thousand island let's be real ) and in n out goes out of business in a year lol

Dustin Hang
Dustin Hang

I don't get it... In-N-Out tastes so bad! Wake up people

Jack Adams
Jack Adams

east coasters are just jealous they don't have anything like IN-N-OUT

Jerry Moore
Jerry Moore

It's the culture of In-N-Out that keeps people coming back. Quality has nothing to do with. This is true for ANY business.

Jon Yorke
Jon Yorke

Five Guys seemed pretty mediocre at the two locations I tried. At their price tag good luck getting me to go into a third. In-N-Out is good, but not something that I actively miss. Also, too much cheese? No, not likely.

Krusticle
Krusticle

Yep, I love In-N-Out double-doubles, but their fries are limp and occasionally soggy, so he was correct about that.  As for Five Guys, I've only had it once at the new restaurant in Westwood Village, and maybe they just didn't have their ducks in a row yet, but it did not live up to the hype.  And twice the price of In-N-Out.

vcdtequila
vcdtequila

I've had steak & shake. Not bad, but certainly not on the same level, especially when you consider In N Out serves fresh cut fries. In fact everything is fresh.

rob035
rob035 topcommenter

Even Jack-in-the-Box has a better burger.

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