One of the (many) perks of going on vacation to Arizona is the promise of a meal from In-N-Out. Since you can only get In-N-Out in the West, it is a big treat for me and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some animal-style fries. As a fast food connoisseur, I relish (pun intended) the chance to taste regional specialties. In-N-Out is arguably the best fast food restaurant in the world and both their regular and “secret” menus feature an array of delectable delicacies. IMG_5670

In-N-Out’s menu is incredibly simple: the Double-Double (double cheeseburger), regular cheeseburger, hamburger, fries, shakes, and pop. Their secret menu features creative spins on their burgers, including grilled cheese, triple and quadruple cheeseburgers, and animal style: added grilled onions, extra special sauce, a special mustard-grilled burger, and pickles. While those are the main items on the secret menu, the list of ways you can customize your meal goes on and on.


I opted for a classic cheeseburger, a chocolate shake, and animal style fries. Animal style fries are like the Californian version of poutine: french fries covered with melted American cheese and grilled onions smothered in special sauce. I’m a sucker for special sauces, and In-N-Out’s might be my favorite of all time. It has a higher pickle-to-other-stuff ratio than typical special sauce, which really gives it that je ne sais quoi.

animal fries

Left: immaculate animal fries; right: cross-section depicting the layers of deliciousness

Today I also had the great honor to introduce my parents to In-N-Out. Generally my parents are more of non-fast food people, but they enjoy a good burger like the rest of humanity and were excited to try it after hearing me rave about it for two days. While they enjoyed their food (my mom even opted for an animal-style burger!), their reactions were less enthusiastic than I had hoped. When I asked for their opinions on what I would consider one of the best fast food meals a person can have, they just said, “Well, I’m glad we went,” and “It was okay I guess.”

Parents’ mediocre reaction aside, I had a fabulous time and even persevered dining al fresco despite a variety of disgusting and terrifying birds encroaching on my space. That’s how good In-N-Out is. I’m not sure when I’ll have the chance to make another pilgrimage to this fast-food promised land, but I am sure that I can’t wait. Until then, the beautiful memory of my savory, juicy, cooked-to-perfection burger, creamy shake, and succulent fries will live on in my dreams and my incredibly healthy arteries.



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