I’m not much of a hamburger fan, but In-N-Out Burger does it for me. I think it’s the best fast food burger anywhere hands down. In-N-Out Burger is a West Coast institution. One reason why they are so successful is because they have kept their menu very simple. There are only four food items on the In-N-Out menu: Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double-Double and French Fries. They have sodas and three shakes: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. And that’s the menu in its entirety, or at least that’s what they want you to think. The truth of the matter is that there is an extensive “secret menu” available for those in the know. In fact, the secret items actually outnumber the items legitimately on the menu. When you order a Flying Dutchman, “Flying Dutchman” prints out on your receipt. It’s in the computer.
Veggie Burger: A hamburger with extra tomatoes instead of meat
Extra Toast: This order toasts your bun a little bit more than usual making it extra crispy
Protein style: Protein style removes the bun and wraps your burger in lettuce like a burrito.
Grilled Cheese: A bun, tomatoes and onions, if you want them, grilled with melted cheese.
Flying Dutchman: For the ultimate meat eater. No bun, no veggies, just two beef patties and two slices of cheese.
Double meat burger: a double double without the cheese.
Animal style: makes any burger come with extra pickles, extra sauce, grilled onions, and a mustard cooked patty.
3 by Meat: three beef patties and no cheese.
2 by 4: a double double with two extra slices of cheese. Not for the weak hearted.
Chopped Chilies: This adds diced jalapenos to any burger
Mustard grilled patty: ask for this and they will spread your patty with mustard before grilling it.
No Salt: you wouldn’t think that this would apply to a burger but it does. In-N-Out patties are heavily salted, ask for no salt and you will get a much healthier and fresher tasting patty.
Fries animal style: an order of French fries drenched in cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce (a thicker thousand island dressing)
Fries Light: French fries taken out of the fryer a little early. These are a little bit raw on the inside and less crispy.
Fries Well-Done: The opposite of fries light. This order leaves your fries on the fryer extra long, making them really crispy and oily.
Cheese Fries: Fries with melted cheese on top
Neapolitan shake: All the milkshake flavors swirled together, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
Root Beer Float: Half vanilla milkshake and half root beer soda.
Choco-Vanilla Swirl: A chocolate milkshake swirled in with a vanilla milkshake
Lemon-up: Lemonade and seven up mixed together.
Large and extra large shakes: if you ask for a large shake they’ll give you a shake in a medium sized soda cup and extra large in a large soda cup.
Tea-Ade: An Arnold Palmer. Half iced tea and half lemonade.
If you aren’t lucky enough to live in the In-N-Out Burger zone, here is a make it at home version.
Makes one hamburger
¼ lb ground beef (animal style: mix in tbsp mustard)
1 fresh hamburger bun
1 Tbs special sauce, see recipe below
Large tomato slice (or 2 small slices)
Large lettuce leaf
2 slices American cheese (Singles)
-or- 1 slice real American cheese
1 whole onion slice (sliced thin)
2 Tbs plus 2 tsp mayonnaise
1 Tbs ketchup
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp distilled white vinegar
Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar in small bowl. Stir to combine.
Preheat a frying pan over medium heat. Lightly toast the hamburger bun, face down in the pan. Set aside.
Form each half into a thin patty slightly larger than the bun.
Lightly salt patty and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side.
Flip it over and immediately place slice of cheese on. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Assemble the burger in the following stacking order from the bottom up:
bottom bun/ dressing/ tomato/ lettuce/ beef patty with cheese/ onion slice or grilled onions/ top bun.