Monday, July 04, 2011

In-N-Out Burger in Dallas

Drive-thruWent for a drive today looking for an idea on dinner. Chipotle was closed for the 4th...I'm not sure if they closed early but they were closed when I swung by around 5pm. I pulled out of the Chipotle parking lot onto the US75 service road and saw the cones for the new In-N-Out Burger.

The youngest and I decided to take a chance and see what the traffic there was like. It didn't look too busy but that was before I entered the drive-thru/parking lot area. Turns out they had four lanes of cars where they were taking orders before you get to enter the actual drive-thru (pic 1).

I ordered two Double-Double Meals for me and the child and a Cheeseburger Meal for the wife. They quoted a tab to me of $18.89.

About 30 minutes later, I got my order. I could wait 30 minutes for food. I've done it in sit-down restaurants before and we weren't in any hurry today. More than 30 minutes for fast food, and I would have driven away.

So, I paid and then got my food. This is what the burgers looked like (pic 2). It was interesting to see how I got my order to-go and yet the burgers aren't entirely wrapped. Know what I mean? I guess they don't expect the burgers to set too long. This time, they were right. I got home in about 5-10 minutes and they were quickly removed from the bag.

My youngest tasted the fries on the way home and said they weren't bad. I think "I like them" was the actual words used. The wife had the same initial response to the fries but later used "eh, they were alright." My initial reaction was "What's the big deal? I think Burger House fries are better and McDonald's has always been a favorite of mine." I felt the fries seemed a bit limp and flavorless other than quite a bit of salt on top. The youngest was digging the salt which is what was liked more than the fries themselves, I thinks.

Anyway, the wife and I stood around the kitchen counter so we could take a bite of our individual burgers and give an assessment. She bit first into her cheeseburger and her initial reaction was, "That's pretty good." I took a bite of my double-double and thought, "Not bad but what does the taste remind me of? Burger House. Sort of."

Without knowing how they actually cook the patties, I would say they have the taste and texture of hamburger meat that has been cooked on a flat grill (like the one you see in just about all restaurants: fast food and sit-down)...not like flame broiled. Know what I mean? Anyway, my burger came plenty loaded with Iceberg lettuce, two big slices of tomato and plenty cheesy.

I would have to say the burger was good but I wouldn't say it was anything exciting or something to yearn for. I wouldn't wait more than the 30 minutes it took to line up, order, enter the drive-thru, pay, and then pick up my order. I even think that 30 minutes is way too long especially when I can get a comparable, if not better burger, in half the time from places like Sonic, Burger House, Wendys, Keller's Hamburgers and yes, even McDonald's. I waited the 30 minutes this time and only this time because this place was new and I wanted to see what all the hooplah was about.

After having it, I'm still wondering what the hell all the hooplah is about!

UPDATE: Went to Keller's today for lunch. I got the #5 Double-Meat "Special" for $2.49, tator tots for $1.25, and a medium drink for $1.19. That's about $4.93 plus tax. The order was taken and delivered within 10-12 minutes. I would have to say that after having In-N-Out yesterday and Keller's today that I can make a better assessment in a taste test with the conclusion being Keller's burger was much better and is overall a better bang for your buck.

The Double-Double meal at In-N-Out is $4.99 plus tax which is also the same price if you buy the items in the meal separately ($2.75 for the double-double, $1.09 for fries, and $1.15 for a medium drink) according to the guy that took my order. My thought was that the meal was supposed to be more of a value (even though it's not advertised as a 'value meal') because you are ordering more than just a single item. But, I guess that's why the state of California is bankrupt because they aren't very smart with finances. Or maybe they are since they get people to pay the same price for a la carte items as they would if it's sold as a meal.

In conclusion, I'll stick with my local choices here versus returning to In-N-Out for my burgers and fries. I will return to see how their shakes match up to other local shake/malt providers but I just don't have that desire for their burgers and fries.

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