Having done some research on the infamous Not-So-Secret Menu at In-N-Out Burger, I approached my first visit to the wildly-popular California-based chain with a game plan: Double-Double, Animal Style, with chopped chiles, split in half; Animal fries, well done; a Neapolitan shake; and a bag of chiles on the side.
In layman’s terms, a double burger, cut in half, with lettuce and tomato, burgers fried on one side with mustard, extra Thousand Island-esque spread, plus pickles, chiles and onions, diced and grilled with cheese; french fries cooked extra crispy, topped with melted slices of cheese, the aforementioned spread, and chopped grilled onions; a shake made with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors; and a cellophane bag of whole yellow chiles.
For a fast-food burger it’s better than average. The chopped chiles add a nice kick. Eaten whole they are quite hot and you'll be plowing through your beverage in no time.
Well done shoestring-style fries, cut fresh non-stop, are as crisp as a fry can get short of burning. Fans of fluffy centers should pass on this option. Putting melted slices of cheese plus spread and diced pickle and grilled onion on top makes for a unique treat, but mix up the cheese right away before it re-solidifies.
Fixing up a shake with all three flavors – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry – is inspired. At first you get distinct flavors with each sip, but as the shake melts it morphs into a mild strawberry-chocolate mélange.
A couple of days later I happened upon an In-N-Out in Laughlin. I kept it simpler this time and ordered a couple of cheeseburgers with chopped chiles. I was more impressed with the quality of the sandwich and found the whole slice of raw onion more appealing than the chopped grilled onion on an Animal Style burger. Another Not-So-Secret Menu option is to order the grilled onion whole instead of chopped. That’s how I’ll roll on my next visit.
Now that I've tried In-N-Out Burger I wouldn't call it the best fast-food burger I've ever eaten, but it's close.