Thursday, January 8, 2009

In N Out Is Incredibly Average

When you take it upon yourself to sporadically document your own random thoughts for the world to enjoy, it can be a little unsettling to go back reread your creation. I have gone back and reread a number of my entries from the last few months and I'm a little troubled. Now, I don't regret a single entry, nor am I embarrassed by their content. I am, however, a little unsettled by the subject matter.

After about a hundred entries or so, let me sum it all up for you; Classic Rock is good, Coen Brother movies are good, Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly, the Lakers are evil, 31 year old celibate Mormons are horny and all hipsters need go to hell and die. That's pretty much the jist of my self indulgent opus. Notice how I have yet to elaborate on literature (Twilight excluded) or Art or Science. Instead I have chosen to wallow in the cultural mediocrity that I somehow find satisfying. Or at least convenient and comfortable. And I'm not apologizing for it.

So let me continue on with my celebration of pudgy consumerism by comparing a fast food chain to a TV show. Brilliant.

So a week ago a bunch of friends and I were driving home from our Vegas New Year's celebration. Nothing says "Happy New Years" quite like standing in street vomit outside of a fake Eiffel Tower. By the way, The Belagio can kiss my ball sack. What the hell? You can't turn on your fountain at New Year? Seriously, why the hell don't they just have the fountain running all the time? Making me wait around for a half hour for the water show and then nothing! Nothing at all! I want to see dancing, shooting water choreographed to smooth rhythms of Lionel Ritchie, damn it! I don't think I'm asking for too much.

I'm sure Vegas is a lot more fun you get loaded up drunk and bang a hooker, but we abstained. We were the vegetarians at the Bar B Que. Instead we got hugs from random drunk guys by doing the frat boy yell. You know the one. "YEEEAAHHH! WOOOOOOOO!!" It's like a duck call. Shout it out and backward baseball hat wearing, soul patch having sweet bro's just flock and embrace you. I liked it. But I'm the needy type.

Like every New Year's, it was fun, but underwhelming. But it was better than going to some lame ass house party in Salt Lake and watching Ryan Seacrest recap this year's cultural landmarks. I'll take my street vomit, thank you very much.

Anyway, we pulled over in St George on the way home to gas up and thought we would stop by the new In N Out for lunch. (seven paragraphs in, I'm finally getting around to the title) Before we got there, we decided on some Japanese food instead. After eating, we drove by the In N Out to get back on the freeway.

Sweet merciful crap!

There was a line of at least thirty cars wrapped around that building. Look, I get that this is the first franchise in Utah and generally, we Utahns aspire to be as cool as Californians. And we only really know how to express our coolness by consuming the same crap Californians consume. But folks, can we get a grip? (Word's spell check doesn't recognize "Utahn" as a word but it does recognize "Californian". Am I a little thin skinned to be pissed off by that?)

It's a good burger but it isn't crack. In fact I can think of several burgers that are better than In N Out. Del Taco for example. That's right. I said it. The bottom feeder of fast food chains beats the mighty In N Out at their signature menu item. And by "signature" I mean one of the three things they bother to sell. They're too cool to sell anything else. Burgers, fries, shakes. You want something else? Then, f*ck off!

But average burgers isn't where it ends. Their shakes suck and their fries are kinda cardboard like. McDonalds has better fries. McDonalds! The living breathing incarnation of low quality food beats the hell out of In N Out in the most important of fast food staples. I know, In N Out makes them from fresh potatoes. Who gives a crap? Since when was the quality of a potato decided by it's freshness? In fact the potato's ability to last forever and still taste good is the whole idea behind the potato. Without that defining characteristic, it is entirely possible that Ireland and Idaho would cease to exist. They would both just disappear. Of course that isn't true. Take away the potato and Ireland still has freshly scented soap. And Idaho still has meth. I kid! Idaho is a lovely place.

I would compare In N Out to The Sopranos (as promised). Both are very good but both suffered from their ridiculous level of hype. I like the Sopranos. But it isn't any more compelling than The Wire or Deadwood or Dexter or Six Feet Under. In fact, I like every one of those shows more than the stupid Sopranos. Likewise, I'd take an Apollo Pastrami Burger over a Double Double any day. And Five Guys kicks the crap out of In N Out.

So there you go. Another entry in which I pay way too much attention on something that doesn't really matter. Enjoy!


Amber said...

I could not agree more with you, except for the Sopranos, I don't watch that. Jared always wants to stop there on our way to California and I think it is gross but I just prefer a burger without a soggy bun. But you know Jared is really cool cause he lived in California for 2 years.

Spencer said...

Amen. Likewise for The Cheesecake Factory. It's still a 90 min wait on weekends.

Jared said...

Amber is exagerating a little, and so is's not like in n out is any better or worse than most other places, infact I would take a Crown over a mountain style double chee any day, but it's kinda nice to pick one up when you're passing through Barstow. People freak out about how awesome in n out is, and they hype it up and they ruin it a little for everyone, but if you will remember all those flannel shirted, dildos in 1992 kinda ruined "Smells Like Teen Spirit" a little bit. Yeah those people were bastard people, and they made me kind of not really listen to nirvana for some time, but when it passed, and I started really listening to Nirvana again I was mad that I let the bastards ruin something that I love. Now In n Out is not on the same level as Nirvana, but I like those burgers enough, and I like the fries (the secret is you have to eat them before they cool down at all, or they suck), and damnit I will get one when I'm in California.

BusterBluth52 said...

Jared, no need to apologize. It is a tasty burger. But I think we agree that it isn't worth a two hour wait. Especially if that wait is in Barstow. That place is a shit box.

Speaking of 1992, I remember seeing the cool kids wearing In N Out t shirts at school. You know, the cool kids whose parents had condos in Newport? The Glauser types. Anyway, I assumed that the In N Out thing was on par with the not so subtle innuendo of the Big Johnson style shirt. Get it? In and out? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Turns out that the chain is owned by some pretty hard core born agains and they print scriptures on the bottom of their cups. I'm pretty sure any sexual overtones were invented in my own filthy mind.

Informant said...

I like In N Out, especially their shakes. Also, I think this post garnered the most comments of any of your posts. Congratulations, Brian, you finally wrote about something someone other than you finds interesting.

pete said...


Have I mentioned that you are my anti-hero?


Spencer said...

So I'm not usually in the business of telling you what to do- except, you're going to go blind if you don't find a mate soon- That said, go to five guys. I think there is one in SLC now. They are fantastic.

Chris M. G said...

Totally agree, except that in n out isn't just over hyped, if it were under hyped it still would not be that great.

An go to hell, I never had an in n out shirt or a Newport condo.

BusterBluth52 said...

That's alright Chris. You weren't ever that cool, either. (said the college drop out to the attorney)

Nieder said...

I'm all for ripping on all things California including In n' Out, but I completely disagree with your assessment of their fries. While I agree that they aren't McD's fries, they are pretty damn good. McD, Millies, In n Out, that is the pantheon of fries. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who bases his opinion of burger joints soley on their fries. A quarter pounder with cheese is the best burger out there simply because it can be enjoyed with a carton full of McD's golden fries. Also, I have never met anyone who like Del Taco as much as you which should tell you something.