The Magazine

King Burger

Harry and Esther Snyder and the fastest food in the West.

Oct 5, 2009, Vol. 15, No. 03 • By KARI BARBIC
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Employees readily recognize the secret menu lingo. According to Perman's documentation, these "secret" favorites developed from frequent special orders. Orders such as "Protein-style" (sans bun, lettuce leaf-wrapped burger) and "Animal-style" (mustard-basted patty) are now In-N-Out trademarks, along with the traditional offerings such as the Double-Double. Theoretically, of course, you can order as many patties and cheese slices as your appetite may require (3x3, 4x4, and so on). Perman tells the story of one group of friends who ordered a 100x100 at a Las Vegas store. Their order was filled and "the tab .  .  . $97.66."

The joy of having a simple hamburger made fresh and to your specifications has earned not only popularity with the hungry masses but respect from gourmet chefs too. Perman cites some Michelin-starred chefs and their love and admiration for In-N-Out: from Daniel Boulud, inventor of the gourmet hamburger, who noted the quality and striking simplicity of the In-N-Out burger, to Hell's Kitchen's Gordon Ramsay, who proclaimed his enthusiasm in a Sunday Mail interview, calling the burgers "extraordinary" and admitting to finishing a Double-Double only to double back for seconds.

Even the Hollywood elite cannot resist its simple appeal: It's a catering favorite for Oscar night parties, and in one of the book's more enjoyable illustrations, we see Helen Mirren in her designer gown, sitting down to consume an In-N-Out hamburger at the Vanity Fair party. Because whenever the opportunity to enjoy one of these burgers presents itself, you sit down, even with Oscar in hand, and enjoy. t

Kari Barbic is an assistant editor at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.