The mythology of In-N-Out, California’s overhyped burger

Nik Chrissanthos, Assistant Arts & Entertaintment Editor

In-N-Out is a well regarded fast food chain by many. It is synonymous with California in the same way as the Hollywood sign despite having branched out to multiple (albeit few) states. And as a lifelong California resident, I have had my fair share of cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes. I have fond memories of visiting it with my Dad after school and after high school football games with my teammates.

But as of late, I have begun to wonder about the food served at In-N-Out. My conclusion is that In-N-Out is one of the most overrated restaurants I have ever been to. Bear in mind, this is coming from my own personal experience.

The burgers themselves are perfectly fine, I would even go as far as to say they are some of the better fast food burgers. But to me it lacks anything extraordinary to propel it to such a legendary burger, as it is regarded by many.

But my biggest gripe without a doubt is their french fries. For me they are incredibly hit or miss, either stiff as a board or soggy and cold by the time I eat them. It got to the point where I just stopped ordering them whenever I went there.

So that begged the question, why is In-N-Out so popular? There are several reasons I could think of. The first of which being the fact that it is above average fast food. As much as I like to bash it, I still do enjoy eating it. In addition to that, the chain also uses fresh ingredients. So when the alternatives are notoriously unhealthy places like McDonalds, In-N-Out seems a reasonable enough place to eat on occasion.

The second reason is the more interesting one, and that’s because of its exclusivity. There are only a handful of states that even have access to In-N-Out. So naturally the word of mouth of people who love In-N-Out has piqued their curiosity. And with how well regarded the food is it becomes this ouroboros of word of mouth feeding into the chain’s reputation. The more people who try it, the more people who spread the word about it, further adding to the reputation of a cheeseburger that you can only get in specific locations.

To conclude, I want to stress again that this is based on my own personal experience. Food especially is subjective, and the last thing I want to do is shame someone for loving food I do not enjoy as much. I still think In-N-Out is fine, just not something I clamor for. Especially not their french fries.

Disagree? Read another opinion.