We all like to feel like we’re in the know, especially when it comes to restaurants. We experience a unique feeling of gratification when we order off the menu. It is like we own the place or have connections. This feeling is all the more enhanced when a chef gives you props for ordering a dish off the menu that he’s pumped to craft, such as asking for braised pork belly served with oatmeal and chocolate ice cream as dessert. Now that will get you mad love. For us common folk, it is almost impossible to receive any such entitlement from ordering off the menu at fast casual joints. I know, I’ve tried at my neighborhood Applebee’s and Wendy’s. Luckily for us, there is In-n-Out Burger and its not so secret, secret menu.
In-n-Out’s growing not so secret menu
In-n-Out is a cultural icon. West Coast locals and well-traveled eaters are fortunate to have such a solid fast food joint as an option. In-n-Out is what every other fast food burger joint (except Five Guys and Shake Shack) should strive to be. In-n-Out holds an unusual connection with its customers. Yes, amazing burgers and fries will definitely do wonders for building up the brand and avid fan base. Yet, what truly makes the In-n-Out connection so tight with its customers is because it makes every customer feel special. Ironically, through its not so secret, secret menu, we are all encouraged to act and feel like we’re a celebrity.
Many webpages and bloggers have dissected ad continue to unveil new additions to the not so secret, secret In-n-Out menu. We can even thank In-n-Out Corporate for making it easier for us to at least know the basics of the secret menu. They post a sample of the not so secret menu online. But if you’re a real explorer and want to taste the world, here are a few great online resources to become an expert in the entire not so secret menu: Food Beast, Serious Eats, and Bad Mouth.
There are two not so secret menu items I must always eat. The epic 4×4 burger, with a toasted bun, animal style, and the fries animal style. Go large or go home. I’m not from Texas, but I like my burgers big. Those not in the know, but should be, animal sauce is like In-n-Out’s version of the Big Mac secret sauce, on steroids.
The goddess: In-n-Out’s 4×4 burger
The 4×4 burger is for the finest of eaters, unlike the Cowardly Lion. Four sizzling patties with four melted pieces of fine American cheese. The beef patties may not carry the same flavor profile as the unctuously aged meaty taste of Shake Shack’s or the greasy, makes you wanna smile and then feel ultra guilty taste of Five Guys. That being said, the beef patties are well seasoned, have a nice “crisp”, and juicy like hell.
What brings the burger to the next level is that the burger is really a train conductor, merrily dancing trains from multiple directions safely and logically into one central station. It is an interplay of textures and tastes starting with the sink your teeth into delicious beef patties and ranging from the oozy melted cheese, toasted bun, tangy, sweet animal style sauce, caramelized onions, bold moisturous tomato, and crispy lettuce. A symphony maestro.
Go animal or go home
You cannot go home without trying the French fries, animal style. Unlike your everyday normal fries, this may require a fork. Regular French fries are taken to the car wash. It is topped with an amalgamation of melted cheese, grilled onions, and its animal sauce. Not for the faint of hearts, but for anyone that enjoys roller coasters in their mouths (and the taste of One Thousand Island like sauces).
Some of us are too shy and considerate to order items off the menu. It could be construed as rude. Thankfully In-n-Out is not one of those places. Every time I order the 4×4 burger, the beast burger, bright smiles light up across the counter because they know I’m here to party. Make sure to keep checking online to stay up to date, because as exhibited by the bloggers, the not so secret, secret menu continues to evolve and grow into one much larger and more in the know than the secret menu In-n-Out posts on its own website.