You Get Out!
We were staying in the area for about three days and our schedule was pretty full so I wasn’t sure how we’d sneak in a visit.
The conference provided nearly all the meals during our time there and we ate at a couple other restaurants but we were able to get our driver to stop by In-N-Out on our way to the airport as we were leaving town.
God bless you, drivers of Tucson. Our driver from the airport told me about the city having an In-N-Out. And our driver to the airport took me to the In-N-Out. Co-MVPs to those guys.
If you aren’t familiar with In-N-Out, it’s difficult to describe the reputation it has on the West Coast. It’s fast food and they only serve burgers, fries, and milkshakes but people swear by it. In terms of taste, it reminds me of Shake Shack. But the best comparison I can make with the popularity would be similar to that of Chick-fil-A in the southeast or Cook-Out in North Carolina. It’s cheap fast food with great quality and service.
“Animal style” is part of the secret menu at In-N-Out that really isn’t a secret at all. Google “In-N-Out” and one of the first things that comes up is about the “secret menu.” Ordering an animal style burger means the beef is cooked with mustard and onions on the grill and then it also comes with extra special sauce, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. As a double burger with all those toppings, this thing is enormous.
The quality of the beef is very good and everything was freshly made. The special sauce is similar to Thousand Island dressing and is very similar to the special sauce on a Big Mac at McDonald’s. It was a big, sloppy mess and I can understand why it’s called “animal style.” To me, the best part about it was the difference you could taste in the burger being cooked with the mustard and onions. This gave the onions the opportunity to caramelize and add a slight bit of sweetness.
If you get the opportunity to try a burger from In-N-Out, I highly recommend getting it “Animal Style.”
Unfortunately, the fries didn’t end up being very good but that wasn’t the fault of the restaurant. It was probably 30 minutes between when we took our food to when we actually sat down to eat it at the airport and that was too much time for the fries to stay hot. It seemed like they would normally have a great flavor but it was difficult to tell because they were lukewarm and soggy. If you order fries to go, don’t wait to eat them. Lesson learned.
To be honest, In-N-Out probably fails to live up to the hype for most people from the East Coast who try it. Just like how Chick-fil-A is usually overrated to people from the Northeast or West Coast and Cook-Out is nothing special to people who aren’t from Virginia and the Carolinas.
Regardless of the crazy reputation and hype, it’s a fun place to try when visiting an area that has it and it’s a cheap meal with pretty good quality. And I’m always up for a good burger, especially one that makes me eat like an animal!
1978 East Ajo Way, Tucson, AZ 85713
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