Monday, February 21, 2011

Cracking the In-and-Out Code

Lately it seems that everybody I know has been talking about In-and-Out. Oh, how they sing the praises of In-and-Out and worship at its altar. No, I'm not talking about the movie, but the fast food chain. If you did not already know, In-and-Out is a burger chain that is only located in a few states, and they are mostly located in California. Supposedly it is the best fast food burger around, as proven by their typically, astronomically long lines. Until recently, I had only bothered to try In-and-Out one time. I didn't remember being particularly impressed or unimpressed. But then I realized I had eaten In-and-Out while driving in the car. I've found that eating in the car tends to reduce the enjoyment of any food you are eating by about half.

I mean think about it. You are too busy stuffing your face while trying  not to drop anything on yourself to pay any mind to what you are eating. Although I hear if you drop a hot pickle on yourself, you can sue for a million dollars. God Bless America, right? But also who wants to be the chubby girl who gets in an car accident because they were really into their cheeseburger... How cliche can you get? And believe me, I don't want to be the girl they are talking about in that newspaper article.

But I decided I oughta try In-and-Out one more time, especially if I was going to continue to live in California. I gotta fit in. So I went to the fast food restaurant and ordered myself a burger and fries. Not a hard choice really, since there is nothing else that you can order. There are only three items on the menu: Burgers, Fries, and Shakes.  Or that is what they want you to think!  When I was waiting for them to make my order, I started looking around, and I noticed everyone had piles of what looked like chili-and-cheese on their fries.  I was stumped. Chili-and-cheese was no where on the menu. And it's not that I actually wanted chili-and-cheese on my fries, but I wasn't even given the option. I started to feel like the one person in the world not in on the secret. The kid on the playground who got picked last for kickball.

(On a side note I think my problems with being left out comes from the summer between my junior and senior year of undergrad, when I worked as a Target cashier. Sometimes I would work the closing shift, meaning that after the store closed I would stay behind to zone the store. Zoning is where you tidy up the store and bring all the merchandise forward (by the way, I can no longer go into any store without feeling the temptation to zone. It's a sickness). So one night, a manager that no one particularly liked, sent me to a section of the store to zone by myself. Sometime passed before it occurred to me that the store was really quiet, kind of dark, and that I hadn't seen any of my coworkers in a long time. I walked through the aisles, coming to the horrible conclusion that I was the only one in the store. My manger had released everyone, but forgotten about me. You would think this would be a fun experience because TV shows and movies always have those fun montages with people having the time of their lives after being left behind in a mall. Heck, even Natalee Portman makes being trapped in Wal-mart look like a laugh riot in Where the Heart Is, until, you know, she gives birth in the Wal-mart. But let me tell you its terrifying, and my trapped in Target montage involved a lot of pacing the aisles and wondering if I was going to be arrested for trespassing.  And it got worse when I realized that I was LOCKED inside the store. I had to call my manager at home to come let me out. But I can say that manager that was always a pain in my butt never bothered me again. )

I finally got my food and yes it was fabulous, but I couldn't help but feeling I wasn't getting the full In-and-Out experience because I didn't have the special fries. I made it my sole mission in life to figure out what those fries were all about. I didn't want to appear uncool or out of the loop by simple asking someone about the fries, so I did the next best thing: Googled it. You know sometimes google fails me. Sometimes I google a weird symptom I am having, only to have google convince me I'm pregnant. Also the other night google totally convinced me my dog was dying of cancer. But for once google was there for me, and led me in the direction of In-and Out's- secret menu. The fries I learned were called Animal Style fries. Animal style fries have melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions.

So I went back to In-and-Out to get my animal style fries and even ordered a Neapolitan shake (also on the secret menu). I was afraid they would not know what I was talking about, or would tell me I wasn't cool enough eat off the secret menu. But they didn't, and I got my animal style fries. And they were delicious.

1 comment:

  1. lol Too funny! And I didn't know you had worked at Target! I was a zoner too @ the one in HSV! I'm now "following" you BTW!


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