I was sitting a Waffle House booth when I glanced across the street and saw the unmistakable logo of In-N-Out Burger. Being a native to Georgia, I have only heard the great legend of In-N-Out. I've never made it to California to have one of their famous burgers, but I knew the sign when I saw it.
Sighting the mythologized restaurant nearly two weeks ago, its has since called my name every time I drive by. Finally, today, I decided I had to try it out. I had to see if the reality met up with the mythology - if it matched up to to what folks from the West Coast and friends who traveled there told me.
I'm afraid it did not. As much as I wanted it to, as much as I tried to wish it into being, that isn't the case here. Now, let me say to all the die hards out there (which is apparently everyone who has ever eaten at In-N-Out), I am not trying to dispel all that is holy. What I experienced today wasn't bad, and I also have a feeling that what I experienced today was not the In-N-Out Burger I've been promised most of my eating life.
I had my doubts going into it. I hoped that they could transport the greatness of the California establishment here on the opposite side of the country. I wonder if such a thing is even possible. To be completely fair, the name of the place here is In-N-Out Burger - Wings-N-Burger, which seems a little different. It's not the conventional In-N-Out; it is not free-standing and doesn't have a drive through. From what I know, this place is a little out of the norm.
I've seen Anthony Bourdain stop at one when he went to L.A., and Anthony doesn't do, breathe, or eat anything conventional, anything resembling the overdone. He probably doesn't eat peanut butter and jelly because "everybody's eating peanut butter and jelly now," or because he once saw an entire crowd of awful tourists eating them. But he stopped at In-N-Out. Come to think of it, he might have stopped there twice on the show. Once on the way in and once before flying out.
There was nothing bad about my burger and fries, but it was also nothing near my expectations. Perhaps I need to go to CA for the real experience. Once, the awesomeness known as In-N-Out Burger could only be found in my dreams, and now I wish that's were it could've stayed.