Friday, October 2, 2009

Hamburger Diary: In-N-Out/ Petaluma, CA

As the result of my travel exploits,  I enjoyed my fair share of food firsts in a smattering of foreign locales this summer-- Prikle in Dubrovnik,  Kurtoskalac in Budapest, Rogač in Hvar --just to name a few. However, the most pleasurable food first for me was gobbled up in good ole, Petaluma, California, during a pit stop down the Pacific Coast Highway.

What was this culinary delicacy that made such a lasting first impression on me?? An In-N-Out Burger! Yes, I've never had a freaking In-N-Out Burger.  I must say that I've read about them for YEARS,  in venerable publications, such as US Weekly, People and In Touch, as there is always some starving starlet or drug-addled celebrity who gets mobbed by the papparazi, as she/he hits the In-N-Out drive-thru after a loss at the Oscars or Emmys.  Needless to say, I was eager to try out the In-N-Our burger to see if all the slavering West Coast hype about the chain was correct.   

I was with Jason, a former West Coaster, who lived in SF for an extensive period of time, so he took the lead on what we ordered, which was:

2 burgers, both Animal Style
2 orders of fries, one regular and one Animal Style 
1 Diet Coke
1 Coke

For a fast-food joint, In-N-Out definitely delivers in taste and expediency. The burger was juicy, well cooked, and flavorful.  The fixings were very fresh. The buns were toasted more than they usually are at any burger place that I've visited. I can imagine that the toasted buns would give the burger some structure, when one bites down through the burger.  But, when over-toasted, like ours were, the buns get crumbly, difficult to handle, and, thereby, messy to eat.  IMHO, the french fries were nothing special and too salty.  Perhaps a fluke?  Overall, this is the best fast-food burger I've had and I would be happy to have a second the next time I make it out West.

010 Lakeville St.
Petaluma, California 94952

Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m.
Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m.

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