A Dispatch From the Frisco In-N-Out, Where Hundreds Wait in Line For Food, Animal-Style
Here's the scene at you-know-where:
Photos by Alice Laussuade
Hundreds of people are in line. Guys in In-N-Out uniforms (plus that shitty hat) direct drive-thru traffic. A refrigerated 18-wheeler sits outside, full of back-up meats.
If you are one of the hundreds who are in town, dying for a double-double, you can rest assured that In-N-Out will not run out of food on this day of days.
Yes, you will have to wait. And then you will have to wait some more. But, eventually you will be allowed to pay a cashier some money so that you can then wait some more and then eat.
Things here are certifiably crazy. Not party crazy. Not cute crazy. No -- people are actually losing their minds as they wait for this food. I begin to fear that if anything goes wrong, the crowd will turn ugly. "You know I ordered a 4X4, bitch!!!"
A cashier speaks through the somehow-already-crappy-and-static-y intercom, "Number 85." Four-foot tall dude next to me in an Affliction shirt screams, "This is it!!!!!" And takes his tray full of food off the counter like it's full of unicorn gold.
After he takes a bite, I ask him how it tastes. Scott says it's "the best burger ever." Someone near me groans. "Dude -- you can't say that's the best burger you've ever tasted. I mean, c'mon -- it's fast food."
Scott says he used to work at In-N-Out. I ask him if he's ever been to Adair's. He says, "What's Adair's?"
Hatch, the most reasonable person I meet on this day, waited in line with me for at least an hour. He's here buying food for the entire office, hoping to get back to a meeting by 1 p.m. It's only 9:30 and we're both worried for him. "They put up palm trees? In a Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot?" It's like you're inside my brain, Hatch.
Kevin got here at 10:30 p.m. last night and camped out, and when I ask him if the food lived up to the hype, he says, "I've completely cleaned up my flavor saver-- no sauce anywhere on me, licked the plate clean. So, yeah. It was great."
But, do I trust the opinion of someone who waited in line overnight for a burger? I had to check for crazy. "So, Kev -- do you believe Osama Bin Laden's really dead?" Kevin: (without missing a beat) "Man, I've got a picture of him DRT, dead right there, on my phone. Hang on."
Bryan, from San Diego, says the burger at In-N-Out is fantastic and that the Frisco version tastes just as good as the ones in California. "They don't franchise, so it's all the same quality, wherever. It's not like Hooters -- we've been to Hooters everywhere and their food isn't the same everywhere."
Checking for crazy with Bryan, "Okay, so who's got a bigger package, Chuck Norris or Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas?" Bryan says, "Always go with Chuck Norris." Wrong answer, Nutjob.
A girl wearing an In-N-Out t-shirt and a baseball cap ("You can't buy them here, you have to get it online!!!") yells above the crowd noise, "I've been waiting for this for eight years!" I apologize to her.
After an hour or so waiting in line, I order the double-double, animal-style. Because, ya know, everyone's doing it. Get my fries animal-styled, too, remembering that they sucked in California and hoping that covering them in Thousand Island dressing would make them taste better:
The burger is good. The fries still suck. But, superfans don't care. Nostalgia is a huge part of why people lose their minds over this place. Even people who love In-N-Out are like, "Yeah, the fries are gross -- but that doesn't matter." Doesn't it? For my money, clearly In-N-Out's burger is way better than Wendy's. But so's a kick in the tits.