In-N-Out vs. Burger House. Or, Why Owning a Small Business Must Really Suck Sometimes.

Categories: Whimsy

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At the precise moment that I shot the above photo on Wednesday, a good 300 people were probably lined up at a fast-food burger chain up in Frisco. Maybe you heard about that? I'm guessing you did, judging from the Most Popular Stories widget at the top right of this page.

It was shot at the Park Cities Burger House, a charming little shack on Hillcrest. It was my first trip. The burger I ordered wasn't too far off from what those people were waiting in line for -- two thin patties, perfectly melted yellow cheese, fresh veggies and a lot of flavor.

It's been a while since I've had In-N-Out -- and it's gonna be a while, as long as those lines keep up -- but I'd call the burgers equal. Burger House's fries, often named the city's best, win going away. The soda selection's better at B.H. too, and the ambiance -- chipped picnic tables, walls covered in faded photos, three guys chilling in the open kitchen watching basketball -- makes In-N-Out's shiny plastic dining rooms feel like state mental hospitals.

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The service was better, obviously. As I stared sadly into an empty Styrofoam cup, silently mourning the end of my cherry Coke, the boss emerged to refill it. And the prices? Not much different, especially if you factor in the fuel wasted sitting in the drive-through line.

But there we were, at prime dining time on a Wednesday night -- just about the time of the week that folks get tired of cooking at home -- and we were all alone.

I love In-N-Out -- get it every time I'm home in California. But If anything about fast food is going to make me cry, it was that empty neighborhood burger shop.

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18 comments
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Jflash
Jflash

 I think BH will be fine, its got a loyal fan base and is right across from SMU.

That said, I wouldnt want to be Whataburger or Goffs.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

 Think I'll stick with Dairyette and Adair's

garyh
garyh

There are more Burger Houses in Dallas than InNouts.  Burger House is a franchise not a 'neighborhood burger shop'.  Wake up and do your research writer.  The Burger House on Mockingbird is not that good frankly.  It's burgers are frequently soggy and always just a little overpriced for what you get imho.

CHECK YOU OUT GUY
CHECK YOU OUT GUY

better be glad hashknife burgers dont come in,they would both be sad...

Paul S
Paul S

Lemme take this on from a bit of a different problem. First of all I need to own up to the fact that I'm a vegetarian (tho I did enjoy the Burger House in a previous life) so the best burger I'm gonna find is at The Spiral Diner.  The real problem is that Dallas has such a low opinion of itself after trying to keep up with the Joneses for so long that we have to make big shit outta anything famous coming to town from somewhere else. This is why we have to drug ourselves with Vanity Bridges (this is how we do things... in a big way) and Cumbersome Arts Districts (without artist). Does it make us feel better? Nope, just makes us covet thy neighbor's wife's ass even more because we don't get the result of Dallas being a "world class city." Now here's the kicker. I blame the media more than anyone else. Its the media that made In-n-Out's arrival the second coming of Christ (May 21st everybody). If Belo and Village and Fox and GE had played In-n-Out as invaders wanting to take local burgers, burgers we should be proud of, from out double chins then that would be Dallas being freakin' proud, almost world class even...

Fantomas
Fantomas

Ahem...Dairy-Ette....ahem

Kristin
Kristin

Yeah, Dairy-Ette fits more into the "charming little shack" category, and I was there on Wednesday night — plenty of other people eating with me. Maybe In-N-Out isn't Burger House's problem?

Rhinosaur
Rhinosaur

 I'd like to join the ranks of the "Who Gives a Shit" contingent, but also the "I've Had In-N-Out Before...Don't See the Big Deal" group, as well. Nowhere close to the best burger I've ever had, not even close to the best Fast Food burger I've ever had. I'll just order my triple cheeseburger with bacon from Whataburger with a side of fries and a large cup of Meh.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I'm of much the same mind. I'm sure In-N-Out is a nice burger but Dallas is packed full of burger joints and I've been to a great many of them. From where I'm sitting here at work I have a Jake's across the street and a Keller's two or three blocks down the street. There's a different Burger House than the one you reviewed about two miles down the road from here. There's also numerous other places that happen to serve burgers; the bar'n'grill across the street serves them. I've got an Applebee's and TGI Fridays not too far away. Fuddruckers. And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head, excluding all the fast food joints, of course.

Mardonnavalta
Mardonnavalta

Burger peeps,  let me help you guys understand it a little better. It's not just about their burgers...it's more than that.. . It about integrity. The shakes are made from real ice cream-- imagine that. What's more amazing is they really take care of their managers and associates-- what a novel idea!!! America can be great again. We should all be cult followers and vote with our dollars to people-centric companies with the cornerstone of treating their people, employees, and their community above profits. In-N-Out is one of those rare fast food restaurants that has knocked-it-out-of-the-park. The state of Texas is not big enough for the 'Whatever Burger Joints' that just plain don't get it.  In-N-Out just knows how to enhance and wow a customer's experiences better. let me help you guys understand it a little better. It's not just about their burgers...it's more than that.. . It about integrity. The shakes are made from real ice cream-- imagine that. What's more amazing is they really take care of their managers and associates-- what a novel idea!!! America can be great again. We should all be cult followers and vote with our dollars to people-centric companies with the cornerstone of treating their people, employees, and their community above profits. In-N-Out is one of those rare fast food restaurants that has knocked-it-out-of-the-park. The state of Texas is not big enough for the 'Whatever Burger Joints' that just plain don't get it.  In-N-Out just knows how to enhance and wow a customer's experiences better.

Coleman
Coleman

holy crap dude, In-N-Out is just a fast food burger joint, not the second coming of Jesus (although with their packaging, it's understandable how you could confuse as such). That, and you literally just copy and pasted the same text four times in your post.

Crazy asshole or really bad "viral marketing social network guru?" you be the judge

space2k
space2k

I'm tired of arguing about hamburgers. arguing about hamburgers. 

sass
sass

 This article is about mom-and-pop small businesses taking it on the chin when a big chain moves in. No one is claiming InO lacks "integrity" but I think you're missing the point just a bit.

Mardon Navalta
Mardon Navalta

 Sass, it doesn't matter if it's a mom-n-pop small business or a big chain store.  What matters most is how businesses operate. Are restaurants more meaningful & purposeful or psychopathic operators?  Mom-n-Pop stores can have a competitive advantage over large chain stores, if they their purpose is in the right place.Sass, it doesn't matter if it's a mom-n-pop small business or a big chain store.  What matters most is how businesses operate. Are restaurants more meaningful & purposeful or psychopathic operators?  Mom-n-Pop stores can have a competitive advantage over large chain stores, if they their purpose is in the right place.

space2k
space2k

FYI, Burger House shakes use real ice cream, imagine that.

Mardonnavalta
Mardonnavalta

Please, tell us more extraordinary things about Burger House. things about Burger House.

guest
guest

 You had me until Applebee's.

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