This week I made my first trip to the West Coast eventually landing in San Diego. I decided that since it was the first time I had visited California, I needed to eat at In-N-Out Burger because well ... that's what everyone says you have to do. One thing that everyone touts when they start coastal debates is that the west coast has this amazing burger institution that has even managed to take on mythical proportions.
But as a native Texan, I will honor and defend Whataburger until the day I die and when I went to In-N-Out burger I had very high expectations. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that the menu was ridiculously small. It made up just two average size panels of your typical fast food menu but I do want to note that it doesn't include the "not so secret menu." Everyone remembers my post about the classic triple but I want to point out that In-N-Out's secret menu has something called the 4x4 which would be the equivalent of the classic quadruple should Whataburger ever decide that the y need to go bigger.
I ordered a double-double regular style and when the burger came it was wrapped the way you get burgers at places like Red Robin where part of the burger is uncovered and you slowly unwrap it as you eat. The burger itself was good, in a head to head comparison with Whataburger, I would give a slight edge to In-N-Out but when it comes to fries, In-N-Out wins, hands down. They make their fries fresh, on the spot and you can taste the difference.
If In-N-Out comes to Austin (they are expanding into Dallas I believe) would I choose them over Whataburger? Short answer, yes but let's not forget that Austin is blessed with a number of great hamburger restaurants that while they aren't fast food, they are still better than either option.
Whataburger is my homeboy. The reason of course is the fact that Jesus has never descended from heaven with a bag containing a 2,000 calorie hamburger, fries, a drink and some napkins (but he might ... Murphy's Law).
That being said let me tell you the only reason I have been going to Whataburger recently. The Triple Meat, Triple Cheese. It's three patties of meat, three cheeses, some tomatoes and onions. It's fuckin delicious and makes Wendy's Baconator and Burger King's Quadruple Stacker look like Saturns at a Ferrari dealership. Its the best burger you can buy for $9.05 and I love setting my schedule around whether I will or will not eat one.
Prepare. I generally go light on breakfast and light on lunch before I eat one because after all, I'm eating my daily allowance of everything (except most vitamins and minerals) with one single meal.
Order it. I've tried this heavenly delicacy at three Whataburger locations and the best one is made at S. 1st and Barton Springs. The other two Whataburgers are full of clueless hamburger manufacturers but this one seems to attract the best talent. It's like Whataburger has auditions and sends the best of the best downtown.
When you order it make sure to get the meal. Trying to eat this thing by itself will cause your mouth to self-destruct and probably cause you to choke. The total with tax is $9.05 but let's say you ordered fast food for lunch ($6) then came home and ate a cheap meal (Sandwich + Soup) you've basically spent around the same price.
Eat it like you actually mean it. This thing is full of grease so tilt it downwards to let the grease drip onto the wrapping. I would even advise periodically stamping the back of the burger to the wrapping or a napkin in order to remove as much grease as possible. It's how a George Foreman grill works and its how you should always eat giant piles of fat and preservatives. With grease, each triple will take two days off your lifespan, without grease you only take one day off.
While eating, look around like your a hot shot burger tycoon because guess what, you are! I love ordering this massive pile of meat and collecting the looks of astonishment and "wtf" from fellow diners. Sometimes they stare at it thinking "Does this guy know somebody who works here? How the hell do you even order something that massive? Does this man have a death wish?" Heck if I wasn't busy eating, I'd walk around the store with my hamburger and show it off to the ladies. "Hey beautiful, I noticed your man can only afford a single meat combo, why don't you let me be your fast food sugar daddy and ditch this loser?" It would work and I'd get at least 5 numbers a week, but women of Whataburger, I've got a job to do and I don't have time to chit chat.
Once you finish it. Raise your arms like you just won the Superbowl. You should feel joy and happiness. However if your burger inhaling experience didn't go as planned, don't feel bad or think about the amount of weight and arterial plaque you just gained, think about the fact that for $9.05 you bought the best burger money can buy.