I didn’t want to believe the myths and legends surrounding the secret menu at In-N-Out Burger. I’m a man of the people: if it’s not listed on the wall, I don’t want to eat it! But when I wrote about In-N-Out Burger a few months ago, all you secret menu advocates slapped me on the wrist and said, “You’re not a man of the people, you’re a damn fool if you don’t order your burger ‘double double animal style.'” And so, on our most recent trip to In-N-Out, I followed your orders and did as you said.
And, my goodness, what a world of difference the secret menu makes. Whereas I described the burger before as “cafeteria like,” this top secret off-menu method of cooking (which, according to Serious Eats, involves frying the meat with mustard on the griddle) produces a crisper, more flavorful patty that’s enhanced by the other top secret accoutrements: caramelized onions and extra pickle chips.
What a stunning business model to advertise decent burgers on your menu but to have much better burgers for those in the know. At some point, I’m sure, executives at In-N-Out debated putting the secret menu on the actual menu (“everyone knows already at this point,” someone probably said) but the powers-that-be determined that these items are more valuable as secrets.
[Actually, doing some research, I see In-N-Out now features its secret menu on their website.]
Secret or no secret, I’m now convinced that to experience the best that In-N-Out has to offer, you have to go off menu. I may be a man of the people but this man of the people will order his burgers “double double animal style” from now on.