Five Guys vs In-N-Out Burgers

Starting in Virginia and the East Coast, Five Guys has expanded to over 625 locations in over 40 states and 4 Canadian provinces and is now in California
Starting in Virginia and the East Coast, Five Guys has expanded to over 625 locations in over 40 states and 4 Canadian provinces and is now in California
In-N-Out has grown from a single drive-through in Baldwin Park to 202 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada and is talking about expanding into Texas
In-N-Out has grown from a single drive-through in Baldwin Park to 202 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada and is talking about expanding into Texas

One reviewer called it the "Slagasaurus"

The burger at Five Guys is slightly bigger and comes with any of 14 toppings
The burger at Five Guys is slightly bigger and comes with any of 14 toppings
In-n-Out 3x3, three patties and three slices of American cheese and lettuce, tomatoes grilled onion and fries
In-n-Out 3x3, three patties and three slices of American cheese and lettuce, tomatoes grilled onion and fries

Sure, the fresh-never-frozen patties are tasty enough, but the sandwich is more than that. It's the interplay between the ooey-gooey American cheese, the sweet, darkly-toasted bun, the juicier-than-average tomatoes, the crisp iceberg, the full, un-separated-into-rings slice of onion, and the all-important sweet, tangy, pickle-laden Spread. It's a bomb that's rigged to hit every pleasure center on my brain's taste analyzation terminal (by which I mean my tongue). Salty, sweet, savory, soft, crisp, and fresh. - J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

It's become an East versus West thing with die hard fans on either coast touting their own artery clogging creations and type of fries as the number one in the country. While I am a West Coaster and a proud fan of the In-N-Out Burger chain, I am first and foremost a burger fan. I have made it a quest to find the ultimate burger and I have to confess, writing this article has driven me to odd hour foraging trips to my favorite destinations because you can't look at these photos and read these descriptions without succumbing to the burger urge.

I heard about Five Guys from others who tried them and did some research. Lucky for me I was about to be in the vicinity of the newly opened City of Orange location and I took my notebook and camera along. It was modestly tucked back into a clean and interesting strip mall on a busy thoroughfare.

She kept the glass clean but the pesky flies did get in.
She kept the glass clean but the pesky flies did get in.
I liked the warehouse informal look and the energy behind the counter.
I liked the warehouse informal look and the energy behind the counter.
"Let's see--If I use the health and safety budget I can get one of everything and make sure it's safe for the American public."
"Let's see--If I use the health and safety budget I can get one of everything and make sure it's safe for the American public."
Selena Gomez works at the Beverly Hills In-N-Out in her off time.
Selena Gomez works at the Beverly Hills In-N-Out in her off time.
This is the Beverly Hills location where Selena works part time--Notice the sixth item.
This is the Beverly Hills location where Selena works part time--Notice the sixth item.

When I arrived, a cute young "fiver" was scrubbing the door glass and smiled at me as I entered with my paraphernalia in tow. I need to point out one thing here--Five Guys has no drive through. It is strictly walk up and dine in or walk it out. The first thing you see when you walk in is the obvious similarity to In-N-Out's red and white décor. Posters of endorsements adorn every wall and there are stacks of fresh potatoes and boxes of peanuts between the brightly lit menu board and the dining area. It has the feel of a diner and even though there was a working microphone, the busy young fiver calling out completed orders chose to yell it out rather than use it.There was rock music playing and the lines were moderately long but manageable.

The giant menu boards let you know right away that you can order a few more items with slightly more toppings than In-N-Out...specifically hot dogs and bacon on your burgers.

Five Guys has been around for a while but hasn't made Zagat’s Top 5 burger list until President Obama was spotted frequenting the place. Suddenly it catapulted to the No. 1 position in the burger category, and the No. 2 spot for Best French Fries. That it could be "the best" overnight shows how notoriously off these polls can be but it's enough to get the attention of some West Coast burgerhounds like me.

When polls are influenced by celebrity fans, trendy In-N-Out faithfuls like Selena Gomez and the Governator could change the results overnight because face it, wouldn't you rather hang with Selena and her homies than those sour looking suits shadowing the O man.

I had no problem ordering since I wanted to match what I often ordered at In-N-Out. The "Little" Cheeseburger sports an ample hand pressed patty, slice of American cheese and my choice of 14 toppings, most of which are also free at In-N-Out except for grilled mushrooms and A-1, BBQ or Hot sauces. You can also order it with bacon. The burger comes with a sesame seed bun which is fresh and once wrapped up in aluminum foil becomes softer and more malleable than the crisp "proper" In-N-Out freshly made bun. While I kind of liked it chewy that way, I overheard three guys at the next table say they definitely preferred the INO buns.

The foil-wrapped burger and cup of fries plus a healthy extra dump of fries all goes into a big brown bag. While I will forgive a lot for taste, INO definitely has the presentation down.

This was my Little Cheeseburger, Fries and Drink along with the free peanuts you can eat while you wait for your order.
This was my Little Cheeseburger, Fries and Drink along with the free peanuts you can eat while you wait for your order.

The "Secret" Menu

The simple menu at In-N-Out Burgers reads like the classic ingredients in Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream--only four: the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double-Double and French Fries. Drinks are standard Coca-Cola choices with the addition of 7-up and Dr. Pepper and three flavors of milk shakes completes the menu.

That simplicity has made dining at INO a reliable and simple choice for West Coasters for decades. Through the years, however, the more adventurous have taken INO up on their willingness to make it any way the customer desires. This has resulted in a "secret" menu that INO has actually added (partially) to it's website. For those who are privy to them, the choices for variation are much more than you think.

3x3 or 4x4--Actually any variation of number of patties or cheese slices. There have been 100x100 burgers in the past, but recently the 4x4 is the limit.

Animal Style--The most famous of the "Secret" burgers is a beef patty with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, spread and grilled onions diced up and mixed together on the grill before it is placed on your burger.

Animal Fries--Regular fries with extra spread, chopped up pickles and grilled onions mixed into the spread and melted cheese. One reviewer called it "Softcore Food Porn."

Grilled Cheese--Everything but the meat. You still have lettuce, onions and tomatoes and spread which can also be ordered Animal Style. You can order the fries with cheese as well.

Mustard Grilled

They paint your burger with mustard before grilling. They would probably paint it with ketchup before grilling if you asked.

Protein Style--This is actually a very tasty version of any of their burgers wrapped in leaf lettuce instead of a bun.

Flying Dutchman--This is the other low carb secret menu item (which prints out on your receipt) and is two patties and two cheese slices only.

Fries Light--Fries cooked slightly less time for less cruchy.

Fries "Well" or "Extra Well"--Increased cooking time for crunchier fries.

Neapolitan shake All three shake flavors in one cup. Because they use real ice cream, the shakes are so thick the flavors stay separated and are delicious. You can also get a Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl.

Root-Beer Float

Yes you can order one or a Coke float for that matter.

Arnold Palmer--Half tea and half lemonade

Chili Peppers

You can ask for a packet, or get them diced on the bottom of your burger by asking for “chopped chilis.”

Animal fries have been described as "softcore food porn"
Animal fries have been described as "softcore food porn"

In-N-Out History

In-N-Out has grown from a single drive-through in Baldwin Park to 240 restaurants as of November 2009 in California, Arizona and Nevada. Harry Snyder and his wife Esther opened the first location in 1948, the same year the McDonald brothers launched McDonald's, just 45 miles apart in Southern California. In-N-Out's owners never veered from its core philosophies of never franchising and as it says on the company's website, "Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment." In-N-Out has one of the lowest turnover rates in an industry that's famous for high turnover. Its owners have kept things good and simple, just as Harry Snyder intended. They have Bible references discretely on the bottoms of many of their cups or containers which, if you look them up, feature familiar and laudable themes such as faith, trust and love. When Harry died in 1976 at the age of 67, his son Rich took over at age 24. Under his leadership the business expanded to 93 locations. Rich Snyder, died in a Santa Ana plane crash in 1993. His brother, Guy Snyder took over and In-N-Out expanded to 140 locations. When Guy died of an accidental painkiller overdose in 1999, Esther Snyder took control of the company.


Lynsi Martinez (In-N-Out heir), Grandmother Esther Snyder, and Executive Mark taylor. Photo OC Register
Lynsi Martinez (In-N-Out heir), Grandmother Esther Snyder, and Executive Mark taylor. Photo OC Register

In-N-Out's Princess Heir

The untimely deaths of Esther Snyder's only children left 23 year old Lynsi Martinez, Guy's daughter, as the primary beneficiary of the multi-million-dollar burger empire. Martinez will become the controlling shareholder of the company when she turns 35.

In-N-Out's strategy is steady, controlled growth of about 5 percent annually and its approach appears to work just as well as that of larger competitors. According to QSR Magazine, a trade publication, In-N-Out's sales per unit in 2004 were roughly $1.7 million, just shy of the $1.9 million logged by McDonald's restaurants.

The Protein Burger at In-N-Out comes with everything but the bun and is actually delicious.
The Protein Burger at In-N-Out comes with everything but the bun and is actually delicious.
If you ask for a "Flying Dutchman" you get two patties and two slices of melted American cheese--nothing else--and it prints out on your receipt.
If you ask for a "Flying Dutchman" you get two patties and two slices of melted American cheese--nothing else--and it prints out on your receipt.
At Five Guys a regular order of fries has 620 calories and 30 grams of fat. That's the bad news, the good news is they are cooked in peanut oil and are very very tasty.
At Five Guys a regular order of fries has 620 calories and 30 grams of fat. That's the bad news, the good news is they are cooked in peanut oil and are very very tasty.
Franchisees Bob Zanolli, and Phil Ratner, tutor new staffer Mary.  Photo ocregister.com
Franchisees Bob Zanolli, and Phil Ratner, tutor new staffer Mary. Photo ocregister.com

Family Franchised vs. Family Owned

While each I-N-O is family owned and operated, Five Guys is a family-owned franchise operated by franchisees . Five Guys was founded in the mid-'80s by Janie and Jerry Murrell, who named it for their five sons.Their first location was opened in Arlington, Va in 1986. Growing steadily in the D.C. area they began offering franchises which was greatly aided by former Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley, who became Five Guys' director of franchise development and as of August 2010, there are over 670 locations in over 40 states and 5 Canadian provinces.

The chain has opened about a dozen units in the state of California, In-N-Out's greatest fan base, the latest being in the city of Orange and Temecula. The rights to open 30 Five Guys in parts of Orange and Los Angeles counties belongs to an entity called Bicoastal Restaurant Partners who essentially are Phil Ratner and Bob Zanolli.

Phil Ratner has a record of successful turnarounds with major chains. As President and CEO of Marie Callender's Restaurants, he improved both sales and profits and successfully merged the company with Perkins Family Restaurants. He served as President and CEO of Acapulco Restaurants for nearly ten years, doubling the nearly bankrupt company's size to $90 million in sale.

Ratner opened their first Five Guys in Carson, the first in California. At the time, "no one knew who we were," Ratner said. “We have great respect for In-N-Out,” said Bob Zanolli, a former chief president of Santa Ana-based Winchell’s Donut Houses LP. “But we think Five Guys can hold its own. The challenge is getting people familiar with Five Guys. East Coast transplants are aware of it, but others not so much and so we are hoping to rely on word of mouth. Those who come in usually come back.”

Comparison Summery

Appearance and Menu Both sport a red and white color scheme and retro feel. both menus are limited: Five Guys has hot dogs and more toppings while In-N-Out has the "Secret Menu" and Animal style. In-N-Out also has Milk Shakes made from real ice cream.

Freshness and Quality Both chains brag about freshness (no freezers) and quality (In-N-Out especially buys only select chucks of beef and sends a "secret" blend of the meat through a two-grind system. Each store gets a supply of unfrozen meat and fresh produce every other day--they have said that they will not open a location farther than one day's driving distance from their processing hub in Baldwin Park).

Price In-N-Out cheeseburger combo with medium drink and fries is under $5. Prices are double at Five Guys with an average order of $11.

Burger Awesomeness The burgers are bigger at Five Guys with a different type of bun and the hand pressed patty with different toppings make for a very tasty and satisfying experience. In-N-Out's burgers are also very tasty and satisfying while the meat, lettuce and bun have a crispier, fresher feel. Both make an awesome burger and I would find myself frequenting both for the uniquely different experiences.

French Fries In-N-Out has the imminently fresh, longer, skinnier fries that can be cooked soft or crispy. Ordering Animal style gives them the edge in messy, rich enjoyment. I have always been a fan of fries cooked in peanut oil and so I thoroughly enjoyed the oil saturated crispy fries with the skin on at Five Guys. Like the burgers, it is hard to choose a favorite. I am glad that I can have both when I feel like it.

Drive Through Five Guys has no drive through and for those of us animal style individuals who pile into the car late at night for the experience, this is a big tip to In-N-Out.

Free Peanuts You can help yourself to roasted peanuts in open boxes at Five Guys and it helps to soothe the pain of not having a drive through.

Employees and Service Both places have friendly, hard working employees but the edge has to go to In-N-Out. They ALWAYS have enough staff to work a shift and their employees are genuinely friendly, competent and helpful. This is undoubtedly due to how the company treats its employees. It's not uncommon for workers to boast of 15, 20 or 40 years of service. The reason: The pay is almost as alluring as its burgers. Vice president of planning Carl Van Fleet., a former Pizza Hut executive, said it was Harry Snyder's philosophy to lavish employees with wages and perks higher than his competitors. But, in return, he expected workers to learn the company from the ground up and meet his goals of quality, cleanliness and friendliness.

Entry-level slicers and dicers, even part time, start at $10 an hour. High school students have to show their semester grades to maintain their work schedule hours and if grades slip, hours are cut. They work around your college schedule and family obligations. They promote from within. Only the best are awarded coveted manager positions. I-N-O managers make almost double most fast food managers' salaries--about $100,000 to $150,000 a year, and average 14 years' experience. In-N-Out also offers first-class trips to Hawaii and Europe for managers who meet yearly goals, a bonus program inspired by Esther Snyder, who loves to travel.

Family vs. Franchise For years, chain restaurants, like Carl's Jr., Taco Bell, McDonald's, and Burger King, wanted to open at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf but the city and the merchants didn't want to share space with regular fast-food chains. Family owned In-N-Out was the only one they allowed.There is something unique about one family philosophy which comes out in their employee relationships, their foundation work, and their understated faith.

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Comments 57 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Good food, fattening food-- but good!!! This was a good hub that explained everything.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Pore baby. You must have had to sample many different kinds of burgers at both restaurants to write this deeply researched hub. Brava on your in-depth research. Hope it didn't add depth to your silhouette.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Wow, you have donde some research here. How you had to sucrify yourself for the world of research hahaha. You really done a great job.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I envy you simply because you can write about such decadence without guilt :) In depth stuff. Even smells delicious.


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Thank you for one carnivore to another! I promise, I just had this conversation a week ago. I hadn't heard of 5 bros, but In&Out from being a Caligirl...anyway, you win on the comparison charts! Thanks for sharing this. Tweeted


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Pamela you are so right. These are cooked on a grill with the onions carmelizing and the cheese melting all together--yes the calories are worth it. We can eat salad the rest of the week. Thank you for coming to the drive through. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Doc? Silhouette? You mean the one that now looks like Alfred Hitchcock? Yes it required lots of taste tests and driving around. Last night just before midnight I bought an "Animal Style" burger at In-N-Out with chopped chilis because I had read that they really aren't hot...well it must be relative. I had to eat some animal fries just to even it out. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hello my friend, Hello, you are so right, I did not shirk, I did not shrink, I did not fit into my shirt but I faithfully sampled in the name of research. You know how you look for any excuse to justify overeating? Write a yummy food review! It does wonders for the guilt. I had to read my Belly Laugh Weight Reduction hub several times but I've laughed myself skinny enough to fit in my jeans. Thank you for the fun comment. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey GL, I know, I know--I'm not Catholic but I went to Mass Sunday and even skipped the wafer I was so ridden with guilt. I'm slowly getting over it but I think in sympathy you must write a review of Fat Mats or the Flying Biscuit and faithfully sample their best--it's the least you can do to show hub love to a fellow food sinner.

When I gave my confession, it went like this: Father forgive me for I have committed the sin of gluttony--the buns were soft and fresh, the meat moist and delicious, the cheese melted into the carmelized onions and animal spread and with it the soft crisp crunch of the tomato and lettuce was enough to take my mind off heavenly things...I didn't get any further because he exited and sprinted for the door his car keys jingling in his hand the words "Animal fry!" coming out of his mouth as he ran. I thought that a bit harsh until I realized he was only human and it was an In-N-Out run. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Lilly, yes we are carnivores but at least the nonvegetable portions come from gently nurtured cattle free ranging and sung to sleep by cowboys who have all graduated from the Gene Autry/James Taylor School of Dogie Ditties. "Rock a bye Sweet Baby James" and "Whoopi tie yie yay git along little dogies, you know a fresh sesame seed bun will be your new home." When the burger heaven moon is full and you must feed, The closest 5 Guys destination to you is at 2923 Lakewood Village North Little Rock, AR 72116. Let me know how it was. =:)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

So much research for your own "artery clogging creations" !!! I am impressed :-))


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Yes Dimitri, if you are going to go, you must do the research so you can go in style--preferably "animal style." =:)


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Good review of both burger joints, Winsome! I am a big fan of In N Out, but we haven't a Five Guys around these parts- well, actually we don't have an In N Out anywhere near!

Unfortunately, all we have in my tiny town are Carl Jr.s and McDonalds. *Sigh*

I'd love to check out Five Guys, and will once I get out of town!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Laurel, thanks for coming over, I'll have to send you some with a trucker going through Bishop. I know I have given HP'ers an awful impression of me by my constant reference to eating good food and chocolate--I am a biker after all, but my love of the good life does necessitate my going back often to my "Belly Laugh Gym" to laugh off any love handles that crop up. It was fun researching these two.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

We don't have either of those chains here - poor us - and yes, poor you doing all that research....much as I did trying to find the best beer in Bend - ha ha. We have Sonic here and I'm not impressed though the rest of the world seems to be!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Audrey, yes there did appear to be a Sonic boom for a while--heh heh. If you are ever around Salem there is a 5 Guys here: Lancaster Village East 2323 Lancaster Dr. NE Salem, OR 97305. That's only 102.9 miles away and if you don't have a reason to be in Salem, now you do.

Thank's for driving through "Animal" style with me while I soaked in the calories for you--I am so unselfish. =:)


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

WOW!! What a "juciy" article! Great writing. I would like to add more in my comment, but I have to run. Suddenly I'm hungry!!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha. Now why did you have to say that? You know a burger run is a lot like Lemmings, when one goes the others stampede...and I was doing so well...heh heh. Thanks RA for a clever and entertaining comment. =:)


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Five Guys are better than In n Out.

Fatburger is also very good but different atmosphere.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey OD, I'm glad you mentioned Fatburger because when I wrote this review I was thinking 5 Guys was closer to them than In-N-Out. The hand pressed patty is similar and the fresh taste is there. I have to give 5 Guys the nod though over Fatburger because there is an East Coast bread thing going with their bun that sort of reminds me of a very fresh Stromboli. I'm not sure I can write off In-N-Out as a contender because they have the drive through and the Protein Burger and a crispness you start to crave when you've had one too many "Slagasaurus" burgers. Thanks for weighing in. =:)


Skarch 6 years ago

Hey Winsome, the reason Five Guys doesn't have a drive thru is that all the burgers are cooked to order. The wait wouldn't work with a drive thru.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Skarch, thank you for the comment. You are probably right although In-N-Out will make any of the above variations of their "not-so-secret" menu and still keep up their pace. e.g. you can order a 3x3, animal style, mustard fry the patty with chili peppers, order your fries light or well with or without animal style, order your shake neopolitan or as a root beer float and they don't even blink.

Don't get me wrong, I want a Five Guys nearby but I'll most likely frequent both. =:)


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

if you have a weakness for fat, juicy burgers, you don't want a 5 Guys nearby. lol maybe once every 3 months, I indulge, with a junior size burger. We have one a few miles away. You have to go inside, it's part of the experience. the fries are great. I'm not a beef eater, so when I do indulge, I remember a scene from Food, Inc.... and promise never to return. nice writing, as always.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

You're probably right Rebekah, having the closest one an hour away is a good thing and the line at the In-N-Out is also a good deterrent. Funny thing is I have to find the very best tasting burger but I don't have to have it all the time. Just knowing it's there when the attack comes is enough. The truth is I could eat homemade turkey vegetable chili with cornbread most every day and be happy but when the moon is full and the siren sound of fresh fries bubbling and patties sizzling and warm buns toasting--well..... =:)


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Winsome

I didn't realize there was an eastern bread involved, but it must have been a plus.

The thing that is missing here in California is the real Italian Bread. A close one can only be found at Ralphs supermarkets. Are there any real Italian Bread sources in Texas?

Thanks, time for lunch.

PS

The big difference between Five Guys and Fatburger is that Fatburger charges you for toppings that Five Guys puts on for free.

Fatburger certainly uses more salt on their burgers than either Five Guys or In n Out.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey OD, since I am in California now I don't know about bread sources there but there is an authentic Italian bakery/restaurant called Il Fornaio in Old Town Pasadena that has killer bread--and entrees for that matter. =:)


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Winsome

Thanks for the info, I will have to check it out.

~:}


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago

I may not be a fan of burgers, but this is a well researched hub. It is informative and useful to readers who might want to try these 2 fastfood chains. You wrote a very objective presentation. The pictures were also helpful to make your topic more interesting to read. Cheers for a great work!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Tina thank you for the fine and gracious review of my obviously appetite driven take on the USC/UCLA of the burger world. I have been very interested in not only the commitment to freshness and quality of the food but the ability of these companies to inspire such customer loyalty and repeatability. When our economy drags it's nice to see some entrepreneurs able to make giant strides. Thank's again for coming by. =:)


ediggity profile image

ediggity 5 years ago

IN N OUT definitely has the best burger hands down, but I have to give it to Five Guys for the fries. FGs seems like a bunch of separate items put together to create the burger. INO tastes like everything belongs together. That's the best I can explain it. No drive through at FGs is also a deal breaker for me, so they only get my business when I'm on the East Coast. Kind of satisfies my craving until I can get the real deal on the Best Coast! The INO in Barstow is a must stop on the way to Vegas.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Ed, thanks for the great comment. I hadn't thought about it that way but I understand completely. INO has a unique blend of taste like nowhere else. FGs has a little more home-made taste and wrapping it in the foil softens the bun so it all gets gummy and drippy. I've always liked the "Boardwalk" fries even before I had them at FG's but sometimes I like those thinner, perfectly fried INOs. Appreciate the input. =:)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago

Wow! I just went out last night for dinner, and I enjoyed it very much, so much so that I cleaned my plate. Now, just a mere 12 hours later, you have my tummy growling :)

These photos are awesome. Hello cholesterol and carbs! Oddly enough, here on the East coast, I'm not aware of burger places that make fresh burgers. There is one diner, however, that does make everything fresh. It is an original 50s diner. The food is not only good and simple, but cheap as well. For under $10 you can have a complete meal which includes appetizer, main course and dessert. The menu is simple fare, meatloaf, burgers, chicken and also amazing breakfasts.

I love the story of In-N-Out. Too bad way too many food establishments don't treat their employees that well. My mom worked as a waitress at an Army cafeteria when she met my dad. She continued waitressing for the next 40+ years and always told me I was never to work as one. It was hard, grueling work. She worked for a seafood restaurant the whole time, and had seen owners come and go. A lot of them were tough task masters, and many times she would take enough, take off the apron, throw it on the floor and walk out. Every owner, no exceptions, begged her to come back. She was much loved by all the customers. In her latter years there she switched to bartending as lifting multiple heavy trays became too much. Did they pay her well? not really because the pay was minimal and she depended on tips. The did, however, give her health insurance, something unheard of, that she didn't have to pay for, unbeknownst to the rest of the staff. The owners really did love her even though they treated her poorly at times.

Sorry, got off on a tangent here lol,,,

Hooray for the hamburger!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

That was a great story about your mom--as you can see when I write about things I have to find the personality behind them--stories like your mom's are integral to the success of any of the great family food icons. I visited 5 guys again (they are not close) and thoroughly enjoyed "the Cheeseburger." I forgot that if you want only one patty you have to order the "little Cheeseburger." I ate enough for two or three days. Thanks for the great comment. =:)


me 5 years ago

nice


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you "me" =:)


tasksgirl profile image

tasksgirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

I've never had Five Guys but it looks like a sloppy mess compared to In-N-Out! And nothing can beat the animal-style fries! ;)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha, sloppy mess vs. animal-style fries. I love both styles of sloppy. What does that say about me...ummmm.

Thank you TG, I have to agree that In-N-Out is a bit more buttoned up and 5 guys is a little more Animal House with their burgers. I tried the old Bob's Big Boy burger yesterday and find I much prefer In-N-Out, what they give for the price is amazing. Thanks again, I appreciate your comment. =:)


SUSANJK profile image

SUSANJK 5 years ago from Florida

Five guys is really good, never heard of In and Out.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Susan, thank you for the comment. You would enjoy In-N-Out. If you are ever out on the West Coast, be sure to drive through and order something "animal." =:)


MicheleBracken profile image

MicheleBracken 5 years ago from Northern, USA

That was so delicious! Thanks for making me hungry as I'm lying in bed. haha.. Excellent article here. Very informative.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha, sorry I know how that is. I was heading down to San Diego for a conference and just had to stop into 5 Guys for their gigantic "little cheesburger." Thank you for stopping by and for being my 500th fan. That was special. =:)


Sarah 5 years ago

I actually work at In N Out and altough your description is rather good, its not exactly accurate. Animal Style can be on any burger and it comes with all the same basic things... lettuce tomato and spread add grilled onions mustard fried extra spread and pickles. I think you were referring to the mustard fried when you called it mustard grilled. Nothing gets "mixed" then put on the grill. the meat patty, buns, cheese and grilled onions are the only ingredients that get placed on the grill. Also, the animal fries do not come with pickles. You get one portion of fries and we melt two pieces of cheese, topped with grilled onions and spread. You def have me craving a double double animal style, cheese fries and neo shake! keep on giving us great feedback! Our customers are our very first priority and we love each and every one of you!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

How fun it is to have an actual insider here to keep me straight. Thank you so much for clearing some things up and for showing us how willing the In-N-Out staff is to go to animal style lengths for us. I will adjust the article accordingly. We love you too Sarah! =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Oh Sarah, I just noticed your published "Not so secret menu" describes the Animal Style with a mustard patty and an "add" pickle. Anyway it has the yummy gunk on it and they'll add whatever else you want. I asked them to fry my patty just on the ends (standing it up vertically) but I think they had to draw the line there. (Just kidding) =:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I could certainly make a case for both, but, since i don't live near an IN N out, I have to go for Five Guys. But, if they built an IN N Out in Portland, or nearby, I'd frequent it. So tasty and wonderful!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi PD, thanks for the comment--at least you have the gourmet PB&J guy on 23rd Street and the burger guy in the trailer "Lunch @ the Box" downtown. =:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

don't forget Big Ass Sandwiches. Look them up. A food cart on 2nd and ash, huge meat sandwiches stuffed with french fries.


ILovePlaid profile image

ILovePlaid 4 years ago from here, there

Thanks so much for this hub! I just got back from Vegas (from the East Coast) and I made SURE to visit an In-N-Out, even though it was well out of the way!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey PD, I was there, took pictures, ate the burger--great!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi ILovePlaid, so glad you got to experience the tasty things. Come back often. =:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

winsome, I will punch you now


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha, go right ahead, just wait till I digest my bouble-double animal style. =:)


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

There's no INO where I am on the east coast. But I am familiar with Five Guys- I like their food but you're right the price is not that economical. I would hope INO is coming this way but who knows we have so many chains to choose from. There's no Fatburger either so maybe one day I will get to try both and make my own choice.

Great hub!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 3 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Alecia, maybe if East Coasters started wearing T-shirts that said "INO what I want and I want INO" or "We like it Animal Style" or something, the owners might just have to move out there. In the meantime I'll eat a Double Double in your honor. (animal style of course)

=: )


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

I grew up right around the corner from the original Five guys and it is amazing how they have grown. Hands down best burger around! Too bad I don't live near one now. Thanks for the memories.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 3 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi GT Fan,

Thanks for the comment, I tried using the hands down approach but the special sauce kept getting in my nose--ok just kidding, you need at least two hands for these beauties. Although it must have been hard living so close and smelling them cooking every day, it must be harder with it gone entirely. Thanks again for coming by. =: )


jaydawg808 profile image

jaydawg808 6 months ago

I've had both In-N-Out and Five Guys, but it's hard for me to choose which one I feel is the "best." In-N-Out is no frills, while Five Guys allow you to customize your burger quite a bit. If it came down to the burger itself with nothing else in it, just a plain burger.....it would definitely be In-N-Out. However, if I wanted to have a bacon burger, or a burger with mushrooms, it would be Five Guys.

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    Bob's Big Boy was the first to offer two patties on their "Big Boy"--Rumor has it that Mae West was referring to this hamburger when she said: "Why don't you come see me some time big boy."
    Bob's Big Boy was the first to offer two patties on their "Big Boy"--Rumor has it that Mae West was referring to this hamburger when she said: "Why don't you come see me some time big boy."

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