In-N-Out Burger (San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf)

by KimHo on November 15, 2010 · 14 comments under: Food,Restaurant,Travel

In-N-Out Burger
333 Jefferson Street
Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

In Vancouver, one of the burger shops that I have said everybody should give it a try, despite (or probably because) it being a total dive is Burger Burger. It is cheap, it is simple, it is messy. What else do you want from a burger? Of course, this being Vancouver, a “fancier” simple burger version type restaurant had to open (despite this statement sounds like an oxymoron). This place is, of course, Nimby Burger, which, despite there will be naysayers, it is inspired in In-N-Out Burger, a well-known chain in the Western side of the US. This has been blogged by Sherman and Mijune; however, it is not the fact it has been blogged but rather the enthusiasm. With that in mind, I knew that on this trip to San Francisco, I had to visit one of such location.

In-N-Out, Burger, San Francisco, fries, lettuce, tomato, potato, onion, grilled, animal style, protein, double-double, pop, soda

In-N-Out, Burger, San Francisco, fries, lettuce, tomato, potato, onion, grilled, animal style, protein, double-double, pop, soda

Due to some delay in our flight to San Francisco, Sherman and I just before noon; however, because the airport isn’t in the city itself, it took us a while to arrive to the city, check in and then finally go to the Wharf. I was quite hungry and walking through the hills wasn’t an easy task at that moment. But, it was a case of, the wait would (hopefully) make that meal more interesting. Grateful Sherman would tag along (hey, more stuff to try!), when we finally go there, there was a decent lining waiting for their orders so I was really hoping our orders won’t take long. Since we were supposed to have dinner in ~5 hours later, we sort of held back in how much we ordered but, to establish some threshold, we started with the plain burger.

In-N-Out, Burger, San Francisco, fries, lettuce, tomato, potato, onion, grilled, animal style, protein, double-double, pop, soda

Yup, just your bun, lettuce, tomato, dressing and a single patty. I won’t deny that, had it being this the burger I got without any other feedback, I would have said this is an overrated burger. It wasn’t bad, the patty was OK, not dry but not moist and there wasn’t anything else. In fact, I would say that some comparisons to the plain McD’s burger can be done (no offence…). However, as most people who have been to In-N-Out, that’s NOT how you order it. Instead, according to their not-so-secret menu, you have to order it animal style. And what does that mean? Well, let’s check my order:

In-N-Out, Burger, San Francisco, fries, lettuce, tomato, potato, onion, grilled, animal style, protein, double-double, pop, soda

I went for the double-double… No, not a Timmy’s coffe, rather, two patties with two slices of cheese. But, not only that, by making it animal style – “Burger of your choice with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread, with grilled onions”. (The “spread” being their dressing/sauce). These extra set of ingredients/condiments kicks the burger up a couple of notches in term of flavour, not to mention, moistness of the patties. Now, THIS is what I can call a burger… It was savoury, it was messy…

In-N-Out, Burger, San Francisco, fries, lettuce, tomato, potato, onion, grilled, animal style, protein, double-double, pop, soda

I made my order a combo which, actually is just putting the burger with fries and drink – in other words, pricewise was exactly the same as if they were ordered individually. Also, I made them extra crispy… Ahem, “fries well” to give it more of a crunchiness. And, indeed, it was almost to the consistency of chips. The reason behind this was to avoid soggy fries resulting from a single fry job.

Overall, I don’t think there is much for me to say that people haven’t said about it: It is a really good burger. And while it is not the best burger in the world, based on their price, it delivers a really good product. So, in that value/cost ratio, it hits a really sweet spot. Would I go back? Of course!

Update: Sherman’s post of this visit, here!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kevin November 15, 2010 at 12:13 am

WHAT. You didn’t ask them to come up here to Vancouver?
We need In-N-Out..I need it…I want to try.

2 The Celiac Husband November 15, 2010 at 5:42 am

Yes, everybody has reviewed In-N-Out, including myself.
A visit is almost mandatory for any Canadian when travelling on the west side of the States.

Personally I believe that it’s their focus on simplicity that makes them so successful. No Blizzards, no breakfast Burrito, no other distractions for staff. Burgers and shakes. Done well.

3 KimHo November 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

Kevin, you know the general rule: Similar to Krisy Kreme, once it is on this side of the border, that uniqueness will go away. So, yup, you have to travel down! (Else, as mentioned in my post, the poor-man’s substitute: Nimby).

Peter, well, there is no In-N-Out in either Portland or Washington State (considering I travel to these two places quite often). But, yes, agreed, the KISS principle! :D

4 Sherman November 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

Yup, not the greatest burger in the world, but solid all around and especially for the price. Animal Style is the way to go! Definitely makes the burger! I can’t believe we walked 3km to and back for it!

5 KimHo November 15, 2010 at 8:46 am

Sherman, I can’t believe I flew to San Fran *just for this*! :D

6 Richard November 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm

KimHo, I haven’t checked your site for awhile, so I thought it funny that when I go and see what places you have checked out that you review In-N-Out Burger. I went to this place with my wife in Phoenix a month ago and thought it was awesome. The menu is so simple and the prices are cheap. Everything on my burger tasted fresh and you can really taste the potato in the fries. We went drive thru and I was impressed with the number of people working in the joint. I guess with the unemployment rate being high, that they have no problem hiring people. Anyways, bang on with the review!

7 KimHo November 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Richard, welcome back! :D Yes, it is a good combination/formula that makes them a really good burger. I guess by having them in the States, that will make me keep wanting to go there again next time I am in a place with such a location! :)

8 Liz November 16, 2010 at 2:05 am

I can’t believe you didn’t try the fries animal-style, too!
Think poutine but better!

9 KimHo November 16, 2010 at 6:33 am

Liz, welcome! Sorry, I wanted to try the fries “default” style first. I guess next time? :)

10 Karl November 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Kim. Burger Burger is no longer a “total” dive. They mopped the floor this past weekend.

11 KimHo November 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

Karl, hahahaha! OK, I am not sure if that comment was merited but I still believe that Burger Burger is a dive considering the location and setup. Though, even if it isn’t I wonder what would be the best term to call it… :)

12 justcooknyc November 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

when i last visited, i made the mistake of not ordering the fries extra crispy like that. i did know about the animal-style option for my burger (which I got), but my fries were a little disappointing because they seemed so undone. then again, i think i’ve made it a tradition of visiting in-and-out whenever i go to SF, so there is always next time

13 KimHo November 23, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Justcooknyc, welcome and that for your comments! Well, let’s just say that, unlike McD’s and other similar shops, at least you can customize it to your liking. :)

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