Ok, so I grew up in Southern California and always enjoyed In n Out Hamburgers. It really never occurred to me to compare them to anyone else’s hamburgers. There were never any debates over whether these were ever the best hamburgers out there.
I simply enjoyed them and was occasionally was in the mood for them. What did stick out to me was that my friends who worked there were excited to work there as they got paid more than my other friends with jobs (of course, I’m talking high school and college years).
Fast-forward umpteen years and a co-worker wanted to try out a place called “Five Guys.” I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the idea since I enjoyed the ethnic variety the area afforded us. We were surrounded by some of the best Mexican food, Sushi restaurants, Korean BBQ, Thai Food, etc available outside of their countries of origin.
But I was always up something new, so I said “sure why not?” I got the burger and some fries, and it was ok I guess. If anything, the fries stood out more than the burger. The burger wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it never would occurred to me to place this in competition as one of the best burgers out there. It just tastes like a slightly overcooked and ‘smoky’ burger. In fact, the next few times I would go, I would order the hot dog, which I enjoyed much more.
Fast-forward a few years later and I would begin to see videos from east coast people comparing In n out to Five Guys. Apparently this was a thing. And it reminded me of a friend from New York (who had never tried In n Out) always insisting that Rochester Garbage Plate was better than In n Out. So I’m guessing that this all stems from some sort of East Coast competitiveness?
From my perspective, the sheer difference in how the two burgers taste, just renders these comparisons silly. To me, the 5G burger tastes overcooked and “smoky.” If that appealed to my taste buds, the In n Out burger would feel soft and slimy (and therefore not to appealing). So it just sems that these are different styles of burger that appeal to different tastes. I suppose to a true diehard burger aficionados who love all things burger, there is room for both, but to most of us, they appeal to two different palates,