Saturday, August 6, 2016

Western Chains: In-N-Out Burger, Whataburger, Jack In The Box & Braum's

In-n-out burger



In-N-Out Burger 
You guys, there are TOTALLY DIFFERENT fast food restaurants in the western part of the U.S. than we have here. Recently, I was sent to Oklahoma via Dallas to give a presentation for work, and the first thing that popped in my head was: I gotta find an In-N-Out Burger.

In-n-out burgerSo, I dunno if In-N-Out has always been super popular, or if it's a recent thing - or maybe I've only just noticed it recently. But, I have heard people declaring this the best burger in the world, and I knew I needed to get my hands on one of these as soon as I could. Texas provided me that opportunity.

In-n-out burgerSo, I flew into Dallas and had to drive up to Sulphur, Oklahoma, for the conference (2.5 hour drive), so I mapped out some of those coveted places to dine during these travels. Grapevine has an In-N-Out, and it was the first stop after I got my rental car.

In-n-out burgerOne of the big things with In-N-Out is their (not so) secret menu, and I definitely wanted to try that out. I ordered a Double Double (their most popular burger) "animal style," which means the burger of your with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread with grilled onions. Their "spread" is a version of Thousand Island. I also got fries "well done," which means extra crispy. And I got a "Neapolitan" shake, which is all three flavors mixed together.

In-n-out burgerYes, this is a good burger. The sauce is good, and I loved those grilled onions. The double double may be a bit too much meat for me. Still, flavor on point. I kind of thought of this as a cross between a Five Guys burger with the McDonald's Big Mac sauce. Truly a good fast food burger - maybe the best - but it's still a fast food burger and isn't going to be as good as one on your grill. The fries aren't killer here; they're just not. Even crispy, they don't have a ton of flavor. The milkshake was tasty!

In-N-Out Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WhataburgerWhataburger
Whataburger is a Texas specialty, but I actually got my In-N-Out fix in Texas, so I was full until I got into Oklahoma, where I found a Whataburger! The service here was ... sassy, to say the least. I got a #1 Whataburger, which  comes with "Fresh, never frozen, 100% pure American beef, grilled and seasoned to perfection. Every Whataburger comes with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and diced onions on a toasted five-inch bun. Or just like you like it." 
WhataburgerWhataburger

So, this was OK. I admit I didn't get a chance to eat this until it had gone cold (long story involving not being able to get an early hotel room, sitting around, and an elevator breaking). My least favorite part was that there was an abundance of lettuce and pickles. I would've gone for more sauce and cheese. The onion rings were decent.

Whataburger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

BraumsBraum's 
Braum's is an Oklahoma-based dairy chain
"The Braum’s Dairy isn’t your “typical” dairy. As a matter of fact it’s one of the largest dairy operations in the world and a showplace in the industry. Each day, we’re milking thousands of cows an hour, providing enough fresh raw milk for over one million glasses! We’re the only major ice cream maker in the country to milk our own cows. This milk is used in our ice cream, bottled milk and other dairy products. And because Braum’s milk comes from our private dairy herd we know what goes into it and what doesn’t. We don’t use any growth hormones to stimulate milk production and we never add antibiotics to their feed. Braum’s dairy herd enjoys a 100% vegetarian diet including alfalfa hay, cottonseed and corn, with the majority of the feed grown right on our farm."
BraumsWell, I got a Turtle Sundae, which has vanilla ice cream covered in hot caramel, hot fudge, pecans, whipped cream and a cherry. There's no way this can't be good, right? Right. I mean, ice cream. Delish.

Braum's Ice Cream & Dairy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jack in the boxJack In The Box
Jack In The Box was the biggest surprise for me. I wasn't expecting much. I got their most popular item: the taco, and it was mehhhh at best. Stoner food is my best guess.

Jack in the boxThe Oreo milkshake was pretty good - even if there were bits too chunky to suck up in the straw.

Jack in the boxBut, I'm kind of obsessed with this burger:
This is the cheeseburger other cheeseburgers have posters of in their bedrooms. A 100% beef patty topped with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, chopped onions, real mayonnaise, and ketchup on a Buttery Bakery Bun. Now, you want a poster too, huh?
There was something about this burger that was just perfect. The bun was buttery and grilled and fresh. The burger was in perfect proportion to the ingredients, and the ketchup kinda mixed with the mayo to create this creamy ketchup that was just delish. Yep, I was shocked, too.

Jack in the boxSo, yeah, lots of cool chains we don't have here on the East Coast. But, don't worry, I just had to get that out of my system. Back to the mom & pop shops.

Jack in the Box Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato