April 6, 2012
Surely, there's Kool-Aid somewhere on the "secret menu"

File this under, "I shouldn't be telling you this, but..."

Here's yet another piece worshiping at the altar that is In-N-Out Burger, perhaps the most beloved fast food chain going.

I'm in the minority on this one, meaning I just don't get it. But give credit where credit is due: In-N-Out does several things right. It pays its employees well. It uses fresh iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, both of which are practically tasteless. Best of all, it has this "secret menu" that no one knows about but you. At least that's the way it feels.

You stop in and let loose a blast about "animal style," 3x3, extra toasted, and the fries well-done (which will not make them less dreadful), you feel good about yourself, you wolf down the greatest burger in the world and you're on your way. That scenario is repeated tens of thousands of times daily at all 268 In-N-Out outlets. The 3x3, for those who aren't privy to such secrets, refers to the numbers of patties and cheese, i.e. three patties and three slices of cheese. Lo and behold, you can actually order a 4x4.

Huffington Post's correspondent in this case informs us there are even more secrets. Who leaks this kind of information to the masses? Hmm. Mustard grilled? Amazing. Why isn't this in the pages of "Larousse Gastronomique"? There's no mention of Kool-Aid on the secret menu, but plenty of people are drinking it.

Study up and impress your friends. Here's a secret tip: Try not to look at the photos, which make the food look less than appealing. Me? I shouldn't be telling you this, but... I'm going to keep eating great burgers from local restaurants that do things the right way: Juno's, Formoli's, The Eatery and, my most recent great-burger discovery, Thir13en.

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.

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