Posted on | June 5, 2014 | 52 Comments
As I mentioned in the previous burger post, one of my objectives in visiting Las Vegas this week was to check out a couple of hamburger joints not found in my Washington DC stomping grounds: the infamous Heart Attack Grill, and the wildly popular In-N-Out Burger. There were also some other suggestions, but in the heat (sic) of the moment I completely forgot what they were. Anyway…I went forth in the noonday sun today to find a suitable location for the burrow I’ll be occupying next June, and having completed that task, headed out Sahara Boulevard on the bus to find the nearest In-N-Out.
A lot of pixels have been lavished by a lot of fanboys and fangirls on how great In-N-Out Burger is; how it uses only fresh ingredients prepared to your order; how its “secret menu” is so awesome. At the risk of enraging said fanboys, I frankly didn’t think it was all that. I ordered a double-double protein style (no bun) and sampled the fries (for SCIENCE!), and to be honest, neither the burger nor the fries impressed me. It’s not that there was anything bad about either one, but they just didn’t live up to the hype. Comparing them to Five Guys, I give the advantage to the latter: In-N-Out does not have bacon, their fries are inferior to Five Guys’ peanut-fried version, and Five Guys has more variety in the available Coke product.
In fact, I was so underwhelmed by In-N-Out that the minute I stepped off the Deuce at Fremont Street, I returned to the Heart Attack Grill, where I’d had dinner on Tuesday after arriving from Dulles.
One of the reasons I like Carl’s Jr./Hardees is their in-your-face response to the food Puritans who think we all ought to be eating local-source organically-grown artisanal tofu, and the Heart Attack Grill turns that attitude up to 11. Nothing, absolutely nothing on the menu is good for you in the traditional sense*, and the staff takes great relish in dishing up the Bypass Burgers -available up to Octuple Bypass Size with eight half-pound patties, cheese, chili, onions, tomatoes, and an optional 40 slices of bacon- Flatliner Fries cooked in lard, milkshakes with the world’s highest butterfat content, beer, booze, unfiltered cigarettes, wine served in intravenous bags…it just goes on and on, set against a backdrop of hilarious movie parody posters and a “Last Supper” style mural in which Dr. Jon serves a quadruple bypass burger and flatliner fries to his fast food mascot apostles. Diners are provided with hospital gowns on entry, which is helpful if you’re a messy eater; patients who fail to respond to treatment (i.e., not finishing their burger) are spanked by the “nurses” or “doctors” on duty as appropriate. And those nurses have some quality arms, let me tell you – not from personal experience, mind you; I finished my burgers. Oh yes – diners who weigh in at 350 or more pounds get their Bypass Burger for free with purchase of beverage, and since I am a wombat of bulk, if not definition, I took full advantage of this – but tipped as if I had paid for the burgers, because I’m not a schmuck.
So I don’t think I’ll be going back to In-N-Out, but I think after I move to Vegas next year, I’m going to be spending a few meals with Dr. Jon, Chief Nurse Tracy, and the rest of the crew.
*They do have bottled water, which may be the one thing on the menu that nutritionists would agree is good for you.