Sure, the fresh-never-frozen patties are tasty enough, but the sandwich is more than that. It's the interplay between the ooey-gooey American cheese, the sweet, darkly-toasted bun, the juicier-than-average tomatoes, the crisp iceberg, the full, un-separated-into-rings slice of onion, and the all-important sweet, tangy, pickle-laden Spread. It's a bomb that's rigged to hit every pleasure center on my brain's taste analyzation terminal (by which I mean my tongue). Salty, sweet, savory, soft, crisp, and fresh. "Overrated", people say? I think not. Let me quote the much more eloquent Nick Solares in saying "In-N-Out at the very least represents the platonic ideal of what a fast food hamburger should be."
Order the burger "Animal Style" off of their not-so-secret menu, and you bring the party to a whole new level. The onion slice gets replaced with a dollop of a sweet, darkly caramelized chopped onions, an extra stack of pickle chips goes underneath the tomato, and the patties get fried with mustard directly on the griddle.
But here's the thing: I've had my share of regular In-N-Out burgers, but never an Animal Style. That's something that needed to change, and stat.