Tuesday, June 15, 2010

IN-N-OUT Burger In NYC?! Not So Fresh And Fast

Wait, What? That kind of looks like...IN-N-OUT Burger. Hmmm....time to investigate. I am a huge IN-N-OUT fan after living out west for a few years and miss it terribly, so when I get teased like this it really hurts. Actually someone played a joke on April 1st here in the city posting IN-N-OUT coming soon signs on empty spaces all over the city...at least that's amusing. Originality is certainly hard to come by these days. Movies, Music, Clothing and Restaurants are all copied over and over again because people don't often like to take chances (see The Karate Kid, Lady GaGa and any chain Restaurant). When you are good you will certainly be copied and that goes for most things in life. But in the immortal words of one of my favorite movies, Highlander (only the first one), 'There can be only one!'. Darn tootin'! So mainly for utter curiosity, and because I really didn't want to eat my leftovers, I headed over to 23rd street and Park to see just what these guys were up to. It was astounding. Not only did they rip off the colors and the uniforms but the menu board as well, I mean it almost felt like I was walking into a mini IN-N-OUT. At one point Fresh And Fast was once known as 'Fresh-N-Fast' but they changed it because I think they knew that it would have been way to obvious (and to avoid a lawsuit as well). So down to the nitty gritty...could this place duplicate the taste? Nope, but it wasn't bad.  I ordered a Cheeseburger meal with the accompanying Fries and Soda all for about $9 and change.

The biggest issue I had, other than thinking the place was a complete sham, was that they used a potato bun that you can pick up at any grocery store. Now I like a good potato bun when I barbeque at home but I expect a lot more from a hamburger joint. At IN-N-OUT they use a much better bun and they even toast it a bit which adds to the experience. The French Fries were acceptable, not anything special but that didn't stop me from eating every last one of them. I don't even think that if it had been really good I would have been able to get past the fact that they are trying to rip off the appeal of IN-N-OUT and they fall short in that area as well. Maybe if they had just tried to create their own image and experience it might have been possible for them to succeed but ultimately I think they won't last very long. Here's a little suggestion...toast the bun. Wait one more...go out of business.

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