Ah, the infamous secret menu. For the few of you scratching your heads in curiosity, let me fill you in. In-N-Out has a pretty simple menu: a burger, cheeseburger, doubledouble, fries, sodas, lemonade, milkshakes in flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
In-N-Out Burger claims they don't have a secret menu; on their website they list several items of the “not-so-secret-menu.” These items include a 3x3 (three beef patties and three slices of cheese), 4x4, protein-style burger (wrapped in lettuce, no bun), grilled cheese (cheeseburger minus the meat, double the cheese) and animal style (mustard cooked burger, grilled onions, pickles and extra spread).
Prior to hitting the In-N-Out in for a taste test of secret menu items, I researched online and found websites listing upward of 26 secret menu items. Equipped with a list, we headed for the drive-thru ready to order a variety of these “secret” items. To my surprise, the woman taking my order didn't even flinch when I ordered “a Flying Dutchman, veggie burger, grilled cheese, no-salt protein-style burger, animal-style burger, animal-style french fries, Lemon-Up, Neopolitan shake, root beer float and a side of chilis.” All that, and the total came out to $19.25. I found that to be a pleasant surprise and also was shocked that my listed the items (proof that In-N-Out is fully prepared to make these secret menu items.)
Once the food was ordered, Ann Zevely and I did the taste test. We put the whole thing on video and ended our meal with a five-fork rating system—five forks being the best and one fork being not so good. Little did I know Zevely is not a big fan of onions. On every burger, In-N-Out asks if you want onions, I said yes to all of them. She did however, enjoy the grilled onions on the animal-style burger.
Neither of us liked the veggie burger, which is just extra lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. It was boring. Zevely finished the root beer float down to the last drop, giving it a five. I huffed down the Neopolitan shake (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shake swirled together) and the Lemon-Up (lemonade and 7-up) and thought they both were excellent and beautiful in colors.
Neither of us took to the Flying Dutchman (two burgers, two slices of cheese, no bun, nothing) and the no-salt protein burger tasted a little “too healthy.” The animal-style fries were also not a hit. Zevely blamed the seven-minute car ride: “They need to be eaten right away.”
I've taken away a few things from this taste test. One, this is why the drive thru-line takes forever; it's because everyone is customizing their meals. Two, it's good to try new things at In-N-Out, but sticking to what you already like is best. Lastly, when sharing food with Zevely, hold the onions.