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A weblog covering the San Diego Padres.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Nos Encantamos Ducknorts and InNOut Ramblings

Geoff has a great story up at Ducksnorts about an interesting plan of his to visit all the Cal League ballparks. He's being a responsible adult and doing a few at a time, but it's an interesting read about his first wing of the trip, plus pictures, so be sure and stop by.

Also, the good Californian he is, he made sure to keep the InNOut stop in remote areas tradition alive. I've been to some on the way to Vegas and also one somewhere in Arizona between Phoenix and Tucson. Even better, Geoff linked the InNOut "secret" recipes site.

I'm a sucker for the grilled cheese. I grew up in the Midwest so cheese is a necessity, and InNOut cheese is sooooo good. It's only like $1.39 also, so you can get a couple.

I find that the InNOut employees don't know the 2X4, so here's a helpful tip to save some embarrasment: when you want extra cheese, just order extra cheese. I can't tell you how many people I've confused asking for the 2x4, so many that I'm starting to think it's not really part of the secret menu.

Another three InNOut stories while I'm at it...

#1-My first meal upon arriving in California from Illinois was an InNOut burger. My Dad greeted my mother and I and our Dog at the airport (he had been living here for a few months while I finished middle school back in Illinois) with a big limo, and we went all over town, InNOut, Fiesta Island, Hotel Del Coronado, you name it. Still one of the coolest if not awkward days in my entire life. At the time I wasn't the most pleased with leaving my home of 13 years and jumping on a plane to a place I'd never been 2800 miles away. But that's adolescence for ya.

#2-At USC's recent "Trojan Huddle" Spring Football scrimmage, the InNOut "Cookout Trailer" was there. Actually, about a half dozen of 'em were there. With admission each fan got a coupon for two burgers and two drinks and a bag of chips (not normally InNOut food, but they were french fry substitutes for the cookout trailers). Being the unaware person that I was, I didn't really think the food was free and people were lining up just because InNOut was so great.

Well after the scrimmage I get smart and figure out just how free that food is, and catch the last trailer just before it closes, and got my two free burgers. I was stuffed after that. And sheepish. The great thing was USC had knocked down the $25 regular admission price down to just $6 for students, so the day ended up being a great bargain because I could see my beloved Trojans (not that I hadn't already made every Spring Practice... I'm not obsessive or anything... really...go away...) and chow down on yummy food. How can you beat that?!

#3-In high school I had a friend of a friend who'd hang out with us some times. This guy was BIG. B-I-G big. And proud of it. Loud too. And arrogant. But anyway...

We were chilling at the local InNOut when big guy decides he's going to eat an 8x8. So he goes and orders it. I'm still in line at this point, a few people back. Well, by the time I'd gotten my order in his thing was already made, so he sits down. I pay little attention to what's going on, standing and waiting for my food to come.

Well, as I'm just picking up my food about three minutes later big guy yells at me from across the restaurant, "hey, Brian, sfjisjafdsij (unintelligible cookie monster noises)" and chomps down the last huge bite of the thing.

No kidding.

Think about that for a minute. Big guy killed an 8x8 in three minutes and lived to tell about it.

It gets better.

While I'm relaxing and eating, laughing with everyone else about the incident, big guy gets up and orders a #1 (Double-Double, fries, soda). He'd already killed off the fries from his first burger. So the process was repeated again.

I think he finished that second one before I was done with my meal (note: I'm a notoriously slow eater).

Insane.

So there you go, I managed to make a full post today about InNOut. And for those of you not from California (or Arizona) who haven't been, well I gotta tell you you're missing out. InNOut isn't just some trendy California phenomena, its REALLY good. I had my local biases growing up but the place is a worthy institution out here. And the Snyder family that runs it has kept the myth alive in part by great branding, the obvious good food and simple menu, and importantly, avoiding too much expansion. It's still only found in California and Arizona and maybe a few spots in Nevada as far as I know. They actually keep every restaurant in the family, so there's no franchises to speak of.

Now that I'm hungry...

I'd go to one right now, but 1)I have other things to do and 2)Los Angeles InNOuts are really difficult to get to, and there aren't many to begin with. There's the one near fucla (BOOOO), on Sunset (which is a pain, and the locals can be a nuisance) and one a little before the ucla InNOut somewhere just off the 10 before the 405. Oh, and one in Burbank.

All take a good half hour drive from USC. No thanks.

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