They Hit The Spot

There’s no escaping the fact that I like food.  Fancy food.  French food, fine food, funky food, great food.  But every once in a while I just *love* taking down a burger.  Now there’s a bunch of people who think that maybe I wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) lower myself to eat such a thing.  There’s some folks who believe that I can’t be a *real* foodie if I deign to eat burgers.  Especially fast-food burgers.  There’s even a few who think it’s terrible that I write about such travesties on a food blog.  Ah, well.  Sometimes, burgers, they just hit the spot; and I ain’t afraid to say so.

Lately, in Seattle, there’s been lots of noise about burgers, so given my 26-year-old penchant for McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese or Jack-in-the-Box’s Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburgers, I decided it was high time I spread my burger wings.  Just a little.

On a whim, while I was scooting around Santa Barbara over the holidays I randomly decided that I needed to {finally} eat an In-N-Out Burger.  My friend, Neil, is always going on about them.  I made a decision: I was going in.

Since I didn’t want fries, I was persuaded by the super-sparkly tween behind the counter that a Double-Double was the only way to go.  Their menu is staggeringly uncomplicated.  The burgers seemed ridiculously cheap, if you ask me.  Two 100% pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce (what exactly IS that?), tomato, spread (spread?  That’s all we get?  “Spread”?), two slices of American cheese, onions (optional) stacked high on a freshly baked bun.  Cost was $3.24 or somewhere around there.

Fresh, messy, tasty.  Double on the tasty.  Kudos on putting it in a little bag that helped contain the messiness.  And all that fresh vegetably stuff.  Yep, I’d eat one of these again.  Great burger for not a lot of money.  I like that.

Then, one day after I was back in Seattle, Charlie IM’d me, “Are you in the office?”  I immediately started hoping his next line would involve the word “burger”.  It did.  But then, something strange happened.  He asked if I wanted to try Five Guys & depart from our usual rendezvous at McDs.  Since my friend, Tim, is always going on about Five Guys, I threw caution to the wind & typed, “Ooooh!  Let’s do Five Guys.  I’ve never been.”

Five Guys menu is almost as uncomplicated as In-N-Out, but not quite.  They give you a toppings list as long as your arm.  I found it easier to say what I didn’t want.  Little Bacon Cheeseburger, no pickles, no mustard.  Done.  I can’t remember what Charlie had, exactly, but he rattled off a list of toppings that I couldn’t quite keep up with.  The burgers seems pretty pricey, if you ask me.  Maybe the price is to cover the endless supply of free peanuts.  Charlie couldn’t explain the free peanut thing to me.  I still don’t understand it.  Cost for 2 burgers & a drink was around $14.77.

Served up in a foil wrapper, this burger made In-N-Out’s seem terribly sedate & orderly.  This puppy was a mess before I even tried to pick it up.  Tip: grab lots of napkins when you pick up your order.  You’ll need them.  There was not the overwhelming vegetably-ness of the In-N-Out burger, but Five Guys do have mushrooms; and mushrooms, in my little world, count for a lot.  Plus bacon.  That helped.  It was a tasty burger.  I’d eat another one, but honestly, I don’t think it was any nicer than In-N-Out at half the price, even with mushrooms & bacon.  But that’s just me.  In both cases though, I have to say, they hit the spot.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Redmond) on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Issaquah) on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Renton) on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Seattle, Northgate) on Urbanspoon In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Tammy - I’m so with you. Whenever we get down to California In N Out is always on the agenda. Love their burgers.

cb - Thanks for swinging by, Tammy! I’d heard about In-N-Out for so long – it was time!

Dork - Foodie Footnotes - [...] They Hit The Spot [...]

Bob Nicholas - For my money, Five Guys wins hands down. Their beef tastes like it is much better quality and I don’t have to get 4 patties to feel satisfied. Also, Five Guys’ fries and shakes are much better in my book.

carrie - It’s awesome that you found the burger you love, Bob. I have lots of friends who are Five Guys fans too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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