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There are a lot of things the East Coast does well- pizza, bagels, Broadway- but there is one thing the West Coast does better. Fast food burgers. Sorry all you Shake Shack lovers, but you lose.

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In N Out will always have a place in my heart as my favorite fast food ever. Everytime I return home to Phoenix, it’s the first meal I have on the way home from the airport. Not only is it the cheapest meal I’ll ever have, it is so insanely satisfying. As a midwest kid, I used to think Wendy’s ruled the world but boy, was I wrong.

 

Let me explain before all you Five Guys and SmashBurger connoisseurs have my head.

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The In N Out burger is perfectly thin, with just the right amount of seasonings, and never overcooked. That’s probably my biggest grievance with Shake Shack is that the burger is literally always burnt, every time I eat there, and there is nothing I hate more than a burnt burger. The bun is a little buttery and gently toasted to keep everything warm.

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Their special sauce, while probably not made with anything extraordinary, is definitely special. It’s ever so slightly sweet, with a touch of tang for some kick. I go pretty simple with my burger- just special sauce and grilled onions- and it’s divine every time. You can add all the other stuff, pickles, lettuce, cheese, but I think it just takes away from the magnificence of the burger.

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Now for the fries. I despise soggy fries. I will never understand the point of an undercooked fry; it actually makes me sad thinking about it. In N Out does their fries right, every time. You can even see the guy slicing up all those potatoes right in front of you. They fry them to perfection, nice and crispy on the outside but still a little soft on the inside, and with just a dash of salt. No over salting, no burnt ends. I’ve done the animal style fries but they got soggy and it was just too much of everything.

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Top all of this off with one of their perfect chocolate milkshakes, diner style. They’re so thick you can barely get it through the straw (but luckily, it’s hot in Arizona so it melted fast.)

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You can try and tell me that In N Out is overrated, or that Shake Shack is better, but I will stand by my burger choice until the end of time. There is nothing like that big red and yellow sign to light up my heart with the prospect of a delicious meal.

Taryn Lachter
About the Author

I grew up in the food industry, and food is my first love. I’m obsessed with all things that taste good, especially cheese, and the fastest way to win my heart is through my stomach. You can find usually find me rooting around in my kitchen, or enjoying something new on the scene in New York City.

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