29 (Sat) December 2018
at In-N-Out Burger
(Factory Merchants Outlet Mall)
-Barstow, California, USA-
with the Family
Winter Vacation in the USA, Day 11.
- Day 1: Seoul, Jinmi Pyeongyang Naeng Myeon (9.348 Mul Naeng Myeon) / 4.0
- Day 2: Los Angeles, Panda Express (9.349 Pea Shoots with Garlic) / 3.5
- Day 3: Los Angeles, El Cholo (9.350 Fish Tacos) / 1.5
- Day 4: Anaheim, Rollin Sushi Café (9.351 Dragon Roll + Nemo Roll) / 3.0
- Day 5: Buena Park, Medieval Times (9.352 Roasted Chicken) / 2.5
- Day 6: Los Angeles, Chosun Korean BBQ (9.353 Chosun Galbee) / 2.5
- Day 7: Anaheim, Aunt H’s home (9.354 Deep-Fried Snapper in Soy Glaze) / 3.5
- Day 8: Las Vegas, Joe’s (9.355 Florida Stone Crab Claws) / 3.5
- Day 9: Las Vegas, Golden Steer Steakhouse (9.356 Longhorn Steak) / 1.5
- Day 10: Las Vegas, Bouchon (9.357 Purée de Pommes de Terre … with Black Truffles) / 4.0
We’re spending our holiday in the States – first time for the boys – including Los Angeles and Orange County, Las Vegas, and Grand Canyon – the farthest (distance), longest (duration), and most complicated (itinerary) trip that we’ve ever taken.
A couple years ago, while I was working overtime on a mission in India (see generally 7.309 Tremendous), Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. Two years later, he led the country to a federal government shutdown – that was last week, no end in sight.
Our plan had been to swing by the Grand Canyon after Las Vegas, but we weren’t sure how much of the park services were impacted by the shutdown – frankly, none of us were really that keen in the first place – so we scrapped the idea and headed back to LA.
We stopped for dinner at Barstow, about halfway there.
In-N-Out Burger is an American burger chain. Founded 1948. Currently over 340 locations, mostly in California. Famous for using fresh ingredients, all burgers made to order – as such, some would argue it isn’t “fast food.” Rabid fan base, including many celebrities, including many chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller (see Day 10), and even Julia Child back in the day.
The last time that I had In-N-Out was in 2007, when I had missed a connecting flight at LAX and had to stay overnight in town to catch the next flight the following day (see Day 2). Number One Fan LJY picked me up from the airport and took me to In-N-Out for lunch.
The cheeseburgers were awesome. So simple: juicy all-beef patty, melted American cheese, crisp lettuce, chunky tomato slices, fresh onion slices (grilled upon request), a swipe of spread – a kind of mustardy-mayo sauce – and a squishy toasted bun to bring it all together. The classic American burger doesn’t need anything more than this (though a dash of hot sauce wouldn’t hurt). Unanimously, the family agreed that the In-N-Out cheeseburger is the best that they’ve ever tasted.
The fries, not so much.
Having just experienced this milestone event in their young gastronomic journeys, the boys exited In-N-Out, saw Panda Express across the parking lot, and insisted on going. Earlier in LA, they had tasted a bit of the leftovers from Day 2 and now wanted to try it for themselves, despite my warning that they were likely to be disappointed.
They were disappointed.
As a punishment for failing to heed my warning, I made them perform a dance of apology.