BusinessWeek Salutes The 20×20 Cheeseburger, Apparently Unaware It No Longer Exists

July 25, 2009

BusinessWeek: World's Most Original Burgers
BusinessWeek‘s Web site has a new gallery hailing the world’s most original burgers, including such unique twists as kangaroo meat patties, a cheeseburger in a can, and a tempura burger “made of shrimp, squid, scallops, onion, carrots, sesame-flavored edamame, and a special salty sauce.” Also included, apparently due to its massive size, is a 20×20 cheeseburger from In-N-Out.

There’s just one problem: In-N-Out policy forbids restaurants from serving anything larger than a 4×4. The rule went into effect soon after unappetizing photos of the infamous 100×100 circulated around the Internet a few years back.

What makes this oversight particularly puzzling is that Stacy Perman, who literally wrote the book on In-N-Out, works at BusinessWeek. That got us thinking: Had the 4×4 rule been dropped? Could it have just been a rumor all along? Was there really no limit to the stack of cheesy meat we could order, aside from our wallet and our imagination?

We called up In-N-Out to get the answer. Sadly, it’s true: A 4×4 is biggest you can get. Perhaps BusinessWeek should add a “some assembly required” note in its gallery, because the only way you’re getting a 20×20 is by ordering five 4x4s and building it yourself.

Update: If you’re curious what it’s like to consume such a colossal cheeseburger, Eric Albertoni ate one in 2005 and lived to blog about it.

Video: Stacy Perman Discusses Her In-N-Out Book

July 23, 2009

Stacy Perman at Books Inc.

FORA.tv has a great video of BusinessWeek writer Stacy Perman discussing her book “In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules” at Books Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., last week.

Over the course of the talk, Perman reveals how she was inspired to write the book, gives a thorough summary of the chain’s history, and takes questions from the audience. It’s packed with great In-N-Out trivia and definitely worth watching, especially if you’re too lazy or cheap to read the book. And although the video is nearly an hour long, don’t worry — FORA.tv has chopped it up into bite-size chapters for you.

In-N-Out Burger: Stacy Perman [FORA.tv]

Reviewer Puts In-N-Out Stickers On $193k Ferrari

July 21, 2009

Ferrari California

Cool Hunting executive editor Evan Orensten recently got to test-drive the sexy Ferrari California from San Diego to Santa Monica (um, how do we sign up for that gig?), making stops along the way in Borrego Springs, Malibu, and, of course, In-N-Out:

By the time we hit Palm Desert it was nearly 120°, and after our Double Doubles (it’s not a real California until it proudly wears an In-N-Out sticker) we put the top up and cranked the air conditioning until we made our way down Mulholland Drive.

No word on how the cup holders performed, but we can’t think of anything better than cruising around SoCal in a convertible Italian sports car with a Double-Double. Check out the full review over at Cool Hunting.

Business Author Matthew E. May Praises In-N-Out

July 19, 2009

Matthew E. May — Pepperdine Business School professor and author of the books “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing” and “The Elegant Solution: Toyota’s Formula for Mastering Innovation” — praises In-N-Out in the latest LeanBlog.org video podcast.

May uses the infamous fade-to-black ending of “The Sopranos” to illustrate the notion of how “what isn’t there can sometimes be more powerful and trump what is there” and then goes on to claim In-N-Out’s secret menu and slow expansion work the same way.

Check out the video above. The In-N-Out talk begins around four minutes in.

Chadder’s Is A ‘Shoddy Clone Of In-N-Out’

July 18, 2009
Chadder's in American Fork, UT

Chadder’s, the tiny Utah burger chain that In-N-Out sued in 2007, may look a lot like everybody’s favorite restaurant — the menu is practically identical, and so is the decor — but it’s actually more expensive and less tasty, Rhombus Magazine found:

There was a bun, meat, cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato, which combined to make a marginally tasty burger. The meat patties were a lot smaller than expected, but when you are dealing with a knock-off you learn to expect to be unimpressed. …

The fries were just like those of In-N-Out except smaller and not as crisp. …

Chadder’s is a shoddy clone of In-N-Out. Do I recommend that you eat there? If the word “cliché” describes your lifestyle, then yes, go for it. If you really want a good original burger, then don’t.”

Read the entire review to see the writer’s take on founder Chad Stubbs’ weak explanation for why he opened the wannabe In-N-Outs.

(Photo: Db-GraphicDesign.com via flickr)

One Last Cheeseburger Before Heading To Iraq

July 18, 2009
Final stateside cheeseburger before heading to Iraq

Blogger Ethan Wims is on his way to Iraq with the U.S. Air Force, but before he left, there was just one thing he absolutely had to do: Eat the last In-N-Out cheeseburger he’d see for at least the next six months.

So … I had my last meal in the states. What better way than to have the good all-American cheeseburger? There is a better way you say? Why yes … how could I forget … In-N-Out!!!

The only problem is that the malaria pills that I have to take make my stomach ache, so I couldn’t finish my fries. But I had it and it was delicious and I can’t wait to have my favorite burger joint again.

Stay safe over there, Ethan! We’d ship you a burger, but it probably wouldn’t be very good by the time it arrived.