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March 6, 2010

In-N-Out and Heaven & Earth

In-N-OutSo the Securities and Exchange Commission claims in a lawsuit that "America's prophet" Sean David Morton is a big, fat fraud, which brings us, predictably -- at least for the real psychics out there -- to In-N-Out Burger and, more broadly, to a question worthy of a modern-day seer: How far are you willing to go for a great meal?

At the tail end of a story on the S.E.C. case against "Heaven & Earth" guru Morton, The New York Times reports: "[A]s part of a 2009 lawsuit aimed at halting an S.E.C. investigation, the Mortons argued that they were the targets of 'two (or more) dishonest and incompetent S.E.C. employees, who apparently need to justify a trip to California in order to visit Disneyland and eat In And Out Burgers at the taxpayers' expense.'"

That struck a chord with Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, the Baltimore cheese- and hat-maker and owner the late Old Waverly History Exchange & Tea Room.

Just last month, she planned a trip to California. Her stated reason: visiting creameries, working in a bakery and taking a three-day millinery workshop. The real reason: scratching her In-N-Out itch. 

Shapiro had a taste on a trip a earlier this winter and had been dreaming about the burger ever since. It made her a "prisoner of In-N-Out lust."

This from a woman who rarely eats beef, and never eats fast-food burgers.

"My diet is seriously 98, 99 percent vegetarian," Shapiro said. "But for this thing -- I don't know what they did to it. I tried to eat it slowly, like when you investigate a new cheese." 

But it was gone in no time.

Shapiro, forced by twin blizzards and sickness to cancel her return trip, will cling to a memento until she can book another flight.

"I kept the In-N-Out bag," she said. "I sniff it every once in a while."


Los Angeles Times photo


Posted by Laura Vozzella at 9:59 AM | | Comments (10)


Back before In-N-Out spread into Arizona, many of us employed at the Tempe-based airline would use our free flight benefits to catch a quick 1 hour flight to either SAN, LAX or ONT. Then a quick cab ride to the closest In-N-Out, and back on the next return flight, happy and satisfied.

Is that Tiger Woods?

It sure looks like him.

Yes, I hear he is quite fond of In-N-Out.

Ow ow ow ow ow.

former charm city denizen turned angeleno and, after 4 years here, still cannot understand the love for these burgers. there is nothing particularly special or good about them, even by fast food standards.

give me Five Guys seven days a week

Chris, have you found a place with "real" steamed crabs out there?

Whenever out west I make it a priority to stop at least once for a double double at in n out. I don't know why its so good but it is. Why they don't franchise out east is beyond me.

Marc, according to its website, "In-N-Out remains privately owned and the [founding] Snyder family has no plans to take the company public or franchise any units." If they won't even franchise on the Left Coast, it's unlikely that they'll do so over in these parts.

former charm city denizen turned angeleno and, after 4 years here, still cannot understand the love for these burgers. there is nothing particularly special or good about them, even by fast food standards.

As a former Angeleno, turned Charm City denizen I can only offer that for all the people living in In-n-Out territory - it's not a taste that wins many converts.

Everyone I've tried to introduce to the burger just doesn't seem to get it. For whatever reason, you need to be a native to really get it.

Also, it helps to order animal style for extra points.

On a random tangent - why can't we get some decent taco trucks out here? We've argued about falafel carts, but what I really truly miss is a good 3 am taco truck run.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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