McDonald's vs. In-n-Out comparison: Why the two chains differ - Business Insider

I ate similar meals at McDonald's and In-N-Out, and I saw why the chains belong to 2 different worlds

22.1.2020

I ate similar meals at McDonald's and In-N-Out, and I saw why the chains belong to 2 different worlds

I compared McDonald's and In-n-Out to find out what a Big Mac and a Double-Double have in common aside from two beef patties.

I ate similar meals at McDonald's and In-N-Out to see what makes the two chains so different. Irene Jiang / Business Insider McDonald's and In-N-Out serve similar food, but the two chains couldn't be more different. I went to both chains to eat their most famous double burgers, and to see how they were similar or different to each other. I found that while McDonald's food doesn't taste bad, it tastes far less natural than In-N-Out's perfectly constructed burgers. . In-N-Out is to California what McDonald's is to the world. In-N-Out is widely beloved for its friendly service, fresh ingredients, and picture-perfect burgers. But McDonald's has become more than just a fast-food chain: it's become a building block of global capitalism. I set out to both chains and ate a similar meal at each one. My goal? To find out what makes these two chains so different, and, of course, to compare their food. I went to an In-N-Out in Los Angeles on a recent trip to the West Coast, and when I returned to New York, I went to a McDonald's in Manhattan near the Business Insider office. Here's what my meals were like: In Los Angeles, I scootered to an In-N-Out restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. Irene Jiang/Business Insider The interior was cheerily decorated with retro booths, neon signage, and red-and-white tiling. Irene Jiang/Business Insider In-N-Out's menu is stunningly simple, although its "animal-style" option is an open secret. Irene Jiang/Business Insider In-n-Out is meticulous about sourcing its ingredients, and it's famous for the freshness of its ... well, everything. Irene Jiang/Business Insider The chain's airtight supply chain is also why it will probably never expand to the East Coast. Irene Jiang/Business Insider The condiments stand has just two things: ketchup and hot pickled peppers. It might be simple, but ... Irene Jiang/Business Insider The peppers really kick it up a notch. Irene Jiang/Business Insider After a bit of a wait, my meal came out in a bright red box. I'd ordered a Double-Double, animal style ($4.35), animal-style fries ($3.95), and a medium soft drink ($1.75) Irene Jiang/Business Insider Prices are accurate to the Hollywood location of In-N-Out that I went to. I started with a handful of my animal-style fries. I grabbed a bundle before realizing that a fork was provided for a reason. Irene Jiang/Business Insider But even smothered in cheese, grilled onions, and Thousand Island dressing, these fries were nasty. Irene Jiang/Business Insider In-n-Out's fries manage to be soggy and flavorless even though they're fresh-cut every day. Irene Jiang/Business Insider The Double-Double animal-style was another story entirely. Irene Jiang/Business Insider This burger is every bit as tasty as it looks. Irene Jiang/Business Insider Between two perfectly toasted buns, tomato, lettuce, pickles, beef, and cheese were stacked carefully into a small tower and smothered in grilled onions and Thousand Island dressing. Irene Jiang/Business Insider Even though the two patties are small, they're tender and juicy, and they pack an incredible amount of meaty flavor. Irene Jiang/Business Insider The veggies are fresh, crisp, and flavorful. The pickle and slice of tomato add a cut of juicy tartness to an otherwise savory burger. Irene Jiang/Business Insider Soon, I realized why the Double-Double comes wrapped in paper. Irene Jiang/Business Insider All that juice needs somewhere to go. Irene Jiang/Business Insider I attacked the fries again, this time with a fork. Irene Jiang/Business Insider But my second bite was just as disappointing as my first bite had been. Irene Jiang/Business Insider It's a wonder how a place that makes such incredible burgers can make such infamously bad fries. Irene Jiang/Business Insider But In-N-Out makes a burger so good you forget it's fast food. Irene Jiang/Business Insider After all, when you think of fast-food burgers, you think of McDonald's. Irene Jiang/Business Insider Luckily, there's a McDonald's across the street from where I work. Irene Jiang / Business Insider It's not one of the new revamped restaurants, which have ordering kiosks and other modernized features. Irene Jiang / Business Insider This one still caters to a more lo-fi audience. Irene Jiang / Business Insider A McDonald's in New York is no ordinary McDonald's, but this one feels especially dystopian. Its dark grey walls and futuristic lighting made me feel like I was walking in a prison of the future. Irene Jiang / Business Insider I wasn't allowed to take pictures at the counter. However, this McDonald's has a mobile ordering option. Irene Jiang / Business Insider You can order ahead of time, check in when you arrive, and retrieve your order at the pick-up counter. Or you can order from a cashier. Irene Jiang / Business Insider I took my meal upstairs. There were no condiments stations, but that's true of most fast-food restaurants in New York. Instead, I was handed my condiments at the counter. Irene Jiang / Business Insider I got a Big Mac meal for $9.79 before tax. It comes with a Big Mac, medium fries, and a drink. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Pricing is accurate to the Manhattan location of McDonald's that I visited. Where In-n-Out is one-size-fits-all, McDonald's casts a wide net. It has a massive and ever-changing menu full of beef, chicken, fish, and potatoes. Irene Jiang / Business Insider However, the Big Mac is probably the chain's most iconic sandwich. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Three buns, two patties, and a smidge of lettuce, sauce, pickles, onions, and cheese. It's superficially similar to the Double-Double in many ways. Irene Jiang / Business Insider But the Big Mac is a nonperishable burger. There isn't really anything in the sandwich that tastes or needs to taste fresh. Irene Jiang / Business Insider The beef is pretty dry, the cheese a non-factor, the lettuce for show. What carries this burger is the creamy, tangy Mac sauce. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Unlike its In-n-Out counterpart, which flaunts its fresh ingredients, the Big Mac could be frozen and reheated a dozen times and still taste roughly the same. Irene Jiang / Business Insider McDonald's fries, however, are another story. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Even though they're no longer fried in beef tallow, many fast-food fans still swear by McDonald's fries. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Again, unlike In-N-Out, McDonald's doesn't really care about how processed its fries are. These aren't fresh-cut potatoes. They're fried from frozen. Irene Jiang / Business Insider But somehow, McDonald's still makes a much better fry than In-n-Out. Irene Jiang / Business Insider They're salty, reasonably oily, and reasonably crispy. Irene Jiang / Business Insider That said, they still have a relatively empty and artificial taste. And once they're cold, they're not worth touching. Irene Jiang / Business Insider McDonald's food is factory food. It isn't made with love, it's made on an assembly line. Irene Jiang / Business Insider Assembly line food, if nothing else, is at least reliable. McDonald's has built a global empire based on the reliability of its food. Irene Jiang / Business Insider I can't say I didn't enjoy my Big Mac Meal. I did. But afterwards, I felt like I'd put bad things into my body. Irene Jiang / Business Insider But after my meal at In-N-Out, I felt refreshed. Sure, a burger might not be the healthiest choice, but at least my In-N-Out burger tasted like real food. Irene Jiang/Business Insider SEE ALSO: Read more: Business Insider

McDonald’s fries are better. Thier burgers are a non issue. Wendies is a good compromise. I nearly always get an upset stomach after eating a Macdonalds burger.. ESPECIALLY the Big mac. I'm curious to hear your fast-food joint with the BEST fries! “Similar”?

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