Actual Californian: D.C. In-N-Out Truck Is A Poor Substitute For The Real Thing [Updated]

But alas, it doesn’t sound like the start of In-N-Out Burger’s expansion to the East Coast.

Update, June 25, 2021: Even if it's blatantly counterfeit, West Coast expats can't seem to resist the siren song of an In-N-Out Burger. After D.C.'s fugazi "In-N-Out" food truck became national news, a man named David Ibarra contacted SFGATE with a first-hand review.


Ibarra, a West Coast native, told SFGATE that his "heart almost skipped a beat" when he first saw the food truck parked at the National Mall; though he realized it was a fake upon closer inspection, a months-long craving for a burger and animal-style fries compelled him to order a No. 2 combo of a cheeseburger, fries and a drink.

"Instead of a classic pink lemonade, I was handed a can of Brisk iced tea," Ibarra told SFGATE. "The fries weren't too bad but the only way I can describe the burger is like the kind of thing your friend in college would make if it were his first time using a grill. The meat was clearly frozen, they used shredded cheese instead of slices, and chopped lettuce instead of whole leaf slices. Overall 1/5. The whole experience left me craving real In-N-Out now more than ever."


Original post, June 22, 2021: As a born-and-raised East Coaster, few things annoy me more than listening to West Coasters prattle on and on about how great In-N-Out Burger is. It is not nice to taunt people with long-winded poetry about supposedly sublime burgers they may never get the opportunity to taste. Why, I've been on this planet since the 1980s and I've yet to visit an In-N-Out; truthfully I'm not sure if I ever will. I cannot fathom how it would be possible for In-N-Out's burger—or any burger, for that matter—to live up to the preposterous levels of hype surrounding it, nor can I fathom the depths of disappointment I will feel if I finally taste one and fail to see god. (At least I know I'm not missing anything in the fries department.)

Maybe that's why In-N-Out refuses to expand east of Colorado? Most of the East Coasters I know who have had In-N-Out have told me it's not as good as Shake Shack, and my Midwestern colleagues—though they appreciate In-N-Out's efforts—think Culver's has it beat. Still, there's plenty of people living in our country's vast In-N-Out deserts that get excited any time they hear rumors of the burger chain heading out east; like last week news that an In-N-Out food truck was "secretly" making its way around the streets of Washington D.C.


Unfortunately for all the hungry Washingtonians that let their imaginations get away from them, the truck is not on a covert mission to gather intel for In-N-Out bosses out west, nor is it a teaser for bigger, burger-ier things to come. No, as these photos posted to Reddit prove, it's simply a shady-looking food truck that slapped the In-N-Out logo on its side, stole its menu, and hoped that no one would ask any questions.

Of course, people did ask questions, including a reporter from the Washingtonian who received confirmation of the truck's duplicitous nature from an In-N-Out spokesperson. The company declined to provide a comment about what sort of actions it may take against the fraudulent truck, so if you're in D.C. and see it on the road, pull over and order a burger immediately, because its days are likely numbered. For all we know, that independent food truck's imitation burgers may actually be better than In-N-Out. (Honestly, how good could those burgers really be?)