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.

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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."

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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.

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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?)

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