It was in college that I first heard about legendary hamburgers from a joint in the faraway lands of California: In-N-Out. I went to college in a very small town in eastern central Ohio. I had two questions for my Cali friends. The first, of course, was Why are you attending college in Ohio if you live in California?  The second was What’s the deal with these In-N-Out burgers? My Cali friends raved and raved about them, saying that no other burgers was like them. I never received satisfactory answers to my question beyond someone saying something like, “There are burgers, and there are In-N-Out burgers, and you can’t compare the two.”

So I went for years and years without the taste of an In-N-Out burger. I’ve traveled quite a bit but never made out Way Out West to get to a restaurant. Until this April, when The Wife and I visited Las Vegas for the first time. We stopped at the location  just off the Vegas strip, and  we ordered our first authentic In-N-Out burgers – animal style, of course.  Pure deliciousness, and definitely lives up to all the hype.

I heard about Five Guys just a couple years ago, a few months before we stopped at our first one in Panama City, Florida. I really enjoyed it, and I’ve been impressed with their overall consistency – I’ve also eaten at restaurants in Baltimore and Indianapolis, and have been very satisfied with them all.

And now I see there’s a place I’ve never heard about that has must-try status: the Shake Shack.  How long will it be before I make it there? The closest one to me is the newly opened restaurant in Washington, DC.  So, we shall see.