Walnut Creek needs an In-N-Out

Earlier this week, I was driving back home from a meeting in East Contra Costa. It was way past dinner time and I was hungry.

Then off to the side of Highway 4 in Pittsburg, there it was, blazing in the night: the sign with that golden arrow. It beckoned me to pull off the highway and fuel up on a fresh, made-to-order burger and naturally cooked fries.

For a couple weeks, my co-workers and I have been craving an In-N-Out lunch, and grousing about how we’d have to drive all the way to San Ramon to satisfy our needs. No, we didn’t want a burger from George’s, or the Counter, or Hubcaps—even though all serve very fine burgers.

We wanted In-N-Out. There’s just nothing like the In-N-Out experience, right? My co-workers tried to draft me into running down to San Ramon yesterday to pick up burgers, and I would have, but, alas, it was early dismissal at my son’s school and I had to run out at lunchtime to bring him home.

Now, before the anti-chain and anti-fast-food-chain restaurant people get on my case, or representatives from the Walnut Creek Wellness City Challenge get out their pitchforks, let me remind you that In-N-Out has attracted fierce loyalty among customers, including big-time foodies. None other than Thomas Keller is a fan of In-N-Out. Yeah, the French Laundry chef and owner. He’s, like, one of the most famous chefs in the world.

From Via magazine: Why Thomas Keller Loves In-N-Out Burger

I really respect a company that holds its ground when there is so much pressure to follow the “what’s next, what’s new” trend. In-N-Out’s quality lies in the simplicity of what it promises and delivers. To be able to do something over and over with integrity and excellence, even if it is fast food, is something to be truly admired.

What Keller doesn’t mention is that In-N-Out, founded in 1948, is still a family-owned company that continues to hold to this philosophy: “Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”

We’ve heard that an In-N-Out might be going into Pleasant Hill. That’s great for Pleasant Hill. But how about we get one here? Hey, City Council folks, if this Neiman Marcus thing doesn’t work out … how about going after In-N-Out?

18 thoughts on “Walnut Creek needs an In-N-Out

  1. Well, well, well, SoccerMom you are prolific today as well as getting exercise. Me I'm just avoiding yard work….

    I'm all for an In 'n Out here. Beats the heck out all the other fast food restaurants. And by that I mean BK, Carls, TB etc. etc. Pleasant Hill would be better than San Ramon but not by a lot.


  2. They are the best! Remember Blazing Burgers? They were a great place for a burger but alas they sold and the new owners stopped providing the same quality. It didn't last long.


  3. WC would never do In-N-Out, with as anti-Drive Thru as they tend to be.

    I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, not far from the birthplace of In-N-Out… for me, In-N-Out is the archetype burger. I miss it, even though I do try to get to the San Ramon In-N-Out whenever I can.

    That said, if you love the fries at In-N-Out, but don't want to go to San Ramon just for french fries, Gordos on Ygnacio Valley Road (across from Heather Farms) has fresh cut french fries that are actually better than the ones from In-N-Out.


  4. I grew up in SoCal, and loved In N Out, back in the day. I still appreciate In N Out, because they will make a “grilled cheese” for those of us who have quit eating meat.

    For a fast food joint, In N Out is great! They have low prices, fresher food than any other chain, and I have heard that they treat their employees better, too.


  5. Oh shock and horror SM for even daring to jest about putting anything aa low class as an In-N-Out in downtown Walnut Creek!

    Have you not noticed that the City Council does not have a sense of humor, particularly when it comes to one of their pet projects?

    Ever wonder how much sales tax has been lost since MaceRich forced David M's to move across the street to a much smaller store with less merchandise? Kind of shot themselves in the foot on this one by trying to rush the whole NM project through quickly. Now we have any empty building and a once successful LOCAL store not being so successful because of greed and arrogance.

    In-N-Out is probably the best of “fast food” burgers but no where near as good as George's. Guess we in Walnut Creek will have to continue to take road trips to satisfy our cravings for good junk food.


  6. Separation of church and food? That is sorta funny. 🙂

    However, there are many religious people who own restaurants, so you can't escape it all. Don't be prejudiced against a business owner just cause he goes to church or puts bible verse references on his paper cups. It doesn't poison the food.

    If you want some good food, go to the Greek festival at the Greek church on Kirker Pass Rd this weekend. Good eatin'.


  7. Of course I will not hold it against them, but I still think their food is and tastes like fast food.

    But don't you think it would be interesting to guess how some of their loyal followers would rate the food quality if they would decide to start printing Quran verses on their food wrappers?

    Again I wouldn't be upset if there was an In'n'out burger place in WC, I just wouldn't be a frequent customer.


  8. Are you mad? Not a good idea. We need to ensure we can all fit into those gorgeous fashions that Neiman Marcus will soon bring to town! Besides, I&O is so passe! Pah-leeze! Send it to Pacheco.


  9. In-N-Out is not passe! It's cool, 'cause me and my friends say so. Sorry, I was watching “Glee” last night, and I'm regressing.

    But, yeah, it might not fit into Walnut Creek's sometimes inflated view of itself, and by the time it gets here, if at all, it will be passe. And, as for fitting its presence preventing women from fitting into those Neiman Marcus fashions? Well, I've already blown that for myself personally.

    Time to dig into my waffle breakfast!


  10. Totally support it. There are several spots that could easily house In-N-Outs:

    1) Next to the northwest corner of Treat/Geary and N. Main (think it was an old grocery store — been vacant and chained off for years)

    2) Replace downtown WC McDonalds with In-n-Out, although the drive-thru line traffic would be over capacity

    3) Replace one of the THREE corner gas stations near Kaiser WC at Newell and California, again, same problem with drive-thru line traffic

    4) Raze old Hungry Hunter building and build In-N-Out (it's Lafayette, but closer than San Ramon and Pleasant Hill — at least for me! 🙂 )


  11. Man, I would get even fatter if they put an In & Out here… I could eat those animal style fries all day long. And I love Gordo's, too. They'll actually cook a burger med-rare!


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