Let me start off by saying, I do generally like In-N-Out. Their burgers are great quality and pound for pound, dollar for dollar, I don’t think you can get a better value for your meal anywhere in the country.
For years, people have always raved about Animal Fries being the best side dish in all of fast food and for some reason or another I’ve never actually gotten around to trying them, until yesterday. Yesterday, I tried In-N-Out’s storied Animal Fries for the first time surrounded by much hype and I gotta say, I was sincerely disappointed. I was expecting a heavy, savoy, crispy, poutine-like sensation. Instead, I was dealt an overhyped serving of bland fries topped with an even more sorry excuse for a dressing. They were fine, but nothing deserving of the ridiculous hype they’ve been getting for years.
For starters, the cheese was a major disappointment. Believe me, I’m as big a fan of yellow American cheese squares that you will ever find. However, when it’s barely steamed and just sticking to the fries (and fry carton) like gum on a hot sidewalk, we’re in for some issues. I wish the cheese was a little more melty and retained less of that solid plastic-y consistency. If you’re gonna have cheese on fries you better make sure it’s ooey and gooey, that’s like the number one rule of cheese fries. Animal Fries did not live up to that.
The fries themselves were just as underwhelming as usual. I don’t need to be the first person to tell you In-N-Out’s fries are some of the worst in the business (I like the shape, there’s just no flavor!!) and unfortunately even with all the accouterments of an Animal Style dressing up, it still wasn’t enough to save it.
Sure, when you toss a tangy-creamy ass spread on anything, it’s bound to be good. And yeah while the spread was alright, it still felt like at least 2/3rds of the fries in the carton were completely naked. Do better In-N-Out, do better. I was looking for that perfect bite of every element (fry, spread, onion and cheese) and maybe, just maybe was able to salvage just five or six from the entire dish. Shouldn’t have been the case.
I’m a big caramelized onion fan, throw them sweet shits on anything and it’s an instant hit. But honestly, these ones just tasted like tiny little bits of onion that were there just for the sake of being there. They were diced way too small to retain integral flavor and weren’t grilled nearly as long as they should’ve been. This short-sightedness on the grill led to them being way less sweet then they needed to be. The onions unfortunately didn’t serve the purpose God intended for them, such a shame.
Upon talking with someone afterwards, I was informed I did it wrong and had to actually order the fries “well-done” if I was looking for that hearty, crispy potato base. See that sucks. If that’s the case, the Animal Style fries should be cooked “well-done” by default. I mean the employees know they’re topping it with pounds of soggy crap, they’re doing the dish a disservice by serving it with the same, undercooked, bland fries.
Overall, Animal Fries were a major disappointment and surely not worth the hype. If you’re looking for a real poutine-like experience, I would suggest sourcing out the real thing, with real, thick-ass potatoes. Otherwise, if you’re just looking for the best fries in all of fast food, stick to Wendy’s (you heard me… more potatoey goodness and just slightly edges out McDonald’s for that top spot).
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