There’s no place like home

Published 12:15 am Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recently my family and I took a trip out west to California. It’s the place my wife and I grew up.
Soon after retrieving our baggage and leaving the airport we must stop for a Double Double animal style from In-N-Out Burger. For a fast food joint they sure make a fantastic hamburger. I’ve heard it compared to Five Guys, but I’ve not eaten there so I can’t comment.
In-N-Out is famous for their lack of freezers, thus the food is fresh daily. As of December 12, 2013, In-N-Out employed over 18,000 staff and had 290 locations, with no location more than a day’s drive from a regional distribution center. Whatever comes in that day goes out that day.
Until 1992 In-N-Out was a Southern California phenomenon. That’s the year they branched out into Las Vegas and Northern California.
The In-N-Out menu consists of three burger varieties: hamburger, cheeseburger, and “Double-Double” (double meat/double cheese). French fries and fountain drinks are available, as well as three flavors of milk shakes. The hamburgers come with lettuce, tomato, with or without onions, and a sauce, which is called “spread.”
There are, however, additional named items not on the menu, but available at every In-N-Out. These variations reside on the chain’s “secret menu,” though the menu is accessible on the company’s web site. The secret menu made locals feel like they were part of an exclusive club.
After the mandatory In-N-Out stop we are free to proceed with the rest of the trip.
It’s funny the things that we miss once we have left. After I got out of the Army, I missed the one thing I hated the most. I hated the runs that were part of our physical training. Once removed from that practice I felt like something was missing.
While growing up in California I never had a craving for a double double like I do when I’m home. Yes, home is Mississippi and nothing makes me appreciate my adopted state more than taking a trip back to the hustle and bustle of Southern California.
It is always nice to spend time with family and friends and the time is never long enough. However, there truly is no place like home.

Paul Barry is managing editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached by email at paul.barry@vicksburgpost.com or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123