Tag Archives: books

In-n-Out Burger Book Review

in-n-out burger secret menu bookOur awesome public library system here in San Francisco had set aside the In-n-Out Burger book (categorized in the business section) for me and I just read it on my trip to and from Seattle.  Here’s my quick review and thoughts…

As a read, this book is a quick one.  At close to 300 pages of actual content (and lots of notes at the end), it details the rise of the burger chain from its humble beginnings in Baldwin Park, CA through it’s current state.  Harry and Esther Snyder started In-n-Out Burger and the company has stayed a family business and remained privately held even while the entire fast food industry has gone corporate – for the most part.

The book details some of the drama concerning the most recent change in leadership as well as some interesting tidbits and backstories.

A few random things I learned included:

  • that one of my favorite streets in Venice, CA – Abbot Kinney – is named for the tobacco magnate who founded Venice in 1905.
  • The town of Irvine, CA, where Rich Snyder moved the headquarters offices during his tenure running In-n-Out, was designed by The Irvine Company, who designed it from the ground up in 1960 (like Celebration, FL) before it was eventually incorporated in 1971.
  • Julia Child was a big In-n-Out fan, and reportedly kept that little location guide in her purse
  • and a lot of things I already knew (Thomas Keller being a fan, secret menu and bible verse stuff, etc.)

But back to the content of the book itself – author Stacy Perman’s quotes seem to do little to support the text when she uses them – to me the quotes are too short and it would have been nice to get more context aside from a one liner.. Her writing style wasn’t all that compelling to me either, but luckily the story of In-n-Out Burger and the machinations of the business are strong enough to propel the story.  Maybe it’s because I am one of those fanatical In-n-Out fans that I demand the greatest prose to accompany this great burger institution’s story.

Oh well, who could live up to that.  I guess maybe if I can get Haruki Murakami into In-n-Out then maybe he could write something about that.  Now that would be freaking awesome…

Well, I will leave you with a nice quote from our own San Francisco Mayor – Gavin Newsom – from the books back cover: “When fast-food restaurants tried to locate to Fisherman’s Wharf, our local merchants were opposed to every one of them – except In-n-Out.  Because every meal is fresh and made from scratch, In-n-Out is in a class by itself.”

In-n-Out Burger book by Stacy Perman

in-n-out burger secret menu bookI didn’t realize that In-n-Out had a book written about them so now I gotta check it out.  I figured this out because I was all excited to see the In-n-Out documentary on KQED tonight but missed it.  So frantically searching the interwebz to see if any kind soul would have Ustreamed their live TV while they watched it, I came across this video of author Stacy Perman at a book signing in Napa at Books Inc.

Among the factoids she mentions that must be in the book are:

– Julia Child kept a list of where all the In-n-Outs were between her place in Santa Barbara and LA.

– When Per Se opened, self-professed In-n-Out fan and super Chef Thomas Keller got 300 In-n-Out Burgers for his staff.

Once I read it I’ll post a review or if you are more impatient than I, you can order it online!

Oh and on the Five Guys vs. In-n-Out?  No contest – In-n-Out kicks Five Guys’ ass.   Head to head like the Lightning Burger, I’ll take my Double Double any day 🙂

Quotes from “Bonk”

Lacy Bradley - Yoga Instructor
While on vacation in Costa Rica, I picked up Bonk at SFO to read since I forgot to pack a book of my own selection. There are a few pretty funny lines in the book that made me laugh so I thought I’d transcribe a few of them:

page 241 – related to loss of time:
“Orgams appears to be a state not unlike that of the alien abductees one always hears about, coming to with messy hair and a chunk of time unaccounted for.”

page 252 – a pretty solid description of men’s behaviour:
“I give you a sentence, my favorite sentence in the entire oeuvre of Alfred Kinsey, from Sexual Behavior in the Human Female: ‘Cheese crumbs spread in front of a copulating pair of rats may distract the female, but not the male.'”

You can check out my other book reviews on the site GoodReads.com – here’s my profile page.

If you would like to check out my reviews of where we stayed and what we did in Costa Rica, check out my TripAdvisor page.


I’ve been thinking about some random stuff lately, and one thing on my mind probably since my first trip out to Burning Man is the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) which is a term I only recently came across, but the concept is familiar and enticing. I found out about TAZ (the term) from this guy from the Madagascar Institute (how appropriate) who was out at Burning Man last year. His crew built an amazing octopus way out on the playa which was one of my favorite installations this year.

Continue reading TAZ