Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The Goodman In'N'Out Tribute Burger


My slightly-tongue-in-cheek-but-actually-not-really In'N'Out campaign seems to have fans in unusual places. On an impromptu midweek visit with a friend to Goodman Steakhouse to try their house burger, restaurant manager Dave Strauss revealed he had a surprise for me. He and head chef John Cadieux had conspired to have a go at their own version of California's finest, and wondered if I would be interested in trying it. Seriously, a burger made just for me? How could I - how could anyone - say no?


First of all, excuse (as ever) the poor photos but the brooding, testosterone-fuelled atmosphere of Goodman after dark does not make for a good studio. You'll largely have to take my word for the fact that the heaving "In'N'Out Double Double tribute burger" was absolutely, filthily marvellous. With two excellent beef patties supported by a couple of slices of melty cheese ("sourced" from the nearest corner shop apparently) and a token bit of salad, this was as authentic a West Coast burger I've ever eaten in this country. Admittedly, competition in this particular sector isn't sky-high, but everything about it seemed right - it was a good size and shape, fit well in the hands and bubbled with juicy goodness on every bite. I can't think how it could be improved upon, other than to eat it outside under the Californian sun. Even the bun, dark and glazed and not bearing much of a resemblance to the original, did its job perfectly and not only kept its shape well but provided extra sweet notes.


Along with the burger came a portion of "animal fries", chips soaked in yet more Kraft cheese, thousand island dressing, fried onions and pickles, in another loving tribute to the Californian chain. These were also marvellous, and in contrast to the burger even looked scarily authentic, although after finishing off the former I didn't make much of impression on these. I thought about asking for a doggie bag, but I didn't want too many envious glances on the train home.


In all the excitement it was easy to forget the reason we'd made the journey in the first place - to try the normal Goodman house burger. Utilizing a bigger bun, and with no cheese to mask the flavour of the top-quality beef, this was also a tremendously good burger. A straightforward construction of a single thick beef patty, lettuce, onion and pickle, it was presented with the dreaded fat chips, although these were cooked well enough. When I'm Supreme Ruler of the Universe I will enact a law that makes it illegal to produce any fried potato product between the size of roast potatoes and normal chippy chips, but until then there's nothing I can do, sorry.

So yes, I really enjoyed my special In'N'Out burger, and can't thank Goodman enough for making this special and completely unnecessary effort just for me. But more than anything, it was a relief to know that my relentless eulogising of the West Coast burger isn't just romantic holiday nostalgia - there really is something special about the multiple layers of beef, cheese and salad that mark it as something quite different from everything else in London. I'm also happy to point out that it won't appeal to everyone - it's just so greasy and full-on that I can easily see why some would prefer the more undemanding standard. More fool them.

It's obviously no good me telling you to go out and try the Goodman In'N'Out tribute burger, because it's not on the menu, and I'm under no illusions about how ludicrously privileged I am to have tried it. But perhaps with enough pressure applied in the right places, the In'N'Out campaign may find unexpected success in the UK after all. Even a tribute to the In'N'Out burger is better than nothing at all. So come on, Goodman, are you up for it?

Both burgers were on the house, but the normal Goodman house burger usually costs £12.

Goodman on Urbanspoon

16 comments:

winesleuth said...

our Animal fries were better! :)

Liz said...

Oh god - I love In'N'Out with a nasty, furtive passion. Terribly envious.

ginandcrumpets said...

Both burgers look really good, but it does look a bit like someone sicked up on your first lot of chips.

Laissez Fare said...

Well, given that the recent food blogger burger craze has fuelled my appetite for some of my country's most common yet prized foods, I will just have to get myself down to Goodman and politely request to try every burger they can make in the name of research! These burgers do look & sound promising, so many thanks for the review.

Best,

LF

Andy Kocen said...

I had the rare pleasure of a couple of In'n'Out visits this weekend, on consecutive days. Two double-doubles and three cheeseburgers later... my god they're good on a hangover.

I also learned about this. For less than $100, the 100x100! http://www.whatupwilly.com/2006/01/in-n-out-100x100.html

It does throw up a serious point though. £12 for the Goodman burger versus a coupld of bucks for a double-double. I know what I'd go for if there was an In'n'Out near me.

Kavey said...

Wow, proper kudos to them, how cool is that! I can understand why you're so chuffed, especially if the burgers were so good too!

tim_g said...

i'm a fan of in'n'out but i think the best burger i had in america was at shake shack in nyc + the exciting this is that this article (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1968932,00.html) seems to suggest they might be opening one in london which would be AMAZING

Lizzie said...

I. Am. Jealous. How I wish I was your hot date that evening!

mrsv83 said...

Yum. Sounds like they're getting really close. I really take for granted that there are 2 of those within 10 minutes of my home.

Helen said...

So, SO wonderful of Goodman to do this for you. How very lovely of them. Of course I am seething with envy. I put cheese 'sourced' from the local corner shop in my bobcat burger. It was called 'Welcome Cheese'.

Dan said...

I've also been privileged with the chance to try the Goodman's version of the In'N'Out burger on our last visit. (Also served with the heart stopping Animal fries).....and if I'm honest, although it was superb...both this, and the standard Goodman burger. I still prefer the Hawksmoor burger. It's the texture, seemed way too fine. I prefer a more roughly minced burger I guess.

movewithease said...

I've never had an In'N'Out Burger but now I really want to :) and those fries look insane! (in a good way :D)
Sarah

Chris said...

Andy: That. Is. Amazing. Many thanks for sharing.

tim_g: I've also heard that rumour, but I'll wait and see. Never been to SS.

Dan: I genuinely prefer this one - it's not quite as overwhelmingly full-on as the Hawksmoor burger.

nickloman said...

Was it you on Masterchef last night? Unlucky!

KEF said...

Oh wow - the fact that they actually MADE you animal style fries has me putting Goodman on the top of my list of places to go next. What good sports and HOORAY for having a piece of California over here in the cold and grey!

KEFinLondon

Simon Doggett said...

They *need* to put this on the menu. The newly-formed London Burger Club has Goodman at the top of the list, and this will make the trip even better.

I would say that the Meatwagon is the closest you can get to a west coast experience (since it's a fiver and comes out of a little food truck).