2020 has been an awful year by any standard.
The coronavirus, the Charlie Brown Halloween special being removed from broadcast TV, and the Chiefs winning a Super Bowl have made it one of the worst years in recorded history.
If there is a bright light on the horizon, it’s that vaccines for the virus look promising and — for some — the In-N-Out hamburger chain is getting closer to Wyoming.
Three locations in northern Colorado are scheduled to open by the end of the week.
“Our construction work continues to move forward for our locations in Colorado Springs, Aurora and Lone Tree,” Denny Warnick, In-N-Out Burger Vice President of Operations, said to Denver’s 9 News. “We are still on track to open our first three Colorado restaurants by the end of the year, and of course our distribution center will need to be operational by that time to support these locations.”
That doesn’t do much good if you live in Wamsutter, Lysite, or Recluse. But if you’re in Cheyenne or Laramie, you’re only a couple hours away to grab what many believe to be the best burger ever made.
At Cowboy State Daily, while we appreciate In-N-Out, our hearts go to other chains.
Bill Sniffin, a self-described connoisseur of fast food, has two favorites.
“As I travel around the country, we tend to sample various fast food joints. In Texas, we like the local Whataburger chain. But when it comes to a national chain, the Five Guys Burger joints served up a delicious hamburger with a sack full of French fries. Good service and tasty food. Our favorite,” Sniffin said.
Sniffin said he is not a fan of In-N-Out Burger.
“Their products remind me of the earliest days of McDonald’s and Henry’s Hamburgers 50 years ago,” he said. “Very simple and not very tasty. I will never understand the long lines I see at various In-N-Out Burger joints across the country.”
Ellen Fike, like Sniffin, gives the nod to Five Guys.
“I’ve only had In-N-Out once and I will admit, it was cold by the time we got back to the hotel,” Fike said.
“While Five Guys does have one of the best burger chains around, the secret to their burgers is to never eat them in the restaurant,” she said.
“I find that when you order one and take it home (or have it delivered), the burger has time to melt the cheese (which is, in fact, the best cheese out there) and let all of the flavors meld together for a tasting experience like no other! However, their fries could win an award for ‘most disappointing’ or ‘most soggy’” she said.
Jim Angell, who ate every food item at Cheyenne Frontier Days last year, couldn’t narrow his favorite down to just one either. Arctic Circle and A&W are tops on his list.
“Arctic Circle — This chain has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and there was a franchise I passed by every day on the way home from school,” Angell said.
“Well, to be completely honest, I didn’t always pass. Often I stopped for second lunch. The burgers are always seasoned well, the veggies are fresh and the fry sauce is to die for! And best of all, the fries are large and always perfectly cooked — not underdone, not burnt to a crisp. And generally, somebody is pretty liberal with the salt shaker. Always makes my heart pump a little faster. Really,” he said.
“A&W — Another childhood favorite, Angell said. “Before it closed in my hometown, A&W was THE place for a quick meal. The hamburgers are always fresh and well seasoned and the preparers are always generous with the condiments.”
“I have a soft spot for the cheese curds as well, a relatively new addition to the classic restaurant’s menu. And let’s not forget the root beer. For many of us, this was our first exposure to the soda equivalent of ambrosia and it was a memory that stuck. Nothing beat someone bringing a jug of A&W root beer home on a hot summer night. Certain outlets even had a winter treat made of warmed up root beer with whipped cream and cinnamon on top. Quite good!” he said.
Jimmy Orr, who was suspended from McDonald’s during his high school days for making a giant phallic symbol out of hamburger meat (roughly 30 patties) to try to make his colleagues laugh, said Fatburger was his all-time favorite.
“Any hamburger chain that is bold enough to use the word ‘fat’ in its name is telling you something,” Orr said. “They are focused on taste and taste only. They don’t care about anything else.”
“You bite into the hamburger and it oozes all over you,” he said. “The best way to eat a Fatburger is to put a garbage bag over your head. Well, actually, make a hole in the garbage bag and then have it drape over you.”
“The burger is so juicy and so large — and somehow so explosive — that it will ooze all over you by the time you’re done,” he said. “It just oozes.”
As a result of eating too many Fatburgers, Orr and a colleague launched competitive diets and is chronicled in the Two Guys Lose Weight blog at the LA Times.
In one blog post, Orr mentioned his favorite meal at Fatburger to his former trainer and what kind of workout was needed to counteract that 2,620 calorie meal. His trainer advised running a marathon.