Frozen In-N-Out Double Doubles Are Too Much Trouble
At 10:30 this morning, I headed out into the rain with my mind set on one thing: In-N-Out. OrderAhead, a West Coast-based food delivery service and app was coming to D.C. and to promote their new East Coast venture, they were delivering frozen Double Doubles for one day only. And I was on it.
Since I was just outside of the delivery area, I had to make special arrangements to pick up my burger in Arlington. On the corner of Wilson and Hudson in Clarendon, under scattered showers, I made the exchange with my OrderAhead contact, secured the package and headed home to analyze the goods.
The In-N-Out in D.C. bundle consisted of one classic In-N-Out hat, two packages of In-N-Out special sauce, heating instructions, a coupon for OrderAhead and the biggie: one frozen Double Double. After my 15 minute drive back to the house, the burger was still frozen solid with a thin sheet of ice crystals coating the beef and veggies. The soft top bun was frozen stuck to the burger patty while the bottom half was soggy after absorbing all the special sauce, ketchup and other stuff that s. But, hey, at least it was easy to remove.
Since I’m lacking in thawing-out-completely-frozen-hamburger knowledge, I turned to the heating instructions, which were, to put it mildly, woefully inadequate:
“Step 1: Defrost burger.
“Step 2: “Microwave until cheese starts to melt.
“Step 3: Toast top bun for added perfection.”
I was going to need some outside assistance.
I had no idea how to approach Step 1 (in the microwave? in the fridge? where? how?) so I decided to solicit advice from Twitter on how to tackle this beast. It seemed the consensus was to separate the buns from the burger, toast the bread and then nuke the meat. Since the top bun was still stuck on, I had to use a butter knife to pry, saw and remove the bread. After successfully (although that’s debatable) removing the bun, I tossed it along with the mushy bottom half under the broiler for about a minute. Next step, I removed the pickles, lettuce and tomato from the frozen beef and cheese and then microwaved the frozen meat stack for 20 seconds.
Now, “Microwave until cheese starts to melt” did precisely dick for the unthawed meat. While the cheese had turned into a molten mass of bubbling orange (otherwise known as “melted”), the two patties were still mostly cold. Not one for patience when it comes to frozen fast food from California, one “fuck it” later and I zapped it for another 15 seconds, scooped up the cheese and beef, threw them on the warmed-up buns from the oven (the top was toasted fine but the bottom half was nothing but a mushy blob) along with the still-and-appropriately-cold produce.
The resulting assemblage of parts sure looked like a burger, but certainly not the kind I expect In-N-Out would want to promote. I can confidently say the taste could be described as the same. With the meat still cold in the center and the bottom bun a disgusting, gluey glob, the only saving grace was the In-N-Out sauce I drenched this thing in. I would not go back for seconds.
Regardless of the burger quality, the promotion for OrderAhead worked. When it was announced Tuesday, the news of In-N-Out in D.C. went viral and a rep for the company told me they sold out of their supply in less than 30 minutes this morning. As far as publicity goes, this was a complete success.
While frozen Double Doubles won’t be on the menu in the future (trust me, this is a good thing), a cursory glance through the OrderAhead lineup revealed much better alternatives that don’t require a microwave. Shake Shack, BTS, Big Buns, Z Burger and Good Stuff are all on tap for D.C.’s newest food delivery service.