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  • Post #211 - April 3rd, 2017, 11:21 am
    Post #211 - April 3rd, 2017, 11:21 am Post #211 - April 3rd, 2017, 11:21 am
    BR wrote:But the fries. I just don't understand how In-N-Out's fries are not better . . . and nothing really makes them better.

    Animal style makes them better.....but still...in order for them to be better you have to drown them in sauce, cheese and onions. I like them that way at least. Still no comparison to RHR though. Which are probably my favorite fries anywhere.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #212 - April 3rd, 2017, 11:30 am
    Post #212 - April 3rd, 2017, 11:30 am Post #212 - April 3rd, 2017, 11:30 am
    As a born and bred Californian, there is nothing better to me than In N Out. The ratios are perfect. I also think that the remarkable consistency across the company is a big factor in their success.

    That's not to say I don't adore the RHR burger too. And obviously the fries are better. Still, I think of the RHR double as the closest thing to a double double in Chicago. Really, really good, but not quite there because nothing will ever be.
  • Post #213 - April 3rd, 2017, 12:16 pm
    Post #213 - April 3rd, 2017, 12:16 pm Post #213 - April 3rd, 2017, 12:16 pm
    I think generally people who prefer In N Out do so because of an emotional / sentimental reason. There's no arguing that with!
  • Post #214 - April 3rd, 2017, 12:47 pm
    Post #214 - April 3rd, 2017, 12:47 pm Post #214 - April 3rd, 2017, 12:47 pm
    Just wanted to say that I have been to the Western location twice now for their excellent burgers, which is quite a lot for me as I don't typically eat many burgers in a year. It's not a health thing as much as I get a craving for a burger, I satisfy that craving and then I am usually good for a long time.

    Anyways, I can't discount psychological factors, but I think the In-N-Out animal style is better than RHR burger. However, the burger on my second visit to Western was mere inches away.

    What puts RHR over the top are the high quality fries. In-N-Out has some of the worst fries of any fast food establishment. The problem, as already expounded earlier, is that In-N-Out only does a single frying step. You need at least a double fry and the best are also boiled or steamed before any frying. The thing is, everyone knows In-N-Out fries are terrible so I don't know why the company persists in making them as they do...
  • Post #215 - April 3rd, 2017, 1:57 pm
    Post #215 - April 3rd, 2017, 1:57 pm Post #215 - April 3rd, 2017, 1:57 pm
    botd wrote: ...You need at least a double fry and the best are also boiled or steamed before any frying.


    I've always thought that steaming/boiling the potatoes before frying them results in a water-logged inside of the French fry, which dilutes the potato flavor and also compromises the natural potato texture - more than the dry heat of the frying oil would. I'm sure it does help get to a consistent texture though.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #216 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:07 pm
    Post #216 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:07 pm Post #216 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:07 pm
    Long time InO fan who used to fetishize the location next to Hollywood High in LA as the "best" of a chain known for its machinelike consistency. I've had occasion within the past few months to try a double double animal style on its home turf the same day as a RHR double on Ashland. I really like both places, but to me the RHR was obviously better, in the sense that it tasted better, which is what I'm looking for when choosing among burgers (admittedly, this is not a choice one actually has that often with the closest InO in Dallas). The InO seemed underseasoned and less "beefy" (possibly attributable to the same lack of salt & pepper). I questioned my recollection. Did InO always taste like that, or did they reduce the sodium at some point?

    I gave up on InO fries long ago and I much prefer RHR there - though to be fair, InO's proto-McDonald's fry is not trying to be a flabby (but delicious) Chicago beef stand fry.
  • Post #217 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:11 pm
    Post #217 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:11 pm Post #217 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:11 pm
    Obviously your french fry predilections might be different than mine. Heck, I am sure someone out there really likes In-N-Out french fries. But IMO you get a fluffy interior with a crisp exterior by boiling/steaming and then double frying. In no way is it water logged.

    This is the method advocated by Heston Blumenthal, Chefsteps, Kenji from Serious Eats, the guys at Modernist Cuisine and this ridiculously detailed duo of posts: http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/04/27/the-quest-for-french-fry-supremacy-part-1/. In short, there has been a LOT of research into perfecting french fries and , unless this is a case of massive group think, boil/fry/fry is the way to go for most people's tastes.
  • Post #218 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:59 pm
    Post #218 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:59 pm Post #218 - April 3rd, 2017, 2:59 pm
    Not to get off the fry debate.....but

    Does anyone know if the Western location has the "secret" pickles for the burgers like the Ashland location. I just think a burger of any variation needs pickles. And not just because I love pickles. A burger needs and wants pickles and onions.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #219 - April 3rd, 2017, 3:55 pm
    Post #219 - April 3rd, 2017, 3:55 pm Post #219 - April 3rd, 2017, 3:55 pm
    To me, what gives In-N-Out the edge is the quality of their tomatoes. Redhot Ranch's tomatoes are -- at best -- ... round.

    P.S.: You can ask for your fries to be double-fried at In-N-Out. This brings them slightly closer to palatability.
  • Post #220 - April 3rd, 2017, 5:32 pm
    Post #220 - April 3rd, 2017, 5:32 pm Post #220 - April 3rd, 2017, 5:32 pm
    Given that I don't have a private jet with the range to take me across the Mississippi often enough to visit InO in Texas, California, etc., with any frequency, the above discussion is more entertaining, philosophical, and abstractly informative than practical for me.

    So from more down-to-earth perspective: in addition to my spur-of-the-moment-capable proximity of RHR, I'll just note that from the Western Avenue location, my ol' terraplane can practically coast the distance from there to Margie's for a turtle sundae dessert. That's what I call value-added. ;-)

    --Matt
    "If I have dined better than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants...and got the waiter's attention." --Sir Isaac "Ready to order NOW" Newton

    "You worry too much. Eat some bacon... What? No, I got no idea if it'll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon." --Justin Halpern's dad
  • Post #221 - April 3rd, 2017, 6:15 pm
    Post #221 - April 3rd, 2017, 6:15 pm Post #221 - April 3rd, 2017, 6:15 pm
    cilantro wrote:To me, what gives In-N-Out the edge is the quality of their tomatoes. Redhot Ranch's tomatoes are -- at best -- ... round.

    Probably true more often than it isn't but it definitely wasn't the case in Phoenix in late March. They were barely round, even! :lol:

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #222 - April 4th, 2017, 5:19 am
    Post #222 - April 4th, 2017, 5:19 am Post #222 - April 4th, 2017, 5:19 am
    thepld wrote:Not to get off the fry debate.....but

    Does anyone know if the Western location has the "secret" pickles for the burgers like the Ashland location. I just think a burger of any variation needs pickles. And not just because I love pickles. A burger needs and wants pickles and onions.


    Yes, the Western location has pickles available upon request.

    --
    edc
  • Post #223 - April 4th, 2017, 7:09 am
    Post #223 - April 4th, 2017, 7:09 am Post #223 - April 4th, 2017, 7:09 am
    botd wrote:Obviously your french fry predilections might be different than mine. Heck, I am sure someone out there really likes In-N-Out french fries. But IMO you get a fluffy interior with a crisp exterior by boiling/steaming and then double frying. In no way is it water logged.

    This is the method advocated by Heston Blumenthal, Chefsteps, Kenji from Serious Eats, the guys at Modernist Cuisine and this ridiculously detailed duo of posts: http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/04/27/the-quest-for-french-fry-supremacy-part-1/. In short, there has been a LOT of research into perfecting french fries and , unless this is a case of massive group think, boil/fry/fry is the way to go for most people's tastes.


    I will have to give this method another try. The boiled/fried potatoes I've previously had were probably made wrong.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #224 - April 4th, 2017, 12:21 pm
    Post #224 - April 4th, 2017, 12:21 pm Post #224 - April 4th, 2017, 12:21 pm
    I thought it was Joel Rubechon who made the blanch/boil + double fry method famous, so I'm a little surprised not to see his name mentioned above or in the (very interesting) linked article. But maybe many people stumbled on the best solution at about the same time.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #225 - April 4th, 2017, 12:23 pm
    Post #225 - April 4th, 2017, 12:23 pm Post #225 - April 4th, 2017, 12:23 pm
    Katie wrote:I thought it was Joel Rubechon who made the blanch/boil + double fry method famous, so I'm a little surprised not to see his name mentioned above or in the (very interesting) linked article. But maybe many people stumbled on the best solution at about the same time.

    Joël Robuchon: most famous for his Puree de Pomme (aka mashed potatoes).

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #226 - April 4th, 2017, 1:07 pm
    Post #226 - April 4th, 2017, 1:07 pm Post #226 - April 4th, 2017, 1:07 pm
    AKA Butter with a potato garnish. :)
  • Post #227 - April 4th, 2017, 1:15 pm
    Post #227 - April 4th, 2017, 1:15 pm Post #227 - April 4th, 2017, 1:15 pm
    misterchico wrote:AKA Butter with a potato garnish. :)

    Yes, once you make them, you understand exactly why they're so awesome - just about 1 pound of butter for every 2 pounds of potatoes. What's not to love?!

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #228 - April 4th, 2017, 2:20 pm
    Post #228 - April 4th, 2017, 2:20 pm Post #228 - April 4th, 2017, 2:20 pm
    bnowell724 wrote:
    botd wrote: ...You need at least a double fry and the best are also boiled or steamed before any frying.


    I've always thought that steaming/boiling the potatoes before frying them results in a water-logged inside of the French fry, which dilutes the potato flavor and also compromises the natural potato texture - more than the dry heat of the frying oil would. I'm sure it does help get to a consistent texture though.


    The best hash browns are parboiled, then chilled before frying. It gives you a fluffy, creamy interior with a crisp fried exterior. I think this would work for fries as well.

    I'm not quite prepared to say RHR has the best order of fries I've ever tasted because that is a tall claim to make... but I find it hard to remember if I've had a better french fry, anywhere.
  • Post #229 - April 4th, 2017, 2:54 pm
    Post #229 - April 4th, 2017, 2:54 pm Post #229 - April 4th, 2017, 2:54 pm
    Joel Robuchon is also known for single frying potatoes in oil starting at room temperature.
  • Post #230 - April 4th, 2017, 10:30 pm
    Post #230 - April 4th, 2017, 10:30 pm Post #230 - April 4th, 2017, 10:30 pm
    Thanks, deesher, for that helpful memory jog.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #231 - April 5th, 2017, 7:34 am
    Post #231 - April 5th, 2017, 7:34 am Post #231 - April 5th, 2017, 7:34 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    misterchico wrote:AKA Butter with a potato garnish. :)

    Yes, once you make them, you understand exactly why they're so awesome - just about 1 pound of butter for every 2 pounds of potatoes. What's not to love?!

    =R=


    I have seen the recipe before and it kind of grossed me out. I actually like the flavor of potatoes and I am also on the fluffy side of the mashed potato debate, so this doesn't appeal at all.

    On another note Cook's Illustrated also recommends the cold oil start french fry, but I have heard conflicting results.
  • Post #232 - April 5th, 2017, 7:55 am
    Post #232 - April 5th, 2017, 7:55 am Post #232 - April 5th, 2017, 7:55 am
    botd wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    misterchico wrote:AKA Butter with a potato garnish. :)

    Yes, once you make them, you understand exactly why they're so awesome - just about 1 pound of butter for every 2 pounds of potatoes. What's not to love?!

    =R=


    I have seen the recipe before and it kind of grossed me out. I actually like the flavor of potatoes and I am also on the fluffy side of the mashed potato debate, so this doesn't appeal at all.

    On another note Cook's Illustrated also recommends the cold oil start french fry, but I have heard conflicting results.

    Well, if you've never had them . . .

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #233 - April 22nd, 2017, 10:49 am
    Post #233 - April 22nd, 2017, 10:49 am Post #233 - April 22nd, 2017, 10:49 am
    mhl wrote:So from more down-to-earth perspective: in addition to my spur-of-the-moment-capable proximity of RHR, I'll just note that from the Western Avenue location, my ol' terraplane can practically coast the distance from there to Margie's for a turtle sundae dessert. That's what I call value-added. ;-)

    --Matt
    Damn right Matt. I had a fantastic double burger at RHR and then went down the street for my turtle sundae at Margie's. I only wish RHR had indoor seating for when it's cold out and I want to sit down and take my time (rather than eat and run as I stand) or have to eat in the car (which I did). I guess I can look at it as an old-time drive-in and eating in the car is what you have to do. I know the one on Ashland does have seating. RHR has really impressed me.
  • Post #234 - April 25th, 2017, 12:31 pm
    Post #234 - April 25th, 2017, 12:31 pm Post #234 - April 25th, 2017, 12:31 pm
    RHR double with cheese for dinner Saturday night. Great as always. If there's a better burger anywhere in Chicago, I haven't found it yet.
  • Post #235 - April 26th, 2017, 12:03 pm
    Post #235 - April 26th, 2017, 12:03 pm Post #235 - April 26th, 2017, 12:03 pm
    I was within a block of the Western store this past Sunday. It was a gorgeous day. I took a pass to go to Fatso's. The lack of outdoor seating at RHR was the deal killer.
  • Post #236 - April 26th, 2017, 12:08 pm
    Post #236 - April 26th, 2017, 12:08 pm Post #236 - April 26th, 2017, 12:08 pm
    funkyfrank wrote:I was within a block of the Western store this past Sunday. It was a gorgeous day. I took a pass to go to Fatso's. The lack of outdoor seating at RHR was the deal killer.

    I'm not sure what you mean. There is plenty of outdoor seating at both Redhot Ranch locations.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #237 - October 13th, 2017, 7:44 pm
    Post #237 - October 13th, 2017, 7:44 pm Post #237 - October 13th, 2017, 7:44 pm
    I went to Redhot Ranch Ashland today for lunch. There was an Alaskan Cod Fish Sandwich on the Specials menu. IMHO nothing will replace the RHR double cheeseburger but I was curious so I tried it and I will tell you it was pretty....pretty....
    pretty....pretty...pretty...pretty....pretty....pretty good.
  • Post #238 - October 24th, 2017, 8:02 pm
    Post #238 - October 24th, 2017, 8:02 pm Post #238 - October 24th, 2017, 8:02 pm
    I had lunch at the Red Hot Ranch on Monday and tried the fried Alaskan cod sandwich (breaded with the same coating as their shrimp). The sandwich includes a pile of fresh cut fries. It's dressed with with lettuce, house made tartar, and American cheese, served on the same bun as the RHR double cheeseburger. It's not a home run, it's a Grand Slam!

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #239 - October 25th, 2017, 9:09 am
    Post #239 - October 25th, 2017, 9:09 am Post #239 - October 25th, 2017, 9:09 am
    I really just want to eat 1/2 pound of shrimp and a sandwich at RHR every day. There. I said it. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.....

    Chico
  • Post #240 - October 26th, 2017, 8:02 am
    Post #240 - October 26th, 2017, 8:02 am Post #240 - October 26th, 2017, 8:02 am
    Liked, not loved, Alaskan cod sandwich at RHR Ashland. Slightly over sauced, fish flesh hinting at dry and not enough "tarter" in the thin tarter sauce. That said, the cod sandwich has a tough row to hoe when compared to the magnificence of the RHR burger or double dog. Fries stellar as always.

    RHRAshland2.jpg RHR Ashland, Alaskan Cod Sandwich
    RHRAshland1.jpg RHR Ashland, Alaskan Cod Sandwich
    RHRAshland5.jpg RHR Ashland
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

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