Here's another west coast burger chain that I get sucked into every time I go out west for business - In 'N Out Burger.
Started in 1948 by Harry and Esther Snyder, the original In 'N Out Burger location was nothing more than a small building in Baldwin Park, CA. Harry recognized the need for a drive in restaurant where instead of having car hops bringing the food to you, you drove to the food, so to speak. It was the first "drive-thru" hamburger stand in California.
Harry's sons, Rich and Guy, started in the business when they were young. When Harry died in 1976, Rich became the CEO of In 'N Out Burger. Rich took the chain from 18 stores to over 90 locations before he died in a plane accident in 1993. Guy took over and the chain grew to nearly 150 locations by the time he died in 1999.
Today, Esther Snyder is still the President of In 'N Out Burger, but a major lawsuit has erupted between an In 'N Out vice-president and board member, Richard Boyd, and Esther Snyder's only grandchild, Lynsi Martinez, and some others on the board at In 'N Out. The lawsuit alleges that Martinez and others are trying to force out Boyd so they can expand. Boyd wants to keep the number of In 'N Out Burger locations to a minimum to keep the quality high. It's a mess and it's not good press for In 'N Out Burger.
The staple of In 'N Out Burger is the famous "Double Double" - a double cheese burger with lettuce, tomato, their special spread and onions. Killer. Just killer. They're cooked on a flat grill and they're always juicy and tasty.
A colleague of mine told me to get one "Animal Style" - a burger cooked in mustard, with extra sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles and onions. It was outstanding, as well.
God, I love In 'N Out Burger.