A lot of people ask me what it is I miss about home. Of course I miss my family and friends, but I also miss food. I realize that American food does not have the best reputation, but when you grow up with it you tend to crave some things that you know may not be the best for you.
One snack I really miss is from the fast food restaurant In-N-Out, animal style fries. Animal style fries are an absolute mess. They are definitely not one of the most visually appealing foods in the world and are smothered in a secret sauce that I still am not quite sure what it is made of, but it is absolutely delicious and my mouth waters just at the thought of it.
In-N-Out is a fast food chain in the American west. I do not think many people from the mid-west or east coast have ever tried the food there, but it is popular as most people from the west tend to rave about the quality of their freshly cooked burgers and creamy milkshakes.
Animal style is a term used at In-N-Out to describe the sauce and condiments that will accompany the food (either burger or fries), and it involves grilled onions, the aforementioned secret sauce and other things that I am also not quite sure about. This item is not listed on the menu and although it is said to be part of the “secret menu” it’s already a well-known item that regulars order daily.
I have tried the animal style burger in the past and I agree that it is delicious. However, I believe fries suit the sauce much better. Fries are simply fried potatoes, so they do not have any other ingredients that may compromise the flavor of the sauce. In addition, there is something satisfying about dipping a single fry into a pool of sauce and scooping up a few grilled onions.
The first time I tried this style of fries was in junior high. My friend was excited because she had read about the then “secret menu” on the Internet and urged me to order them because she wanted me to be the guinea pig. At the time, I was an obese middle schooler so I agreed to eat anything she was paying for.
My life was transformed from that moment on! After that, animal style fries were all I ordered from the fast food chain. Personally, I love to eat the dish with fresh slices of jalapenos. I am not sure why, but in California you can add them to your meal at no extra cost. They give the fries a nice little kick to accompany the sweetness of the grilled onions.
I introduced the menu item to the rest of my family and they were instantly hooked. After that, my home would be filled with the smell of animal style fries regularly as my mother, father and I munched happily on the fried goodness while watching TV.
Honestly, whenever I go home, In-N-Out is the first place I visit upon landing. I do not even go home first! I go directly to the closest In-N-Out and order four large helpings of animal style fries and eat them.
This coming March, I will be making a trip back home and, although I am excited to see my family, I am more excited to eat animal style fries.
one’s mouth waters (phr. v.) – the smell or taste of food makes one want to eat it
rave (v) – to talk or write about someone or something in an excited or enthusiastic way
condiment (n) – something (such as salt, mustard, or ketchup) that is added to food to give it more flavor
compromise (v) – to damage or weaken (something)
obese (adj.) – very overweight
hooked (adj.) – to become obsessed with something; addicted
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