It’s not surprising that, when one man found an In-N-Out burger on the streets of New York City, the story quickly went viral. After all, the easternmost In-N-Out resides in Dallas, Texas and the majority sit in California. How did a West Coast burger end up on the other side of the country? Read on to discover the surprising answer…
How Did An In-N-Out Burger End Up On The Streets Of NYC?
Last week, New York City resident Lincoln Boehm published an essay on Vice‘s website, that quickly went viral. In the piece, Boehm voiced the overwhelming shock he felt when he suddenly encountered an In-N-Out burger on the busy streets of New York City. The story immediately spread around the country because the bothersome burger begged an important question: how did a burger travel hundreds of miles and end up on the other side of the country?
As stated, many associate In-N-Out with the West Coast, particularly with the company’s home state of California. There are no In-N-Out along the East Coast, whatsoever. The nearest, in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, sits a little over 1,500 miles away. As you can imagine, the mystery stumped many. “I never thought I’d have a concrete answer,” the 31-year-old Vice writer wrote. “I assumed this was just a mystery that would consume a part of my brain until the day I die, much like how the JFK assassination consumed my parents’ generation.”
Finding The Answer
After discovering the burger, Bohem searched for four days. Finally, he received a clue in the form of a private message on Instagram. A 16-year-old girl named Helen claimed that the burger belonged to her. – “…you may not believe me. However, I came from a flight that arrived at 5 a.m. from San Diego,” she wrote.
Since sharing his findings, Bohem had received dozens of messages from people claiming to be the burger’s owner – but he never believed any of them. However, the message from Helen “…was different. This explanation stayed as intact and solid as the very burger I discovered on the streets of Queens,” the online sleuth said.
Apparently, on her way to the San Diego International Airport, Helen picked up some burgers from an Encinitas, CA In-N-Out. Then, she boarded a flight to NYC to visit some family friends, hoping to surprise them with the burgers. Helen even shared two screenshots that proved her story. The first, of her in line at In-N-Out, the second, a screenshot of her on the flight. But, Bohem still had one question: how did the bun stay intact the entire time? “At the counter, she made it clear to the In-N-Out employee taking her order that she was about to board a flight, and asked for suggestions to preserve the burgers as much as possible. She ordered two Double-Doubles with NO SAUCE, which explains how the bun stayed so pristine.”
A Publicity Stunt?
Helen explained that once she landed in the Big Apple, she rushed to make a bus with her bags and suitcases – and the In-N-Out burgers. She dropped one on the way but caught the other two, luckily.
So, mystery solved. But why did it bother so many? Well, for Boehm, it’s his favorite food. In fact, he wrote that in his lifetime, he’s probably devoured over 1,000 In-N-Out burgers! He misses it very much on the East Coast, and it amazed him to see it on the streets of NYC. And he’s not alone! When the company has hosted one-day pop-up shops in places like Boston, London, and Sydney, the burgers often sell out within minutes. Many claim they are the best in all of fast food.
Many, including Boehm, wondered if the NYC In-N-Out burger came from the company itself, teasing an East Coast expansion. He was sad to discover that no, In-N-Out had nothing to do with it and they aren’t planning on opening a restaurant on the east coast any time soon…