By Vanessa White Wolf
Tom Hanks dropped by Conan O'Brien's reinvented "Tonight Show" last night and, maybe as a welcome-to-L.A. tip, he talked up the virtues of In-N-Out Burger. Tom's apparently a huge fan of the fast-food burger chain located mainly on the West Coast.
"It solves every problem ... sometimes you work on a movie and you're there until 3 in the morning — good news is, at midnight, know what's showing up? The In-N-Out Burger mobile," Hanks explained. "So, everyone's happy. You can't get the shake, but you know what? You don't need that much dairy."
So true. Being a New Yorker, I've never actually seen the In-N-Out van, but it's something I dream of. I'm a huge fan of the In-N-Out burger — I'd even say I'm the resident MTV News expert on the cuisine, and I have to get it every time I'm in L.A. Which means that after spending the last out there for the MTV Movie Awards, I needed it to refuel me constantly. (I won't give the exact number of how many times I visited the one right by Universal Studios, for fear of judgment.) Since the chain's been around for over 60 years, I'm a latecomer to the bandwagon, having first heard of the burgers in 1998's "The Big Lebowski."
Hanks also advised O'Brien on the secret menu at In-N-Out: "You have to speak a special language; you have to say, 'Give me a 4x4 Animal Style.' " Which, duh. Any fan of the chain should know all about the special items you can order at any location even if they're not on the very short printed menu. I mean, the company even has it on their Web site.
The most popular option is getting it Animal Style — that's with lettuce, tomato, mustard-cooked beef patty, a pickle, extra spread and grilled onions. Not being a fan of mustard, I usually go for the cheeseburger, unless it's been a long day — then I go for the Double-Double.
So what are you waiting for? It's got MTV and Tom Hanks' seal of approval — all it needs is yours.