America is undeniably the land of food, of giant meals and of multiple restaurants on one block.
The first time I tried to order a meal in America, from the extensive menu, it went something like this:
Me: Can I have the X burger please?
Waiter: Would you like to eat in or take-away ?
Waiter: Would you like normal or sweet potato fries?
Me: Erm, normal.
Waiter: How would you like your burger done?
Me: Erm, medium
Waiter: Would you like a soda with that?
Waiter: Diet or regular?
Waiter: What size would you like?
Me: Erm, regular.
Me: (stomach rumbles)
For a Brit unused to American service and incapable of making decisions that was a lot of options. I just wanted a burger, although, admittedly, it did look good.
After relating this sorry tale to my travel buddy’s relative, he took us to fast food restaurant In-N-Out Burger and all our problems were solved. The menu was small and concise, containing only a handful of items. Within moments, our food was ordered and I was holding a burger and fries. Now this was more like it.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t keen on American food culture (it is a foodie paradise) but, for a beginner being thrown into the deep end, this burger let us ease our way in.