Have you ever had a burger from In-N-Out? They really do live up to all the hype. Even though they are clearly just another fast-food burger joint. The freshness and insane "secret menu" items are what make them stand out above the rest.

Order mine "Animal style."

I never understood why people were obsessed with a California burger joint. Until I tried it for myself. I was college roommates with my friend Andy from Santa Barbara. During his time in Montana, he would not stop talking about how the thought of In-N-Out made him homesick. One day, his parents flew in for a surprise visit. In their carry-on luggage, they packed Andy a "double-double, animal style." His eyes almost came out of his head when he recognized the palm trees on the packaging. He offered me a bite, but the thought of a fast food burger surviving a flight from California to Montana didn't sit well with me.

John Varvatos 13th Annual Stuart House Benefit Presented By Chrysler With Kids' Tent By Hasbro Studios - Inside
Getty Images for John Varvatos

It wasn't until a trip to Las Vegas, that I got my first official In-N-Out experience. I ordered the "double-double, animal style." Which was a double cheeseburger topped with pickles, grilled onions, and extra Thousand Island dressing. It was one of the messiest burgers I had ever had. But, from the first bite, I was hooked.

So, why are there not more In-N-Out locations all over the country?

In-N-Out Burger has not sold a single franchise or gone public. Their slow expansion relies on food quality and customer loyalty. They enjoy having people like my pal Andy as a lifelong customer. They want to make sure they don't lose those customers. So they focus on consistency and quality. They pay close attention to their ingredients. Only allowing for fresh products to be shipped from one of their distribution centers to nearby restaurant locations.

Getty Images for John Varvatos
Getty Images for John Varvatos

According to Wikipedia

As the chain has expanded, it has opened several distribution centers in addition to its original Baldwin Park location. The new facilities, located in Lathrop, CaliforniaPhoenix, ArizonaDraper, UtahDallas, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado will provide for potential future expansion into other parts of the country.

In 2020, In-N-Out announced they would be opening a location in Boise, Idaho. That restaurant is celebrating its Grand Opening as I write this article. Making the Idaho location the 400th In-N-Out location in the country.

Safe Kids Day 2017
Tommaso Boddi

With Locations in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah, when will Montana get a bite of In-N-Out?

Just from the amount of California plates we witness driving around Montana, it is only a matter of time before fans of the "Animal Style" burger start a campaign for Montana to be the next stop on the In-N-Out expansion... For now, we will just have to settle on the cold burgers we can fit in our carry-on luggage.

NOTE: If you find yourself traveling near an In-N-Out location, you can order a "double-double kit" instead of having to eat a cold burger. Our good friend Jason, once surprised me with one after returning from a concert in Salt Lake City.

From coast to coast: The 20 best regional fast-food chains to try

From burgers to subs and even creamy milkshakes, these tasty fast-food chains, compiled by Stacker, are a must-try on your next road trip.

Gallery Credit: Kiersten Hickman

LOOK: 15 Discontinued McDonald's Menu Items

More From 96.3 The Blaze