What's the better burger joint, Burgerville or In-N-Out? I'll lay out the arguments for each side, and feel free to weigh in with comments.
Both companies take a similarly notable approach to fast food. Both pride themselves on using only local products which are never frozen. Both famously extend their reach only as far as a delivery truck could travel in a day. They do this for maximum freshness.
Borders: Redding, CA; Washington City, UT; Tucson, AZ; National City, CA
Strengths: Wider reach; marketing; simplicity; access to massive Southern California farming operations; employees paid remarkably well ($10/hour starting wage, managers make just under $100k); low prices; fries cut on premises; "secret" menu.
Weaknesses: Very few options; no breakfast menu; American cheese.
Top menu items: Burger, fries, shake.
Other notables: My wife informs me high school students put In-N-Out stickers on their car because of the sexual innuendo. This is nicely juxtaposed to the fact "John 3:16" is printed on all cups.
Borders: Centralia, WA; The Dalles, OR; Albany, OR; Newberg, OR
Strengths: Menu variety; reliance on Willamette Valley products (a valley intended for farming); special sauce.
Weaknesses: No go-to burger; limited geographic reach; most notable menu items are seasonal; high prices.
Top menu items: Walla Walla sweet onion rings; sweet potato fries; chocolate hazelnut and blackberry shakes.
Other notables: Named Best Burger in 2007 by the Food Network; featured on The Splendid Table; named one of the Green 50 by Inc.com for sustainable business practices.
Being as it's the best fast food restaurant in the region that perfected the medium, you'd think In-N-Out would win out. For my money, there are only two items on In-N-Out's menu that are truly great: the deceptively delicious fries and the Animal-style cheeseburger without carmelized onions.