Archive for February 27th, 2007|Daily archive page

The Automat is Back!


Well if you’re in NY it is. If you’re not, tough luck. Thanks to BAMN! you can now get cheap, good quality food on the go. It’s a great idea for a place like NYC, where no one really has time to eat.

Bamn provides tasty, inexpensive, real food for people on the go. It’s the return of the automat, filled with bite-sized burgers, mac & cheese, pizza, chicken strips, grilled cheese, hot dogs, pork buns, and lots of other great stuff – made fresh throughout the day.


Starbucks has lost it’s romance. Aw.

Found this over at PSFK, a trend watching site. Apparently while Starbucks has been taking over the world, it’s finally realized it lost it’s romance. Living in LA, I much prefer The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (Black Forest’s are the best), but it’s always nice to see a mega-brand realize they’ve lost something while dominating the world.

An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that Starbucks growth has damaged the brand as they tried to replace the theater of coffee making with machines that make the process fast and efficient. In an email sent by Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz entitled “The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience” he says:

“When we went to automatic espresso machines, we solved a major problem in terms of speed of service and efficiency. At the same time, we overlooked the fact that we would remove much of the romance and theatre that was in play with the use of the La Marzocco machines. This specific decision became even more damaging when the height of the machines, which are now in thousands of stores, blocked the visual sight line the customer previously had to watch the drink being made, and for the intimate experience with the barista.”

Meanwhile, MediaBistro looks at the stats in the book publishing market and suggests that Starbucks is more influential and shifting paperbacks than Barnes & Noble.

In-N-Out Secret Menu

And speaking of “secrets,” here’s the secret menu at In-N-Out. Their corporate website only features a few secrets, so here’s the complete list thanks to Wikipedia.

In-N-Out Burger has a very simple menu. However there are also “secret” item specials, variations of the basic menu that are not listed on the menus in the stores, nor advertised. While many think the “secret” menu is limited to In-N-Out Burger, the slang nomenclature for different variations on burgers has been around virtually since the inception of the short-order cook. A few of these variations are detailed on the company’s web site for all to see. Some items on the “secret” menu have a slightly different price due to the addition of ingredients — in particular, the meat and cheese.

X by Y
X meat patties and Y slices of cheese (for example, a 3 by 3 or a 2 by 4)

Double Meat
Two meat patties without cheese.

Triple Meat
Three meat patties without cheese.

Animal Style
A mustard cooked beef patty served on a bun with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, extra spread and grilled onions. Any burger (including veggie and grilled cheeses) may be made this way.

Flying Dutchman
Two meat patties, two slices of melted cheese and nothing else.

Protein Style
Instead of a bun, the burger is wrapped in lettuce. Any burger (including veggie and grilled cheeses) may be made this way.

Veggie Burger (Wish Burger)
A burger without the meat and cheese.

Grilled Cheese
Two slices of melted cheese, tomato, lettuce and spread on a bun, with no meat.

Extra Everything
Adds extra spread, tomato, lettuce, and onions (regular or grilled).

Fries “Light”
Almost raw fries that are cooked for less time.

Fries “Well”
Fries that are cooked longer to be extra crisp.

Cheese Fries
Fries with two slices of melted cheese placed on top.

Animal Style Fries
Fries with cheese, spread, and grilled onions.

Neapolitan Shake
All three shake flavors (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate) combined in one shake.

The bulk of the secret menu revolves around the burgers. Animal Style is the most popular “secret” style. In addition to the standard toppings, Animal Style burgers include pickles, extra spread, grilled onions, and mustard fried onto each meat patty. 3×3 (3 by 3), 4×4, or variations of m × c, refers to a burger with a varied amount of meat patties (first number, m) and slices of cheese (second number, c). For example, a burger with four meat patties and three slices of cheese would be a 4×3. The largest known burger of this type was a 666×666, created for a Caltech Ditch Day stack in Ricketts House in the spring of 1997. (The purchaser had to construct a steel trough to transport it home.) There have been confirmed accounts of burgers as large as 100×100.

Although big burgers have been popular with customers in the past, as of September 2006 the company limits the size of their burgers to 4×6. Management made this decision to curb the bad publicity generated by customers who would make websites exhibiting very large burgers. Quality and packaging were also aiding factors in their decision. However, one can order one or more meat patties and slices of cheese on the side to make a burger larger than 4×6.