Culture

An In-N-Out Burger Was Discovered On The Streets Of NYC And Now We Know Why

Lincolnboehm / Instagram

Every now and again, a groundbreaker of a story comes rolling in. Like last weekend, when a mysterious In-N-Out burger was found abandoned on a street in Queens, 1,500 miles from its home-state or any of its outlets.

Picture this – another average Saturday morning in New York City. You’re heading for a coffee at McDonald’s on Sutphin Boulevard. 

You pass a bus stop and the glance down to see a… familiar shape?

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

A pristine In-N-Out Double-Double cheeseburger burger sits quietly in the middle of the road. And it’s perfect. Perfectly untouched, wrapped and lying face-up in Jamaica, Queens, at the wee hour of 6:30 a.m. Such was the strange sight, Lincoln Boehm, 31, recalls. 

“It genuinely shook me to my core,” he said. 

The popular fast food outlet In-N-Out is famously a West Coast chain. 

Credit: TheTakeout.com

In-N-Out has spread to 346 locations since they opened their first outlet in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. However, it’s common knowledge that you can’t find an outlet further east than Texas. So, how a Double-Double had somehow fallen out of the sky into Queens, New York was anyone’s guess.  

A devout In-And-Out fan himself, it struck a deep personal chord with Boehm. 

“This was a startling and somewhat horrifying discovery,” he wrote. “Was this evidence that we really are living in a simulation?” 

But more than anything, he was baffled how fresh the burger still looked; “as if it had come off the grill five minutes ago”. That, despite the closest store being some 1,500 miles away. 

He understood the gravity of this. Since his move to New York nine years ago, Boehm had attempted to bring burgers back from Los Angeles, with no success. “Every time I’ve done it it becomes inedible,” he mused. “The bun gets soggy and it becomes a mess. This one was just in such perfect condition… It just felt strange… ‘

They didn’t touch the mystery burger, but snapped some photos and looked around, wondering if it was some sort of marketing stunt. 

Boehm later posted a photo of the burger to Instagram. 

The sight of the lonely, picture-perfect burger soon caught the American imagination.

Credit: lincolnboehm / Instagram

It was dubbed the internet’s ‘new favourite mystery’, with hundreds of people confused and demanding answers. 

Naturally, Twitter broke out into a million conspiracies. 

Some leapt to the conclusion he’d stumbled across some sort of masterpiece.

I mean it’s New York. People make art out of everything so it’s not much of a stretch for people to have thought that maybe, just maybe, this was some sort of avant-garde art installation.

Others suspected the cheeseburger was some sort of party favor of the rich and famous. 

Credit: @leighmunsil / Twitter

Again…it’s New York. There’s rich and famous people on literally every corner so it kinda makes sense that maybe, just maybe, In-N-Out would do a pop up for som big celebrity event.

And others had much more convincing theories. 

Credit: @_TheOnlyJuan / Twitter

Now this…if only.

Even the In-N-Out Vice President of Operations, Denny Warnick, had this to say to VICE: 

“We were surprised to hear recently that one of our Double-Doubles was found on a street in New York. Because our burgers are only cooked fresh to order in six states, it must have taken considerable planning for that burger to make the trip from the grill all the way to the Empire State.”

But despite the frenzied speculation, the world was no closer to an answer. Boehm, least of all. 

In his words, “I assumed this was just a mystery that would consume a part of my brain until the day I die, much like how the JFK assassination consumed my parents’ generation.”

But to give up, friends, is to underestimate the power of the internet. After two full days of media madness and social media buzz, Boehm has since provided an update. 

We have satisfying news – the mystery of the burger has since been solved.

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Credit: Giphy

Yup, we can all of us breathe easy again. Let the Earth spin on.

Two days later, at 9:56 p.m. Boehm received a DM from a girl claiming to be the burger’s former owner:

Credit: Vice

He was sceptical at first – she hadn’t been the first to claim the burger as hers. However, upon further questioning, her story started to come together. She backed it all up with a digital papertrail of Instastories, receipts, screenshots from her JetBlue flight, and more. 

The culprit introduced herself as Helen Vivas, a 16-year-old high schooler from Flushing, Queens. 

Turns out she was catching a flight back home to JFK that morning and had made a pit-stop at an In-N-Out Burger in Encinitas to pick up some snacks. 

She had stopped by the Encinitas outlet just before her flight. 

Credit: Vice


She’d eaten one burger on the plane and held the other three poised on her lap in a paper bag. Once she’d landed and made it to in Jamaica, she had suddenly caught sight of her bus and broke into a run.

It was then that her beautiful, slightly greasy paper bag broke and unleashed the Double-Double into Queens. She managed to catch two burgers before they hit the ground rolling, but hadn’t been quick enough on the DD. And that was that –  mystery solved. 

But hang on… how’d the burger end up so freakishly perfect? 

Turns out, it was all about prep. At the In-N-Out counter, she’d told the staff that she wanted to bring her burgers on the plane. Her Double-Doubles were ordered with no sauce and her cheeseburgers had been “packed fresh” with veggies separate. Ahaaa!  

Ready for a wholesome turn? 

Surprised by how his whole story went viral, Boehm had decided to milk some good out of the whole incident. 

He’s since started up a Shopify store that sells t-shirts about the incident with all proceeds going to the New York City Foodbank to help feed the homeless.

Credit: Ja-m-aica-queens

The caption for it reads: 

“…How it got there I honestly don’t know, but for whatever reason it has captured the imagination of America, so I’m trying to use this publicity for good by selling these commemorative t-shirts with ALL proceeds going to the New York City Food Bank that helps feed the hungry in this city I call home.” 

READ: We Asked, And These Are The 14 Weirdest Junk Food Meals You Eat

These Fast Food Items That Are Only Available In Latin America Will Give You Some Serious Food Envy

Culture

These Fast Food Items That Are Only Available In Latin America Will Give You Some Serious Food Envy

@McDonaldsMexico / Twitter

Fast food is key to contemporary societies. Some people see fast food chains, the majority of which are originally from the United States, as a sign of cultural imperialism, an unstoppable force that just feeds on greed and crushes local industries and culinary cultures. The recently deceased Mexican painter Francisco Toledo, for example, fought and won the battle of stopping McDonald’s from opening a branch in the main square of the city of Oaxaca. 

Critics see fast food as a way in which companies want to set an standarized way of living. Companies like McDonald’s, Burger King or Starbucks have expanded worldwide. However, fast food also provides a sense of comfort, of feeling at home basically anywhere in the world. 

Well, one of the expansion strategies used by fast food chains is offering products that appeal to the local taste. Menus in different countries offer surprising options that make locals feel cared for and help visitors discover something new while being in a familiar place. These are some of the dishes that you can only find in Latin America. 

If you know what queso panela is you will drool at this Starbucks sandwich.

Credit: Twitter. @StarbucksMexico

Queso panela is a delicious Mexican cheese that can be grilled and is similar to Turkish varieties brought by the Spanish conquerors (in fact, many staples of Mexican cuisine have a Middle Eastern origin). If you are on a diet and just can’t let go of cheese, then chances are that this is a must-have in your fridge. This sandwich looks so homemade that we just want to curl in one of those big Starbucks chairs and eat it. 

Because Colombians are just a little bit fancy…

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsColombia

Yum! Colombians can be very sophisticated when it comes to food and this delicious burger is proof of it. It has melted cheese and prosciutto, aka fancy ham. And this burger was created for a good cause: part of the proceedings went to a charity that provides accommodation for children in need. Delicious and morally satisfying. 

Because you can’t have a restaurant in Venezuela and not sell arepas.

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsVenezuela

McMuffins are a staple of McDonald’s breakfasts worldwide, but of course the fast food giant had to offer traditional arepas in its Venezuelan branches. 

Yuquitas are available in Venezuela, but there is a sad story behind it.

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsVenezuela

Due to food scarcity in the South American country, McDonald’s stopped selling French fries in some locations and replaced them with Yuquitas, made out of Yucca plants. Yucca does bring some health benefits, though, and provides relief for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine (colitis), high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, poor circulation, and liver and gallbladder disorders. 

McDonald’s offers one of the staples of Mexican breakfast: molletes!

Credit: Twitter. @McDonaldsMexico

Molletes are almost as popular as chilaquiles (the delicious concoction of fried tortilla triangles, authentic salsa, cream and cheese). Molletes are basically a piece of bread, traditionally a bolillo, with refried beans and melted cheese on top. The cereza en el pastel is a touch of pico de gallo or the hot sauce of your liking. The McDonald’s version is a bit meh. It uses a sort of English muffin instead of a crunchy, fluffy bolillo

And apparently you can also get molletes with no frijoles! That is like our worst fast food nightmare ever.

Credit: Twitter. @YurithKat

This poor woman must have had the worst beginning of her day ever. A mollete with no beans is like a burger with no meat (or veggie patty for those who prefer them). Definitely one of the worst ways to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, metaphorically speaking. 

And Burger King Mexico no se queda atrás: burritos a la mexicana.

Credit: Burger King Mexico

Yes, you can get breakfast burritos in the United States, but this version is only available in Mexico and is made a la mexicana, which basically means that it has freshly chopped tomato, green chili and onion. It is a great morning pick me up and can help greatly with la cruda. 

For a Boricua taste, a Monchi Burger.

Credit: McDonald’s Puerto Rico

Launched in April this year and for a limited time, this new hamburger was prepared with sweet and light Mallorca bread. It was available in two versions: beef or chicken, and comes with fresh lettuce, tomato, cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise. Yum. 

And of course Burger King has a classic churrasquito in Argentina!

Credit: Burger King Argentina

Argentinians love their meat, but they also love their thick, crunchy bread (the kind that makes your jaws ache after you eat a whole sandwich). It is no surprise that Burger King introduced a churrasquito in its menu. Layer upon layer of fatty, delicious animal products (not suitable for vegans, obvs). 

A Viral Video Captured A Mouse Jumping Into Deep Fryer At A Whataburger In Texas And We’re Ready To Puke

Culture

A Viral Video Captured A Mouse Jumping Into Deep Fryer At A Whataburger In Texas And We’re Ready To Puke

It’s all fun and games until you see rodents running around some of your favorite restaurants. Once that happens, it’s game over and you can’t unsee it nor can you trust that food establishment ever again probably. Sure, it’s fun to crack jokes and make memes about rodent-infested restaurants once a viral photo or video make rounds, but if you really think about it… it’s pretty freaking disgusting. 

On Saturday, a Facebook user identified as Brushawn Lewis uploaded a video of a mouse crawling around a Whataburger counter in Bastrop, Texas. 

The rat can be seen walking around the corner, surrounded by seasoning and what looks like curly fries, near the deep fryers.

https://www.facebook.com/bigdaddyshawn87/videos/2376881522359167

During the recording of the video, you can hear other customers (aside from Brushawn Lewis) calling it “disgusting” and “nasty,” in complete shock that there’s a mouse hanging out near where their food was cooked. Who knows how long this was going on for, before the recording of the video, because no employee at Whataburger tries to intervene just yet. Instead, one employee announces to everyone in the Bastrop, Texas location that customers can get their money back with proof of receipt. 

Finally, a customer steps up to the plate, walks behind the counter, and tries to catch the mouse with her bare hands.

(Photo Credit: Screenshot from Brushawn Lewis Facebook video)

As the woman finally though she got a hold of the mouse to capture it, it jumped up and fell into the deep fryer. As soon as that happened, everyone in the Whataburger went nuts. “Who wants a deep-fried rat?” you can hear someone saying. After a couple of minutes inside the deep fryer, someone else went behind the counter to try and save the mouse but at this point, it looks like it might be too late. Then finally, an employee tried to make an attempt at turning off the deep fryer. 

“I’ve seen it all,” Lewis, the man who posted the video on Facebook, said turning the camera to himself. Yup, we’re right there with you.

Quickly, the video went viral and everyone on Twitter started making memes out of the poor, now deep-fried, mouse.

“Imagine being a mouse and waking up in a mouse paradise like Whataburger, only to have your day end by boiling alive like a Protestant living under Mary I of England,” one Twitter user said. 

Of course, someone had to make a Ratatouille joke. 

Well, I guess now we’ll never know because that poor mouse is most likely dead. 

So, are y’all going back to eat at Whataburger anytime soon? 

It’s a tough one, but you can’t unsee that video. We’re pretty disgusted. 

According to Eater Austin, Brushawn Lewis told KVUE that everyone who was dining at that Whataburger location when the incident happened received a refund. His viral video has since gotten over 2.1 million views, over 77,000 shares, and 1,300 comments. 

Whataburger also commented on the video Lewis posted on Facebook with the following statement

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. At Whataburger, cleanliness and food safety are top priorities for us. In this instance, we closed the restaurant out of an abundance of caution and notified pest control. The entire restaurant has since been cleaned and sanitized. We addressed this situation as quickly as possible, reinforcing procedures with our Family Members. While we’ll continue to be very diligent, it’s important to know there was no history of this type incident at this unit and there is no ongoing issue. A member of our team would like to reach out and address any concerns. Can you please share your contact information with us?” 

According to Gizmodo, the statement above has since been removed by Whataburger but it’s unclear as to why they removed it. 

Since closing down to sanitize that specific Whataburger location, the restaurant has now reopened and it’s back to their scheduled programming. 

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio-based company has more than 800 locations with more than 670 being in Texas and a few more in Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida, and Georgia. We hope the Bastrop Whataburger has been the only affected by this rodent infestation. 

Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen news of a mouse making an appearance at a fast food joint or restaurant. Earlier this summer in June, it was reported that a woman (traveling from Texas) said a rat fell from the ceiling at a Buffalo Wild Wings location in Los Angeles. 

A photo of the dead rat falling from the ceiling onto her table also made rounds on social media after it was posted. According to the woman, a manager quickly scooped up the rat with two plates and dumped it into a bag. But even then, that wasn’t the L.A. welcome she was hoping for. 

Have you ever witnessed or experienced something like this? Let us know in the comments below!