Unpopular opinion: In-N-Out isn't that great. It's burgers, fries, and shakes. Nothing special. Honestly, burgers from Five Guys and Smashburger are just as good if not better. The only thing Idaho is missing out on from In-N-Out is an item from the secret menu. Animal style fries. And they're so easy to replicate, once you get it down you'll no longer complain about the fast food chain's absence.

First of all, what even are animal style fries? Simple, fries topped with their signature spread, a slice of melted American cheese and chopped grilled onions. They are mouthwateringly good. But In-N-Out's are pretty bland. So the tastier way to recreate this recipe is to use tater tots instead.

I use Market Pantry Potato Puffs from Target. Follow the instructions on the bag to cook them in the oven. While that's happening, move on to grilling onions.

Chop an onion and toss it into a pan of melted butter with some brown sugar. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium low heat, stirring occasionally until they're caramelized.

Then in a bowl combine some mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar and vinegar and mix it all together.

At this point the tater tots should be done. Put a couple handfuls in a bowl and slap two slices of American cheese on top. Then pile on the onions and spread. BAM! You're done.

Isn't that simple? There's no real measurement to anything because I just eyeball it. I use vegan versions of the mayonnaise and cheese and my husband and kids can't tell the difference if you're looking for a plant based version that doesn't hinder the traditional taste.

Now that you know how to make an at home version of the only menu item that matters, it doesn't matter that the nearest In-N-Out is in a different state.

Rose Garden at Julia Davis Park

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