No surprises here: In-N-Out Burger is where most chefs get their fast-food fix. Esquire polled 27 eminent chefs* about where they go for a quick meal, and the West Coast burger chain snagged a third of the votes, including those of Nate Appleman, Thomas Keller, Charlie Palmer, and Joey Campanaro. Brian Bistrong of Braeburn likes Chipotle, but Alfred Portale can't choose between Ted's Hot Dogs and Dairy Queen. Jack in the Box, KFC, Popeye's, Whataburger, Wendy's, and Burger King all get mentions, while some chefs picked local faves like the goat stew at Birriería Reyes de Ocotlán in Chicago (Rick Bayless, of course) and the brain tacos at El Taurino (Govind Armstrong). There were some pans, too: Campanaro calls Taco Bell an “utter bastardization of one of the finest cuisines in the world,” and Michael Schlow of Radius likens the food at McDonald's to leftovers at a hospital cafeteria.
*As much as we love Alton Brown, he really does not belong among names like Thomas Keller, Laurent Tourondel, and Rick Bayless. Same goes for Guy Fieri.
The Best Fast Food in America [Esquire]