The place has seen better days, and it's difficult to get too excited over just an okay charbroiled sandwich. Fries are terrible today, a victim of old oil, I think. The skinny spuds look fresh-cut, but are acrid. Looks like Lucky's luck may be running out.
Lenny's Burger Shop, 15414 North 19th Avenue, 602-375-2160 (plus other Valley locations). Hours: Lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lenny's is another longtime Valley favorite, but I'm afraid the gild is off the lily. The problem here is salt, salt and more salt. The 1/4-pound charcoaled burger is nice enough, served on a sesame seed bun with pickle, yellowish tomato, diced onion and my choice of sauce -- ranch, country, barbecue, ketchup and mustard or teriyaki. The country is weird, like salad dressing powder mixed with mayonnaise, but even its sharp bite wilts under a too-salty patty. French fries, medium-thick and fresh, are completely done in by a blizzard of seasoning salt, too. By the time we leave, we've gulped several cups of pop (long live the self-serve soda machine).
In-N-Out Burger has some close competition for the fast-food-beef dollar, it's true. But management is being careful to keep the business special. While a few more locations are planned for the Valley, reports are we won't be saturated with the 140 locations found across Nevada and California. Restraint is smart. Restraint is profitable. Restraint means In-N-Out probably will be a trendy taste here for a long, long time.