It's a rainy Monday at The Village in Meridian and the scent of fresh-made burger patties flows through the air seasoned with excitement and anticipation.

It's the day before arguably one of the biggest and most historic restaurant openings in recent memory with the arrival of In-N-Out Burger. The brand has a following that could be mistaken for an army and no doubt, has the Treasure Valley drooling for their signature burgers and secret menu.

Parked in front of The Village in Meridian, a pair of buddies lead the charge, sitting first in line for the new chain to open.

The buzz is in the air...

When you pull into the parking lot of The Village, you'll notice enough barricades and orange cones to think that more construction is on the way... maybe even another burger joint.

Chris C./TSM Boise
Chris C./TSM Boise

Once your eyes settle from all of that's happening as ours did, you'll notice that the orange cones are part of In-N-Out's plans to make sure traffic isn't an absolute nightmare.

Sitting at the front of this coned section for soon-to-be In-N-Out customers, sit about five vehicles with their drivers hoping to be among the first to take in Idaho's first In-N-Out.

Dylan of Dana Point, California, sits in his massive white F350 next to his buddy in the passenger seat. Dylan traveled more than 12 hours to pick up his buddy, with the two friends hoping to become the first pair of In-N-Out customers in Idaho.

They are first in line.

"I got here at 1:53 in the morning this morning, after a 12-hour drive," Dylan said, "We drove from Dana Point in southern California; my buddy lives here and he said this was happening so we decided to make a trip out of it."

We regret not getting Dylan's friend's name who was sitting next to him in the truck. He was all smiles as he let Dylan do most of the talking. Just by looking at him, you couldn't tell if Dylan traveled 12 hours; the motivation of getting to be first was enough to keep him hyped.

"I said if we’re going to do it, we need to be in the front 'cause I’m driving really far, you know?"

In-N-Out is more than a burger chain

With Dylan and his buddy arriving at Idaho's first In-N-Out at 1:53 in the morning a full day before they opened, many would wonder how they keep themselves entertained and awaiting another full night to get their first taste of Idaho's In-N-Out.

"We stuck it out, we tried to sleep in the car it was way too hard," Dylan said as he and his buddy in the passenger seat laughed, "we’ve just been flipping through our phone and talking to people, kill time."

Chris C./TSM Boise
Chris C./TSM Boise

"So, we just stayed up all night and now we’re just waiting for them to call us in so we can finish our meal and be done."

It's important to note that this conversation took place at 2:51 PM MST on Monday, December 11 with In-N-Out not opening until 10:30 AM MST on Tuesday, December 12.

That's determination.

Bill, In-N-Out's third customer, and John, In-N-Out's "unofficial fry connoisseur"

Behind Dylan's massive white F350 sit four other cars. Among them are Bill, set to become Idaho's third official customer, and John, an In-N-Out enthusiast who carried with him, a book on the history of In-N-Out.

When we approached the front of the line, both Bill and John were catching up with Dylan and his buddy through the driver's window of Dylan's truck. For a moment, you would think both Bill and John worked for In-N-Out with their vibrant energy and enthusiasm for all things In-N-Out.

Bill was decked out in all black with a smile brighter than a sunny summer day while John rocked his best In-N-Out-themed outfit with a yellow jacket to go with an In-N-Out beanie.

"I came by here after I got off work about 4:30 in the morning," Bill shared.

"But no one was in line so I went home, took a shower, came back, then went to a chiropractor appointment, then came back."

You wouldn't know Bill had been awake for Lord knows how long and that he had his back adjusted; his energy level was turned to 11 and was excited to be a part of Idaho history.

Bill, a native of Idaho since 1993, says that In-N-Out is the signature of California for visitors.

"Every time you go down to California, the first place you go to when you get off the flight is In-N-Out, the last place you go is In-N-Out."

John, proudly holding his book on the history of In-N-Out, seemed to be the more calm and collected of the group. He openly acknowledged that In-N-Out isn't for everyone... including his wife.

"In-N-Out gets a lot of haters for their French fries; my wife does not care for their French fries," John said before sharing a pro tip for anyone craving the perfect In-N-Out French fry.

"I like them but if you don’t like their fries, order them ‘light well’, that’s like 40 more in the oil than the regular one. I think done-up regular, they aren’t done enough but light well gets them a little crispier and they’re much better."

What will Idaho's first In-N-Out customers be ordering?

John perked up the moment we asked him what his order would be and like a lot of people, has a lot to do with the fresh ingredients In-N-Out has to offer.

"I'm ordering something called a two-by-one, it's almost like a double-double but it only has one piece of cheese instead of two," John said before adding his special requests.

John Varvatos 13th Annual Stuart House Benefit Presented By Chrysler With Kids' Tent By Hasbro Studios - Inside
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"I'm going to have it cold which means they don't put it on until they assemble it so it doesn't melt. Chilis, animal style, a whole grilled onion, a whole raw onion."

As for Bill, he's working on getting his order together; he's waiting on what his kids want to eat.

"I’ll probably get a double-double with fries, light oil, and my kids, supposed to get an order for them too. It gets crazy!"

What will the first people at the front of In-N-Out's line be ordering?

What about the guys at the front of the line, Dyland and the man we now call "His Buddy"?

"They just had the 399 open by my house in San Juan and I missed being the first one there," said Dylan. With The Village becoming home to restaurant number 400, Dylan and his buddy are sticking to the theme.

"I’m gonna get a 4x4 with animal fries 'cause it’s the 400, stick with the four," Dylan said.

Dyland's friend added, "I’m probably gonna do the same and I don’t know there might be a little secret in my order… it’s gonna be a big order, let’s say that.”

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