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In-N-Out Burger revs up with eight total new stores in Texas now: Will Houston ever get in on the fun?

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Delicious comes to Texas... but not Houston. Photo by Simon Willison

It was bad enough when Dallas was getting one new In-N-Out and leaving Houston out in the cold, double-double wilderness.

But now the beloved SoCal burger chain has announced it is expanding in Texas faster than ever, opening eight stores in the next few months. Don't get your hopes up though — the chain is still focusing on the Dallas/Fort Worth area, with no immediate plans to head to Houston, Austin, San Antonio or elsewhere.

Stores in the north Dallas suburbs of Allen and Frisco will be the first to open in Texas, with both set for a May debut. And according to The Orange County Register's Nancy Luna, those two locations will be followed by six more in 2011, expanding In-N-Out's reach to Garland, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Hurst and a duo in Dallas.

Why is In-N-Out taking such a parochial approach to Texas? It's all about keeping close to the meat processing center. In-N-Out's original processing plant in Baldwin Park, Calif., services over 250 locations, but none over 500 miles away, keeping a focus on direct access to fresh beef.

The company is building a second processing center in Dallas, but In-N-Out vice president of planning and development Carl Van Fleet says growth in North Texas will keep them “plenty busy for the next several years.”

Luckily for Houston hopefuls, Van Fleet hasn't written off the Houston market altogether. Houston, as well as Austin and San Antonio, is a target for "future growth," although based on Van Fleet's description we aren't holding our breath.

"At this time, we are focusing specifically on the Dallas/Fort Worth market as there are many exciting opportunities there,” he says.

Are you jonesing for an In-N-Out Burger in Houston? Or do you prefer to stick with locals like Hubcap Grill, Lankford Grocery, Christian's Tailgate and Becks Prime?

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