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Sacto Burgers: Squeeze Inn and Nationwide Freezer Meats

beanbag | Oct 5, 200509:19 PM

I've recently visited these two burger heavens in Sacramento. Loved 'em both.

Nationwide Freezer Meats. It has the ambiance of a government cafeteria, but the burgers are sublime and the service is friendly. (The steak sandwich also looked appealing but I haven't tried it yet.) Plenty of seating, which is good because they get a pretty large lunch crowd. The French ground steak burger, made with Harris Ranch beef, is the thing to get. I think it's a 1/3 pound of meat, and I really liked the proportion of meat to bun. The bun is a nice soft one from Muzio. The cheddar cheese on the burger was perfectly melted, and the condiments were applied with a light hand. You could really taste the good grilled flavor of the meat. I think this is a pretty exemplary burger. The "fries" are huge potato wedges -- too "potatoey" for my taste, not the thin, crisp kind. Next time I'll forgo the fries and try a shake instead.

The Squeeze Inn is a great scene and a very chowhound kind of place. About 10 swivel stools at a bar comprise the whole interior of the restaurant, but there are also some tables outside in back of the restaurant. The Squeeze with Cheese, which must have been at least 1/2 pound of beef, and probably 6 ounces of cheese. If you order it "with a skirt", the burger guy leaves the burger on the griddle long enough for the cheese to melt down off the patty and onto the side of the burger, forming a greasy, crusty skirt all along the outside of the burger. I found the burger to be too greasy, but since I asked for "the skirt", it's probably my own fault. My other criticism is that the tomatoes, onions and lettuce wouldn't stay on the burger, but that's easily remedied. Service was great and everybody seemed to get free refills on their sodas. Oh, and very good fries -- hot out of the frier, and they seemed to be hand-cut and very crisp.

These places aren't cheap for a burger -- at the Squeeze Inn, a burger, drink and small order of fries (enough fries for two) comes to about $9. I think the price was similar at Nationwide. But both places have great local flavor, and really good burgers. I'd have to give the burger nod to Nationwide, but the Squeeze Inn is pretty great too.

My only complaint is that both places aren't open at normal dinner hours. Squeeze Inn closes at 7pm on weeknights and 4pm on Saturdays.

Nationwide Freezer Meats
1930 H St
Sacramento, CA 95814

Squeeze Inn
7918 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 386-8599

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