A CHEESE "SKIRT" AT THE SQUEEZE INN
OK - many of you know I'm on a forever search for the perfect cheeseburger (full disclosure - I'm also a cheese junkie), so when my brother and sister-in-law in Sacramento (who know my food proclivities) reminded me about the Squeeze Inn, I had to go. It's a dive, I found out, that Guy Fieri calls the best in Sac. He loved it so much he did a piece on this "hole-in-the-wall" for his Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives." So, since I covet cheeseburgers and love to eat in diners, drive-ins and dives... damn the diet, full speed ahead!!!
This is not one of Richard's favorite foods (I love him despite this flaw in his food character), but he agreed to go even though he'd actually been to the original Squeeze Inn some years ago w/ my brother. Why I wasn't along with, I have no idea - probably because they'd been playing golf, but I digress... He did tell me then, however, that he thought this was a dive for me and that I would sing this burger's praises.
The "original" dive was named Squeeze Inn because if you wanted to eat there you had to squeeze in, as the restaurant, which many Sacramento-ites considered a city landmark, was no bigger than an average-size living room and was furnished with a counter and stools and a couple of picnic benches. However, a few years ago after a frivolous law suit was filed against the restaurant (which was subsequently dropped), the owners decided to move and find a larger space.
The new location in a strip mall only a stone's throw away from the original dive is larger and can seat many diners comfortably. The owners recycled the original counter and installed the old dive's storefront in the restaurant and made it into a private eating booth.
In the entrance is a picture wall of patrons and framed reviews.
But enough of the decor...
To say I've never had a cheeseburger (called a "squeeze with cheese") quite like this one is an understatement. I could write a short essay on the grilled cheese skirt alone... in fact I will:
The trick to this squeeze with cheese is that its cooked over a 1/3 pound burger into this crispy and addicting cheese skirt by covering the burger in what seems like a pound of shredded cheese, then throw on some ice chunks and cover. As the cheese melts partially off the burger and onto the grill, the steam from the ice helps the cheese form their crispy brown edges. Cheese nirvana.
I always ask for the tomato, onions, lettuce, etc., on the side so that they don't mask the flavors of the melted cheese and grilled ground beef. However - and it just may have been that the cook was having an off day - the burger itself didn't seem to be 1/3 of a pound and was way too well-done. That said, the cheese skirt masked my disappointment in the meat.
Of course, we had to have a side of fries, which were adequate. They could have been a tad more crispy... but they weren't bad.
And, though I disagree with Guy Fieri that the Squeeze Inn is the best dive in Sacramento (I think I would have loved the "original" hole-in-the-wall better), I will give it another try. It had me at cheese skirt.
5301 Power Inn Road
Sacramento, Calif. 95820