Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Don't you hate it when something gets a lot of hoopla and then you don't like it yourself? Or you think, "What's so special about that?" Such is the case with Nationwide Freezer Meats and their burger.
Now before I continue I should say that burgers, like pizzas and ribs, are very personal dishes in that people like things their way. NWFM has a lot of devoted Sacramento fans and lots of good reviews by others and on Yelp. So go ahead and judge for yourself.
I've heard of NWFM for many years but never could seem to locate it. (Not that I was looking very hard in the first place.) Then on a recent meeting at The Urban Hive I noticed that they were right across the street. I made a mental note that I finally would have to venture over. That day was today, sans camera.
The place itself is on the corner in a duplexy commercial building. Inside it is bright, clean, and very spacious. They could pack more tables in if they wanted to. I think it appeared so spacious today because tables had been pushed together for a large party. The counter is way toward the back.
I asked for a combo order of their French Ground Steak Burger with fries and soda. My order was written on a paper bag. There are no plates, trays or baskets here to worry about washing. Talk about a minimilistic approach, forget the salt shakers, on the tables are set the big round containers of iodized salt. And to the side there are bottles of mustard and special sauce, but no ketchup. I began to worry until my order came out with a small dental spit cup filled with ketchup.
The burger is made with Harris Ranch beef, ground on site, then hand shaped into patties. Considering this, I was really disappointed. I found the meat dry, tasteless, and overcooked. The patties were large because they had been pressed flat and thin. Therefore, it seemed that they had squeezed and cooked the taste out of it. What I did taste was salt. There was a definite saltiness upon first bite. I can also see the appeal of ordering a double-burger to get more meat per bite considering the thinness of the patty. The bun was good, though. It was able to stand up to the burger and toppings while not falling apart.
The fries were disappointing as well. Expect potatoes that have been cut lengthwise into thick, one-inch sticks with skin left on. Sure, they are hefty suckers, but not all that appetizing. I left more than half of them behind.
For those of you who love Nationwide, so be it. You can have my servings while I go elsewhere.