|Squeeze Inn Cheeseburger|
Squeeze Inn has always had quite a reputation and following in Sacramento. I never went because part of that reputation included a small place, long lines, and difficult hours for me to make. Now they not only have a new, bigger location, but they also have two sister restaurants in Galt and Roseville. There also appears to be a copy cat in Napa, but they aren't listed on the true Squeeze Inn's website, so I think they must be fakers.
I figured that Roseville was going to be the easiest for me to experience. Since I was on that side of town, I dropped by for lunch. I found a clean, bright place with plenty of tables, a counter, as well as outdoor seating. I also found that at Saturday early lunch, they were pretty full with a short line for me to wait in. I ordered their famous Squeeze Cheese and took a seat at the counter so I could watch the grill action.
The chain is famous for their cheeseburgers with cheese skirts. Basically they have so much cheese that it creates a melted cheese 'skirt' around the burger on the grill. As I sat on the counter I witnessed the process. The burgers are grilled to almost done and then well spaced on the grill. Next the cook takes a heaping handful of shredded cheddar cheese and piles it on top of and overflowing the patties. The cheese quickly melts creating the skirt. The chef throws a few ice cubes on the grill and then quickly covers all the patties with a bin cover to trap the steam. I guess the steam keeps the cheese from burning.
The end result is the messiest burger I've ever eaten. But it was good! The problem is that the burger is so big with all the toppings and the cheese skirt that it was unwieldy. Basically, you need to rip off the cheese skirt and then take it and stick it back into your burger over the other melted cheese. The skirt is an interesting thing. It's well cooked so that it is almost hard, but just a little flexible, without being burned. This gives it a chewy texture. It can be compared to cheese crisps that are sometimes made for salads and other dish garnishing. But all this cheese plus the beef does make for a very greasy beast and I looked down when I finished to find a pool of it in the bottom of my paper basket.
I did enjoy the burger and yet left feeling overstuffed and wondering how my arteries were doing. (Have you ever seen the news story where they take a person's blood before and after a burger lunch and then spin it to separate the blood and fat and measure it? Scary.) My one recommendation for the place, provide wetnaps. You'll go through lots of napkins and still end up with very greasy fingers.
Squeeze Inn deserves its well earned reputation.