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Aug 9, 2007 05:33 PM

Road trip burger results--gimme a Squeeze!

Thanks to all who provided input on our burger quest in and around the Sacramento area. We got to try two--Squeeze Inn in Sacramento and Ikeda's in Auburn. My vote goes to the Squeeze with cheese. We were lucky enough to snag the two counter seats front and center and unlucky enough to have an hour wait there. But the two girls behind the counter kept our sodas refilled and we got to watch the circus. Only one person who was told about the hour wait left. After a while we were even fielding questions ourselves! (Yes, it's still an hour if you get it to go!)
But then our burgers! Can't say enough about these. The cheese "skirt" is yummy, but the burger itself shines through. And how nice to have nice ripe produce on the burger and quality pickles too. Fries were delicious and perfectly cooked and seasoned. Everyone was nice and we had a blast. Owner has opened a new location in Napa.
We also tried Ikeda's in Auburn. We got ours with bacon. The bacon was perfect, the burger was pretty good too. Service was cranky, and it seemed more crowded there than at the tiny Squeeze Inn. My main reason for stopping though, was Sacto Damkier's tip on fresh peach shakes. I wanted to like them, but these just weren't good. They were made with ice mik and neither my hubby or I could taste any peach. (about 5 minutes after we got our order a man brought a new supply of peaches to the kitchen, so maybe they had run out.) But our marionberry cobbler was pretty tasty. All in all a good rec.
Now, I'd be a horrible person if I didn't share my 2 biggest finds of this trip (Riverside to Downieville). If you are within a couple of hours of Downieville, check out the fabulous pie at the Grubstake Saloon (315 Main St.) Made by a woman from Goodyear's Bar, they are fabulous! I had key lime (which I don't order anymore because it is usually fake lime, with purchased crust, and green food coloring.) and it was sinfully good. Huge piece, homemade graham cracker crust with lots of butter, real key lime juice, and no coloring! Hubby had apple cruch. Real apples, thinly sliced, tasty crunch topping. They also grill up a pretty good burger.
Our other find was just down the road in Sierra City. The Red Moose Cafe (also on the main street) is open mainly for breakfast. Perhaps the best sausage and hashbrowns I've had. In fact the owner told us they named a dish after a patron called the Phil's Special: pie a la mode, with whipped cream piled high and two sausages! We tried to go back to try it but they were closed.
This was our only complaint for this area. Very strange hours and even those aren't always kept. You really have to plan ahead to stay in the area for any length of time.
It is quite a drive up from the more easily accessible Hwy. 49 towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley. Pretty twisty, but man, that pie was good, the air was clean, and I caught my first fish! And promptly released him...he smiled at me, I think.
So thanks to all for the burger recs, they helped make great trip better.

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  1. Great. I love that area up there by D/Ville.

    Thanks for the report too, it is nice to see someone coming back and telling us how it went.

    1. I think you missed one. The most famous thing is Sierra City (other than the Sierra Buttes mountain) is Bassetts Station at the intersection of Hwy 49 and Gold Lake Road about 5 miles east of town. The hamburger and milkshakes are legendary. They still give you the mixer can with your shake like the old days.

      3 Replies
      1. re: BN1

        wow i can't believe an hour wait at squeeze inn- it's always been busy but i've never seen it that bad! guess because it was on tv

        1. re: BN1

          Well, we kinda missed it. We bought bait there. Arggghhh! Well, another time I guess!

          1. re: BN1

            We did goto bassett station for lunch today (after doing a quick hike to the sierra buttes lookout, highly recommended, quite a nice climb: 2.5 miles - 2500 ft)

            We had the chicken fried steak with gravy and the biscuits and gravy. Both were quite yummy and delicious. The service was nice and prompt, coffee and water refilled etc. We'll be back in that are with our kids on labor day (for a training hike back to the peak) and will get the milkshakes


          2. I am glad to hear you had a good time. Interesting note about the peach shakes; I have always enjoyed them, but the quality may have slipped. Thanks for the update.

            1. Awesome. I'm jealous. I'm all the way down here in San Diego and saw the Squeeze Inn on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" and was in awe of the amount of cheese on their burgers. If I'm ever in the area I'm definitely going to have to make a stop there. Until then, I'm planning sometime to have friends over and replicate it.

              And for anyone interested, I believe they're going to re-air the show featuring the Squeeze Inn on 8/11 5:30 PM E/P and 8/12 6:30 PM E/P. :)