After 30 years in Sacramento, I have finally eaten my first hamburger from Ford’s Hamburgers in Land Park and I’ll have to say that it may be, in fact, the best burger in Sacramento. I’ve been to myriad burger joints in Sac and think I have a pretty good read on where you, the wily consumer, can best spend your burger bucks. So here’s a rundown:
1. Ford’s-1948 Sutterville Rd, Sacramento. Fantastic burger on a wonderful bun, killer fries and shakes put Ford’s Real Hamburgers in the top spot. Burgers are about $5.
2. Squeeze Inn-7918 Fruitridge Rd, Sacramento. Sidle up to the bar and order the “Squeeze with Cheese” and get ready for a gut-bomb. The “cheese halo” that surrounds every Squeeze burger sets it apart from any other burger you’ll ever have. Fries are pretty good. Call before you go, limited hours and limited seating. Burgers about $5.
3. Bandera- 2232 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento. I know it’s a yuppie haven and mid life crisis pick-up joint, but the $9 ground sirloin burger might just be the best restaurant burger you’ll ever have. Fresh sirloin, ground in-house with a slab of cheddar and crisp cole slaw top this exceptional burger.
4. Hot Rod’s- 2007 K, Sacramento. By far, the best gay burger joint in town. Great meat and hot buns make this burger a heavenly treat that you don’t have to call the next morning.
5. In ‘n Out Burger- Various Locations. OK, despite its proclivity for putting you on the john for a few hours after you eat one, an In ‘n Out burger is a damn good burger, and a great deal for your money. Burgers about $2.
And now, the worst…
Here’s a quick list of some of the worst or most overrated burgers in our fair city:
Hamburger Mary’s- Unless you’re going for drag Karaoke, don’t bother. Burgers like tarred roof shingles and a waitstaff that’s more concerned with their latest tat or piercing than your order make this joint basically unusable for burger consumption.
Willie’s- Both the downtown and the Carmichael location have really let me down lately. The burgers are, for lack of a better word, spongy. This is not a quality I look for in a burger.
Nationwide Freezer Meats- While not bad, NWFM burgers do lack something in the taste department, and that something is taste itself. I’ve never had a more tasteless burger. And the fries are excessively large; it’s like eating a deep fried baked potato over there.
Zinfandel Grille- Some places should just not even put the burger on the menu. Z Grille is one of them…and get that goddamned “E” off the end of your name you pretentious douchebags.
One last note: I miss Tiny’s. For those of you that remember, the small burger stand called Tiny’s on Fulton Ave was the best burger stand in town and a Sacramento landmark. The space it once took up is still an empty blight on my favorite street. There should be a law.