Long before Diners, Drive-ins & Dives throngs of burger fans were double-fisting Squeeze Inn Squeeze Burgers. Myself included. Going back many years we loved the dive, orange building tucked away on Fruitridge Road. Many of us still miss that dive -- the 12 stools at the counter and an old clear-topped counter that was foggy with age. I loved the burgers. Also sometimes enjoyed a chicken taco, And, something most people don't remember or know, a long-ago Squeeze Inn chef used to make "Snakebite Chili" in the winter -- it was award-winning. That same chef made a hot wing sauce that I used to eat on my fries. You had to call ahead just to be sure it was available. When he left, he took the recipe with him. Still makes me drool just thinking about it.
Okay, to the Squeeze Inn of today. The strip mall Squeeze on Power Inn just doesn't have the same kitsch -- that was all part of the experience. Even with attempts at all the stuff old that once graced the walls at old Squeeze -- including the old metal "cockroach" -- the thrill of the dive is gone.
So that said, the I enjoyed a Squeeze Burger sans cheese skirt. My lunch partner, did the Squeeze with Cheese. The "skirt" was more than ample. The buns and all the extras were fresh and crisp. So important! And, yes, the burger was tasty! Staff was very friendly, offering to refill drinks, cleaning tables, but I can imagine it must get frenzied in there. It did take a little time to get our order and we weren't there during the lunch crush. Can't imagine what they do when things are really packed.
One of my favorite things at The Squeeze of old...fresh cut fries. Large order thank you! With the wing sauce. I used to go there just for that. Fresh cut fries are a thing of joy. Not so much at the the "new" Squeeze. Frozen, tasteless fries. And what's a good burger without good fries? For this Squeeze lover it translates into that old saying, "sometimes you just can't go home again."
I'm glad I revisited this Sacramento one-time true dive landmark. The idea that the concept has been franchised says something -- multiple locations now throughout northern California. You just can't reinvent some things as hard as you may try. Most people who are flocking to Squeeze Inn because of D,D, & D sadly have no knowledge of the real Squeeze. I'll hold onto my dive memories and search for the next great Sacramento or California or anywhere dive burger joint. I know they're out there waiting for Are You That Woman @ California Travel Insider.
PS - I still have a favorite fresh-cut fries dive in Sacramento! Any guesses as to where?