After passing this Chico landmark many times, we finally made the decision to try Nobby's.
Actually my husband announced this morning that he wanted a cheeseburger for lunch. We looked online to find "Chico's best" recommendation. Locals and others had shown lots of love for Nobby's burger superstar. We decided it was time to taste for ourselves.
The near postage-sized building started life as a gas station. It's fair to call it a joint; that's not a bad thing. When we arrived around 1:30 on a Friday, they were serving just a handful of diners. Figuring this would beat the lunch rush. First timers, staff at the counter patiently answered all our questions about the menu. How to get the cheese skirt, all the extras, the most popular. After much consideration, we opted for the classic Nobby's cheeseburger and cheese skirt. I was off bread that day and so was offered my Nobby's cheeseburger with a lettuce wrap - perfect option. To cover all the bases, side orders of onion rings, fries, and a chocolate shake.
We soon learned that Gary Noblett, Nobby's original owner, is related to the original owner of Sacramento's once famous Squeeze Inn where gigantic burgers with cheese skirts were a burger lovers dream. That dream destroyed years ago by a litigious ADA attorney (a long story that doesn't need to be retold). Happy to discover the joy continues in Chico. I do miss the Squeeze Inn's fresh-cut fries. The frozen fries at Nobby's were surprisingly good and had a "fresh-cut" look. The side order was ample!
Gary Noblett came to Chico and Nobby's continued the cheese skirt history. Big burgers and crispy cheese. The Nobby's signature burger continued onto a second owner, and now, a third-generation of owners is at the helm. Philip and Jessica Brun took the burger reigns in early 2023. The young couple, married in 2021, are Butte natives, and both worked at Nobby's before taking ownership. They have kept the regular menu but have added some personal touches since taking over.
"We want to keep the celebrated menu," the Bruns said, "But we'd also like to contribute and create new menu items. We've added a Western Bacon Cheeseburger and a California Burger."
With my Omni-Local heart, there's so much to embrace at Nobby's. I love that all the meat comes from Chico's own S&S Organic Produce and Natural Foods. Avocados for the California Burger also coming from S&S. And buns, locally made by D'Emilo's Italian Deli & Bakery on Main Street, "are specifically crafted to fit Nobby's burgers," said D'Emilo's owner, Kaelen Davis.
While placing our order, we met Jessica's mom and grandmother who shared their fried cheese curds with us. Thank you grandma for that tasty treat! And for Philip and Jessica wishing you continued success on a burger road well traveled.
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