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Monday, February 14, 2011

The Cheese Factor's High at Sacramento's Squeeze Inn

Posted By on Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge The Squeeze Inn's crisp-skirted Squeeze with Cheese, $6.25. - ALEX HOCHMAN
  • Alex Hochman
  • The Squeeze Inn's crisp-skirted Squeeze with Cheese, $6.25.

Located at the tail end of a nondescript, mostly vacant Sacramento strip mall about 20 feet from the tracks, The Squeeze Inn hardly seems like a destination. But at 4 p.m. on a recent weekday, the place was full and a line was beginning to form. SFoodie snagged the last spot at the counter, ordered a Squeeze with Cheese burger ($6.25) and steak taco ($3.25) from the very friendly server and waited. And waited.

Nobody at the counter seemed the slightest bit concerned, and the cooks in the open kitchen were pretty mellow, so we chilled out, anticipating what the guy next to us described as a "grubbing" meal. Three barstool-shaking trains and 35 minutes later the food arrived. It wasn't so grubbing.

The trick here is packing the signature burger with shredded cheddar. As it melts and cooks, it forms a thin, crisp cheese skirt that flares out from the bun like a wobbly flying saucer. At first it's fun to eat, picking off bits like so many Cheez-Its. But then the gimmicky-ness of it all dawns on you. The patty at the center of things is merely average, and the taste of the salty cheese becomes as one-dimensional as the barrage of '70s classic rock blaring from the sound system. (Note: They still worship The Eagles in Sacramento).

click to enlarge The equally cheesy steak taco. $3.25. - ALEX HOCHMAN
  • Alex Hochman
  • The equally cheesy steak taco. $3.25.

The taco tasted exactly like the burger, since it, too, wore a cheese skirt. We used about a tree's worth of napkins to wipe the grease from our mouth and hands, and split town. A Double-Double on the way home never tasted so good.

The Squeeze Inn: 5301 Power Inn Rd. (at Fruitridge), Sacramento, 916-386-8599.

Follow Alex Hochman at @urbanstomach. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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Alex Hochman

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