Thursday, September 9, 2010
Okay dear readers, I am back again.
This time my short hiatus was not “Angry Birds”, though. “Unusually busy” better describes my absence. I recently performed a wedding; started teaching a college course and am now remodeling a bathroom. And that has turned into a big job! But my time has also got caught up by a person of some interest. She is known as Lisbeth Salander. Have you heard of her? Some know her as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that has kept me awake till the wee hours of the night. This one did, so be forewarned.
So please excuse my absence. But let me assure you that while gone I have not stopped exploring the world of culinary delights. I have continued in my search to find interesting and savory foods. And of what I find that’s great to eat, I will always gladly spread the word.
But if I’m not careful, that may not be all that spreads.
Okay, let’s talk about a favorite food of mine; grilled burgers. A great burger is all about the supporting cast, don’t you think? The bun, the lettuce, the fixings and the sauce join together to play like a symphony of flavors. The burger is the conductor that gives each ingredient their solo performance. And we get to enjoy everything they bring to the show. I have found four burger joints that provide an experience that is worth traveling to, just to enjoy their unique hamburger composition.
1. The Habit Burger Grill
This place makes me think of Disneyland. Everyone working there is happy and helpful. We visited the joint in Davis and had a great time. Their burger is charbroiled on an open flame. The sesame seed bun is toasted and comes with mayonnaise, pickles, fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce and caramelized onions. Let’s just say “Mmmm!” And the condiment bar has a great range of choices like Worcester sauce, A-1, Tabasco and Cholula! Where else are you gonna get a chance to it chef up and concoct your own dipping cocktail for your fries or O-rings. Simply a great idea!
The Habit Burger Grill, 500 1st Street, Davis, CA. 530 757 7485
2. The Squeeze Inn
This burger is the bomb. Can I get an echo? This burger is the bomb. We ate at the Sac joint and loved it. We all had cheeseburgers and they are as appealing to the eye as they are to the taste buds. Their cheeseburger comes with a bubbling cheese skirt that gives you almost as much cheese to eat as burger. Check my photos. If you are looking for one of the best burgers in town, try this one. Just ask for the "Squeeze with Cheese". The burger is a hefty 1/3lb. and comes loaded with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, white onions, mayo, and mustard on a toasted sesame seed bun.
The Squeeze Inn, 5301 Power Inn Road, Sacramento, CA. 916 386 8599
3. The Freemont Diner
Located outside Sonoma on the 12, this place turned out to be a real find. What a gem of a place. I loved just reading their menu! You don’t just get an order of fries here; you get “hand cut Castle Rock Potatoes deep fried in rice bran oil”. Do you want a side of beans? They offer “Eye of the goat Rancho Gordo beans with sage and griddled onions”. Pretentious? No way, just a sign of people who love cooking for people who love to eat.
Sometimes you find a meal whose flavor throws you back to a time when the food and memories were good. My wife bit into her cheeseburger and said “Wow, this reminds me so much of the burgers my mom made when I was young.” I bit into mine and the burger patty was so delicious and different I agreed out loud, “Wow, they are! And I’ve never even had your mom’s hamburgers!”
The Freemont Diner’s patty is a 7 oz. Marin Sun grass fed burger. That’s local beef and maybe it’s the grass fed part that sets it flavor apart. It comes with the regular fixings but get this; everything is local and very fresh. They have their own special Freemont Diner sauce that tops off the burger, seasonal pickles and a special potato bun made at a local bakery called ABC. If you are a fan of bread you will remember this bun.
The Freemont Diner, 2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA, 707 938 7370
4. The Jalama Beach Store & Grill
Picture this. You are sitting on a picnic blanket with a burger cradled in your hands. Its contents are dripping and spilling around you. Each bite you take bursts with a cacophony of flavors and as you eat you are sorry that this meal will have an end to it. And did I mention you are looking out over the Pacific Ocean which lies no more than 150 feet away? The surf pounds as background dinner music to your dining experience. It’s a burger at the beach, baby; Jalama Beach. Eating here is an experience that engages all your senses. Their burger is a 1/3lb fresh ground beef patty served on a grilled sesame seed bun, with generous fresh shredded lettuce, sweet red onion, tomatoes, dill pickle chips & Jalama Grill’s very own secret homemade sauce. Some places brag that they have the best burgers in town. This place brags it has the best burgers on the planet! And of course they have indoor seating, but why?
The Jalama Beach Store and Grill, 9991 Jalama Road, Lompoc, CA, 805 736 3504
Now that’s Burgerlicious, baby! There you go, my friends. Get out your map and start planning a trip.
Well, it’s back to my remodeling project. And I’ve got to prep for tomorrow’s class. And did I mention? Lisbeth Salander is back. Somehow a copy of her next adventure, The Girl Who Played with Fire showed up on my nightstand.
Now go explore!