Get Your Freshly Ground Hamburgers Here!

Local Roots Food Tours Guide Bethany Heckman goes Behind the Hamburger Scene

There is nothing more American than a burger and fries. But who wants meat that has been frozen for 6 months and floppy produce to top their hamburger? Not this girl. I took it upon myself to delve into Sacramento’s restaurants and research places that boast using FRESH ground meat and FRESH delicious fixin’s. Bon Appetit!

Nationwide Freezer Meats
1930 H St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 444-3286

Serving fresh ground steak burgers since 1969, Nationwide is a Sacramento staple. Nationwide boasts about their quality of meat used in each hamburger- Harris Ranch steak that is freshly ground to order. Each patty weighs 1/3lb. Tasting the French Ground Steak burger you understand why they take pride in their burgers. The fresh beef flavor shines through right after your first bite. Each patty is cooked to the perfect temperature, making sure it doesn’t dry out on the grill.  The fresh baked French roll bun is served on is light and airy and fabulous. The vegetables used to top the burger are fresh and crisp: red onion, tomato, lettuce and crunchy dill pickles. (for a little extra I always add the grilled onions and mushrooms) The special sauce is to die for. I always ask for more because it doesn’t take away from the taste of the fresh meat, it only enhances it.  Don’t forget to add a side of their house made fresh steak fries!!

Mini Burger Truck
320 N10th St
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 790-0025

There is nothing more popular now than eating food from food trucks. The Mini Burger truck is perfect for just this!  Mini Burger posts their daily and weekly schedule on their website, Facebook and Twitter. To see where they are driving to next is easy as logging onto the internet. What do they serve on the Mini Burger Truck? Well, mini burgers!
All burgers are made with fresh Five Dot Ranch Natural Angus beef- California born and raised beef. Mini burger takes pride in the meat they use and prepare all items on the menu fresh. My favorite mini burger? The Ninja- hamburger sliders with asian slaw, pea shoots, lotus chip and sriracha aioli. A perfectly cooked burger with a little heat. I also can’t resist the Da’ Philly- a beautiful burger with provolone cheese, grilled mushrooms, onions and roasted red pepper aioli. I always compliment these mini burgers with sweet potato tots and their organic cotton candy. YUM. It’s a fun place to eat because the locations are always changing!

Gatsby’s Diner
2598 Alta Arden Expy
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 977-0102

I know a great burger when I smell one. Gatsby’s has just that. Great burgers. Gatsby’s has been showcase on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-in and Dives” and now I know why they were in the spotlight. Gatsby’s is fabulous. I ordered the Fire Burger which is seasonal, it’s a fresh 8 oz. burger patty with crispy bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, roasted onions and jalepenos on a toasted bun. Half way through the burger I realized I hadn’t spoken to my lunch date and we were both breaking out in a sweat from the heat of the jalepenos. It was fabulous. My kind of lunch. I’m a big eater but even I couldn’t finish this burger, though I tried.

Flaming Grill
2319 El Camino Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 359-0840

If you are someone that enjoys trying new things I have two words for you: Flaming Grill. At Flaming Grill, you get a choice of 10 fresh meats to have as your burger! Sirloin, Angus, Antelope, Elk, Llama, Ostrich, Yak, Wild Boar, Alligator or Buffalo. Wow. Quite an assortment. I ordered the Yak burger and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The workers there were so kind and offered to have me try a sample before purchasing the whole meal. I loved it! It was very similar to beef but had a leaner taste to it. I ordered the full meal. My burger came with cheddar and jack cheese, avocado, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, poblano peppers and a house made habernero sauce. YUM. YUM. It was delicious. I can’t wait to go back and try the alligator or ostrich!

Morgan’s Restaurant
1230 J St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 341-4100

Morgan’s Restaurant is a hidden gem inside the Sheraton Grand hotel. Chef Russell Michel is known throughout Sacramento for using fresh and local ingredients as often as possible.  Chef Michel appears weekly on a Fox 40 News segment called “Ask A Chef”, where he answers viewers questions about food, cuisine and health related questions. Chef Michel creates an Artisan Burger- 100% choice half pound fresh ground chuck patty that is never frozen burger. The burger is then cooked to order.  The burger is topped with fresh crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, flavorful onions and a little ketchup and mustard. The burger is to die for!

524 Downtown
524 12th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 441-3600

What started out as a kids menu selection for the “alternative” picky eater has turned into a hamburger that has its claim to fame.  524′s freshly ground sirloin cheeseburger has been on their menu since the 1960′s.  Need I say anymore?  O.K.  How about D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  A mexican restaurant is not where you would think you could find a killer hamburger that is freshly ground as soon as your order is placed.  Well I found stumbled upon this amazing burger after learning on our recent Local Roots Food Tour that 524 sells as many cheeseburgers as they do tacos!  They have a secret ingredient that wouldn’t be revealed but as I stepped up to the plate to taste….I was blown away.  Ole!  Want fresh avocado or jalapeno on that burg?  No problem.  You find an ingredient on their popular menu and it can be your topping for your freshly ground cheeseburger.  It is what I call a “hidden gem” hamburger joint disguised with a sombrero!  Can I have a margarita to go with that?

De Vere’s Irish Pub
1521 L St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 231-9947

A family from Dublin, Ireland that moved to Boston over thirty years ago, then coming to Sacramento in 1984, opened De Vere’s Irish Pub. The family opened De Vere’s to share the warmth of Irish pub food and delicious beers. May is National Hamburger Month and for years, De Vere’s has showcased the amazing gourmet burgers. Each week the restaurant features a new type of hamburger. In May 2011, here are a few that were on the menu- The Tostada Burger, The FireStone Burger, The Prime Rib Burger and The Philly Burger. De Vere’s features each chuck patty is house-ground to order. I would recommend the Original De Vere’s burger- with mayonnaise, juicy tomato, crunchy red onions and leafy greens. You can always add sautéed mushrooms, bleu cheese, avocado, Irish or American bacon and of course—— a fried egg. If you’ve never tried a fresh ground burger topped with a fried egg, trust me, try it. It’ll change they way you eat burgers.  Fabulous.


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