Popular Squeeze Inn burger joint planned for Penn Valley

The Squeeze Inn restaurant, a Sacramento institution known for its juicy burgers with a generous skirt of cheese, plans to open a branch in Penn Valley and expand further into the Sierra Foothills, our magazine has learned. The restaurants are individually owned or franchises, and this marks the continued growth of the Squeeze Inn brand that began in a small building (hence “Squeeze Inn”) in Sacramento in the ’80s.

The Penn Valley location is on Pleasant Valley Rd., next to the Union 76 gas station. This deal could clear the way for further expansion of the popular hamburger restaurant in the Sierra Foothills. The same operator — Sierra Energy — recently opened a Squeeze Inn in Portola in Plumas County.

The Squeeze Inn in Penn Valley expects to open in late July or August.

The burger restaurant has been featured on the popular TV program “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and the Sacramento Bee has called it a “burger to drive for.”

The restaurant’s signature menu item is the Squeezeburger with cheese, which includes a 1/3 lb. all-beef patty served on a sesame seed bun, with cheese, mayonnaise, mustard dill pickle, tomato, onion and lettuce. The menu also incluedes a veggie burger. Other sandwiches include at B.L.T., grilled cheddar cheese sandwich and hot dog.

“The burger at the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento starts off innocently enough,” according to Serious Eats. “A 1/3-pound ground beef patty (80/20 meat to fat ratio) gets grilled on a flat top, and turned once. After that, if you ask for the cheese skirt (and you do have to ask in order to get it), things start to get crazy. The burger gets blanketed in a mess of shredded mild cheddar cheese, and covered (partially) with the top of the hamburger bun. Then—and this is where the engineering comes in—a few ice cubes are tossed onto the flat top, and the whole thing is covered for 4-5 minutes, steaming and crisping up the cheese into what could be considered a skirt-like shape.”

The restaurant’s name is derived from the small building in which it started in Sacramento in the ’80s, where not more than a dozen diners could fit, according to Sacramento Wiki.

Other Squeeze locations include Midtown Sacramento, Roseville, Tracy, Galt and Napa.

“Born out of our love of fine burgers and good music, The Squeeze Inn has become the exclusive bite spot in Northern California,” according to its website. “After being introduced to a new way of the ‘Burger’ Travis H fortunately would be in the right place at the right time, when he was introduced to ‘The Squeeze Inn.’ He decided to make the move into flavorville as the proud new owner of ‘The Squeeze Inn.’ On that day the next generation of the squeeze was born.

“There are 9 locations and At The Squeeze Inn, every hour is Happy Hour. With burgers that is! Come and relax. Listen to great music, enjoy some hot fries with your friends or colleagues and experience the love of the famous cheese skirt for yourself!”

The Squeeze Inn was featured in “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”:

(Photo: Facebook)

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