Friday, 1 July 2011

Ford's Real Hamburgers, Sacramento - 16/25

Ford's Real Hamburgers is a classic counter style diner in the suburbs of Sacramento, hiding behind a Starbucks. The joint came to my attention from a recommendation in Jamie Jensen's Road Trip USA as a "truly great old burger place".

Inside there's a small seating area and a large windowed counter where you place your order by number off a decidedly DIY looking menu board. The sizes of fries cartons and drinks are helpfully sellotaped to the counter window and markered up. It's very old school, no pretense or branding about it. Brilliant.

I went for a number 1 bacon burger with small fries having seen the size of the large. After my order was taken I relaxed on the patio and waited for the tannoy girl to call my name. As there was a park over the road I took it go. Unwrapping the sizable chunk of sandwich was an exercise in a postive anticipation and reward. I'll keep it short: this was an honest, messy, two handed, uncomplicated great tasting chunk of burger heaven (click the photo to enlarge). Good beef, great crispy, salty, smoky bacon, biting white onion, calming tomayto and again with the thousand island style sauce. Usually I take a half way picture, but this was waay too good. Always a good sign when the sauce ends up the sides of your cheeks.

Not so goods; the bun was a little too small for the contents and the fries weren't crisp enough for my taste but that's about all. Thousand island and white onion are rapidly becoming my favourite accompaniment for burgers.

And so we score; remember, 0 is for not present, 1 is merely functional, 2 is adequate, 3 is good, 4 is really good and 5 is OMG-can't-talk-eating.

KBI-1 : Quality of Burger

3 / 5

(Beefiness, quality of cooking, not getting lost in the extras)

KBI-2 : Distinguishing Features

4 / 5

(i.e. The 'headline' variation e.g. Bacon, Chilli, BBQ)

KBI-3 : Ability of Bun to Maintain Order

3 / 5

(size, freshness, flavour, keeping it all together)

KBI-4 : Condiment Enhancement

4 / 5

(variety, suitability of extras)

KBI-5 : Fries Counterpoint

2 / 5

(portion size, crispness, potato-ey ness)

KBI-6 : Other Supporting Actors

n/a

(quality of side orders)

Total Score

16/25

Ford's Real Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

So, in conclusion, Ford's fully delivered on the Real Hamburger experience. I revelled in this Honest, messy, great tasting burger. Their score in percentage terms just tips them into 1st place on 64% vs the Cherry Cricket burger which had been leading on 63% since Denver. The bar is re-set.

Merely adequate to good fries are certainly becoming a pattern though and no-one yet has touched GBK. If anyone can apply that extra mile to KBI-5, it could be the difference that makes the difference.


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