Squeeze Inn, Tracy CA
Zach’s catering business took us to Tracy this evening, and after the job was done we had to get some dinner for ourselves. This was the most convenient opportunity to try the Squeeze Inn, a small chain that we’ve known about ever since the original location was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Apart from chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, there’s a “specialty shake” option but you have to ask. We’re glad we did, as we had to try their take on an Oreo shake. This was unlike any Oreo shake we’ve had before, since they used real Oreo cookies! We’re not talking about cookie dust, but actual whole cookies that they mash up for the shake, with big chunks of cookie and cream filling. They split a single shake for us so that we could both enjoy our own portion.
What puts the Squeezeburgers above and well beyond the typical diner burger is the cheese skirt – a ring of grilled cheese around the 1/3 lb. patty. They also have a regular hamburger at 1/4 lb. on a seedless bun, but we came to try what makes the Squeeze Inn different. August’s Squeezeburger had mushrooms, and she also added avocado. The toppings that come with any Squeeze are mayonnaise, mustard, pickle, tomato, onion, and lettuce, so she got hers unadulterated with all the toppings. All the vegetable toppings are cut fresh in house every morning. Some of the mushrooms melted into the cheese skirt, turning into a crispy, cheesy delight to be pulled off before she could even start in with a knife and fork. The burger patty (from Sterling Meat Co.) had a good, rich flavor that came through all the toppings, and the meat was cooked thoroughly but nowhere near overcooked, so it was still juicy and with a good texture.
Zach’s Double Squeezeburger with cheese and bacon had double the cheese skirt (all the more treats for Bea the Dog when we got home). He requested grilled onions, no tomato, and a seedless bun. The bun was not your average bun, cakey and doughy; there was a little bit of chew and pull to it, like a soft French roll. The patty was cooked well, juicy, seasoned properly, and with good char from the flat top grill. The bacon was good quality and thick cut. The pickles were great, also – Zach says it was his first time having a long dill pickle slice in a restaurant sandwich, and he liked it. If you’re a cheese lover, they load this one up, as you can tell.
Served in a half-fried corn tortilla with onion, tomato, lettuce, and salsa, the steak taco was one more item we had to try, just to taste the variety here (seriously, we don’t eat a lot of the food we take pictures of; we taste it and move on). But this taco – wow! Zach really liked the steak and the shell. The steak was packed in the taco, and packed with flavor, freshness, and tenderness with an abundance of fresh vegetables. The shell was fried but not completely fried, so it was chewy in the middle but crispier towards the outsides. The cheese skirt makes this a heavenly meal for the cheese and Mexican food lovers.
Jon the cook, Cara the server, and Alex the helper/prep cook were an awesome team. When we first went in, Zach asked Alex about seedless buns; when he forgot to mention it to Cara when placing our order, she came back to check who wanted the seedless bun because Alex made sure to speak up about it. Cara took it upon herself to split our milkshake, which was very considerate. And Jon went out of his way to talk with us about the food and the history. If you’re ever looking to have a business party or other type of party, accommodations can be made to cater or eat in the restaurant as a large group. All around, the Squeeze Inn has some passionate workers, and that makes a difference when it comes to quality and an eye for details.