Diningout: Ford’s Real Hamburgers

Ford’s isn’t open that often. We’d tried to come here several times before—it’s close enough to our house that we never thought to check the hours—and kept getting thwarted by Ford’s early closing times. I think we’d tried to come late, after 3 on a Sunday, and once on a Monday.

Finally on Mother’s Day weekend we all made it, and it was about time. The first thing we noticed—very little grease. The burgers were flavorful, filling and moist enough, but not dripping in the oily sticky stuff.

So we asked, and the manager told us. First of all, they scrape the grill after every batch of burgers, so there’s not the usual buildup that covers most burgers. Second, he said, the beef comes from Five Dot Ranch, a provider of hormone and anti-biotic free, free-range beef located up in Standish, way up in the Northeast section of California. The meat, he said, has a low fat content. They buy it nearby at the upscale Taylor’s Market, which sells a variety of high end meats. You pay a bit more than you would at a fast food place—but aside from an occasional visit to In n’ Out, we don’t eat fast food.

Not that I had the beef. I had my usual turkey burger ($4.13 without cheese). It was a little drier than the beef burgers that Joy and her kids had, but that comes with the territory with turkey burgers. Overall, we were all very happy with the quality of our burgers, which were flavorful, with some spices cooked into the meat.

By comparison, the fries were just average. But they were also cheap–$3 for a basket that turned out to be more than the four of us could eat. Conner, who’s been a few times before, said we should have gotten the onion rings ($4.09) instead, because they’re excellent. Of course, he conveniently forgot to mention this until after our food had come. I guess I conveniently forgot to mention that I like onion rings much better than fries.

We finished by splitting a couple of milkshakes ($4.43 for a medium). The kids had strawberry, while Joy and I split a chocolate peanut butter. It was great, the peanut butter still a little lumpy coming through the straw. After saying something like, “I’ll just have some of yours,” Joy quickly downed half of it.

Ford’s is a traditional hamburger stand. It’s been operating for years in the same location on the Sutterville end of Land Park. Sitting at a concrete table in the big covered outdoor seating area looking out on the green grass and trees across the street, it was like we’d stepped back in time—complete with the group of four older people on the other end ignoring the “no smoking” sign. But on an idyllic sunny spring Sacramento day, that seemed like a minor complaint.

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