Nations is an institution in the East Bay. I remember my brother-in-law John telling me about them years ago. He has always been a regular at the Fremont location. It was appropriate he joined me for the review. A somewhat seedy and dilapidated building, it nevertheless has an inviting charm. At a Friday lunch, there were bikers, skinheads, 49er fans, workers and families all happily sharing their slabs of meat.
This one has a local feel as one steps to the counter to order. The cheeseburger is $4.30, fries $1.50 and shakes in two sizes are $2.20 or $3.10. If I had not been on a burger mission, I would have been very tempted to take a crack at the tempting “grand” breakfast menu. Instead I grabbed my receipt and number and took a seat.
It wasn’t long before my number was called and I retrieved my sustenance. The griddle-fried burger comes piled high with fresh onions, tomato, lettuce and mayo-based dressing. The bun is griddle-crisp. All of it is a nice blending of all flavors in the classic style. The burger is only a small piece of the overall package claimed to be “3/4 pound or more with everything”.
The fries are medium thick, hot, lightly salted and unadorned perfection. This is how I like fries best - no skins, no coating, no pepper - just potato, salt and grease served piping hot.
The shake was also very good. It was creamy and cold with not too much syrup, flowing thick and smooth up the straw.
I have been to newer Nations locations that feel more chain-like, this one is one really makes one feel at home.
Burger 3.5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 5 spatulas
Shake 4 spatulas
Nations Giant Hamburgers
39180 Fremont Blvd.
24 locations in the SF Bay Area