Jim Denny’s in Sacramento is a Jim Dandy of a place for a burger. A Sacramento fixture for years, it was resurrected a few years ago and now serves up a great hamburger.
You can’t miss the landmark as you walk up 12th street from the Convention center. It is a small white building with a vintage red sign out front. On a Saturday afternoon, the tables outside were packed with people eating and waiting for their to-go orders served up at the side window. The real action is inside, where a small counter of about 10 chairs faces the griddle. Patsy, the owner fries up burgers starting with the tiny 1/6-pound model going all the way up to a 1-pound monster. I went for the 1/2-pound Superburger with fries ($8.75). I added American cheese ($1), Bacon ($1) and grilled onions. Patsy slapped the fresh beef on the griddle and chatted with us as we waited. I also ordered up a blackberry-Oreo shake on her recommendation.
The shake came first. I found it creamy and perfect. The Oreo and blackberry nicely played off against one another. Yum. My friend Margaret ordered a chocolate shake along with her Superburger. She liked it as well.
When the burger was ready, one of the servers asked us what we wanted on it. Mustard, yes. Mayo, yes. Lettuce, no. Tomato, no. I really liked the interaction. At one point a friend called to join us. I ordered a burger and fries for him and they let us save a place at the counter. When he arrived the burger came right off the grill for him. Great service.
My burger was yummy. The classic white bun was toasted nicely. The American cheese hung out on the side artfully. It was just the right amount of mayo and mustard. The beef was tasty and juicy. The fries were thin, crisp and salty.
I really do not know how you can improve on an experience like this. (Except if they had onion rings.) It was a fun walk back to a time when things were simpler and everyone was friendly. I cannot recommend Jim Denny’s any more highly.
Burger 5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 4 spatulas
Shake 5 spatulas
816 12th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814