B & B Burger – Bacon and Butter – Sacramento, CA
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Find this Burger
Address: Bacon and Butter
1119 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
On the Web: http://baconandbuttersac.com
When I heard about a place called “Bacon and Butter” opening in Sacramento, I’m pretty sure I literally jumped for joy. After I landed, I sent a text to my buddy Jeremy and said, it’s time for some breakfast! I had initially heard that it would be a breakfast focused restaurant, so when we sat down, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they also have a full lunch menu!
The midtown location is a neat looking building. Huge sliding windows across the front open up to 21st street and lets you feel like you’re sitting in patio seating indoors. Hardwood floors cover the inside, and there’s a full bar against the back wall. I wouldn’t say it feels like a diner, but with the fresh air blowing and the classic decor, it feels like a place you wouldn’t mind hanging out for a few hours. Behind the bar is a full dance floor that comes to life long after the restaurant closes at 2pm each day.
On my first trip, we were there for breakfast, but as soon as I sat down, the first thing my eyes saw on the menu was the “b & b burger”. Come to find out that the chef/owner of Bacon and Butter was Billy Zoellin, the original chef behind one of my other favorite burgers in town, the Juicy Lucy from The Golden Bear. He stopped by our table during our first visit and told us about how he grinds his burger in house and adds ground bacon INSIDE the burger. I told him about my not so pleasant experience with a burger that was 50% beef and 50% bacon, and he assured me that his blend wouldn’t be as bacon heavy (or salty) as the burger I had down south.
After another brunch trip to Bacon and Butter with the family a week later, I finally ended up flying solo on a burger adventure to midtown so I could get a taste of the “b & b burger” that was haunting my food dreams since I heard the chef describe it weeks prior.
Before I even sat down, I was already placing my order with the server.
“b &b burger. medium rare, please”
I was a man on a burger mission (and a short lunch).
The beautifully plated burger came out faster than the meals at my previous two visits. The b & b burger is Chef Zoellin’s take on the “bacon western cheeseburger” and it’s anything but traditional. Instead of the usually huge onion rings, he opted for the smaller, slightly sweeter shallot rings. Why top a burger with slices of bacon when you can grind up the bacon and add it right into the patty itself? Judging from his past success with the Juicy Lucy, it’s obvious he has no problem putting ingredients inside a burger patty. For the cheese, he stayed closer to the standard by using a dry cheddar, but instead of lathering the burger with a heavy bbq sauce, it is nicely dressed with a smoked aioli.
The focus on quality ingredients was evident with every bite, but the one flavor that surprised me was the nice peppery arugula. Most burgers with lettuce have a slab of iceberg on top and call it a day. Some might even say it would be pretentious to put arugula on a burger. To me, the added zest of the lettuce seemed to be a well thought out conscious choice by the chef to balance the flavors in the sandwich. Most LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) toppings on a cheeseburger seem to be there more as a token vegetable, maybe to make the burger junkies like me feel better about their burger consumption levels. I won’t say the addition of the arugula made the sandwich, but it damn sure kicked it up a few notches.
The bun was nice and fluffy with a respectable burger to bun ratio. The patty itself was cooked to a nice medium rare. This is notable, because the more burgers I order medium rare, the more I see burgers being overcooked despite my temperature requests. It’s nice when a restaurant puts a burger on the menu and takes the time to do it *right* instead of treating it like a red headed stepchild to a fancier steak or lighter fare option. Sometimes I give restaurants the benefit of the doubt since I take a bit of time before the first bite to photograph my meal. It’s possible that some of the burgers have cooked up to medium (or higher) as I’m snapping away photos, but the burger at Bacon and Butter was still hot and nicely pink in center (and super juicy) when I finally took a bite.
As a side note, 2 out of the 3 times I was at Bacon and Butter, had their spicy Bloody Mary, and I have to say it was top notch. One of the best Bloody Marys I’ve had in the Sacramento area.
Bacon and Butter has the feel of a place that you just want to like. I mean, the name alone is a win + win. Service wise, the third time was the charm. When I dined there, they had only been open a few weeks, so the service on the first visit was OK, the service on the second visit was not so good, but by the third visit, things were humming along much more smoothly. Even as they ironed out the service kinks, each time the food was spot on. This is a burger I’d come back to visit time and time again. At just $12 with the side of fries, it may be one of the best burger deals in town for the quality of ingredients you’re getting.
Next time you’re in midtown with a breakfast or burger craving, stop on by Bacon and Butter. Maybe they’ll have some of their fresh donuts at the front counter for you to order on your way out.
- Burger Juiciness (because a dry burger is just wrong) 9
- Bun Goodness (a quality meat holder is essential) 8
- Burger Flavor (is the meat itself extra tastilicious) 9
- Burger Value (you can pay too much for a .99 cent burger and an amazing burger can seem like a steal at $20…and vice versa) 9
- B Factor (this is that super subjective thing that makes each review unique. That gene se qua, that something special about the experience. Could be the special sauce, could be the atmosphere of the joint, could be the ridiculous shakes that you paired the burger with, or it could be some french fries that make you wanna cry) 7
Total Score: 42pts