Are you in the mood for a great "throwback" burger and fries, in an "old school" drive-in restaurant, that essentially hasn't changed since the 1960's? Are you interested in retro cuisine, and dining in your car, or outside on a patio? Alright... we're talking about Nubbin's Drive-In, located in Roseville, CA.
As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: Nubbin's Drive-In is located in Roseville, CA on Washington Blvd., near downtown, on the west side of the railroad tracks. This restaurant has been a Roseville landmark for many years, and is essentially unchanged since it opened many years ago.
It's a few minutes before 11:00 in the morning, Friday, August 05, 2022, and I've arrived at Nubbin's to enjoy a "Burger Basket" for an early lunch.
You simply have to LOVE a restaurant that is located next to a business named "Bubba's Auto Care!"
Photo: Nubbin's is a true drive-in restaurant, as there is no indoor seating, no delivery, and it's no-frills all the way. You can enjoy your meal outside on the patio, in your car, or take it home with you. Like most drive-in restaurants in 2022, to-go orders are the most popular at Nubbin's.
As of June of this year, the restaurant is under new ownership, but the only changes from the previous owner are the expanded hours, as the restaurant is now open for dinner every night except Sunday, when the restaurant is closed. Under the previous owner, the hours were sporadic.
Photo: The menu is posted near the order window, and includes everything that you'd expect to see on the menu of a retro drive-in restaurant.
Like most drive-in's, you make your selection from the posted menu, and place your order at the order window, give the staff member your name, and pay for your order. When your order is ready, your name will be called and you pick it up at the order window. No, there aren't any car hops on roller skates!
Unfortunately, due to the layout of the restaurant, photography was difficult, as the order and pick-up windows were screened, to keep pesky insects outside where they belong, and there was no customer access to the inside of the restaurant, as this fine drive-in isn't a "sit-down" restaurant in any way!
Photo: You can look through a window to watch the staff in action. The kitchen, with the small cooking griddle, is at the rear and hard to see. The gentleman in the photo is Richard, the owner of the restaurant, who purchased it this June, and continues the legacy that Nubbin's has enjoyed for the past sixty years or so.
Photo: I arrived just before 11:00 in the morning, about an hour after the restaurant's 10:00 morning opening time, and after I placed my order, I was in the fine company of other diners.
Photo: The restaurant offers patio dining, but it's truly of the "no frills" variety and offers few "creature comforts." The previous owner installed a fence around the patio, which is locked when the restaurant is closed, as the restaurant is near the railroad tracks, and the patio used to be a popular place for transients to escape the elements... or perhaps reality.
Photo: I'm a happy diner, as I'm ready to enjoy my "Burger Basket" at Nubbin's Drive-In, a truly retro restaurant located just outside of downtown Roseville.
My delicious lunch was cooked-to-order and arrived about five minutes after placing it. Nubbin's isn't a "fast food" restaurant, as entrees aren't prepared in advance, and all food is cooked after you place your order. You're guaranteed of enjoying a fresh, hot meal, right off the griddle!
Photo: Burgers start off the menu, so I went with a "Burger Basket" which was a standard "Burger" along with a side of "Krinkle Cut Fries." The menu lists several variations of "baskets," but all include a slice of cheese.
When it comes to a burger at Nubbin's Drive-In... can you say "old school?" ... as this burger reminds me of the burgers that I used to enjoy as a kid, growing up in Merced, CA during the 1960's. The burger served at Nubbin's is nearly identical to a 1960's drive-in burger, right down to the "Thousand Island" dressing.
The burger starts out with a beef patty, most likely around 3-oz, cooked on the griddle to medium, with just a bit of dark brown on the outside, but juicy and tender inside, without any "pink." Like burgers of 60 years ago, the meat was placed on a soft, fresh, regular size, sesame seed bun, which was lightly buttered and dressed with "Thousand Island" dressing, to give it that "old school" tang. A tomato slice, a few dill pickle slices along with finely shredded lettuce made up the veggies on the burger. One slice of perfectly melted "American" cheese topped the meat to give the burger a creamy, delicious flavor.
One bite into this burger took me back to a 1960's drive-in burger, which is a taste that I simply adore. The burger was simply delicious, and included the perfect meat-to-bun ratio, which is important for a quality burger. I noted the meat, bun and cheese were warm while the "salad" on the burger was chilled, which is another benchmark of a quality burger. Any way you look at it, Nubbin's Drive-In serves a delicious burger!
The side of fries, known as "Krinkle Cut Fries" were delicious and made for the perfect companion for my burger. The fries were on the larger side, cut in "krinkle" shape, lightly salted and deep fried to a light, golden brown on the outside, and tender, juicy and white inside. The fries had just a bit of "crisp" when I bit into them, which is always welcome. No ketchup was included with my fries - it was available at the order window for the asking - but my fries were simply delicious and it didn't occur to me to dip them in ketchup.
You can't beat a "Burger Basket" at Nubbin's Drive-In for a delicious, "old school" lunch, at a very reasonable price.
Photo: I "opened up" my burger so I could see all of the goodness inside of it. Nubbin's Drive-In is not a "fast food" restaurant, as nothing is pre-made, and all orders are cooked as ordered. You may have to wait 5 minutes for your food to arrive, but it's worth the wait! I'll take a freshly grilled burger any day over a pre-made, fast-food chain restaurant burger.
Over the many years the restaurant has been open, the only thing that has changed are the faces of the staff, and... naturally, the prices, but the atmosphere, most of the protocol and the no-frills cuisine is pure 1960's solid gold! When you're in the mood for an "old school" burger, fries, ice cream cone or any other drive-in delight, think of Nubbin's Drive-In, located on Washington Blvd., in Roseville, CA.
Copyright(c) 2022 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. We've been on the web since December 22, 2002.