Ikeda’s California Country Market (Auburn, CA)

Posted: July 1, 2011 in B^4
Tags: , , , , ,

Ikeda’s California Country Market

Ikeda’s California Country Market is a Japanese Country Market off of I-80 in Auburn, CA. Yes, it’s a Japanese Country Market in Auburn, and yes, it has an accompanying burger joint attached at the hip.

Leesa suggested we stop at Ikeda’s en route to the annual Reno West Coast Scrabble Championships tournament (I later won the tournament, and picked up $2,000!). I, the driver, thought this sounded like a good idea when she mentioned they had burgers, so we forwent the annual Pilgrimage to the Auburn In ‘n Out, and tried something new.

When we pulled up to the market, the parking lot was jam packed – fortunately someone pulled out right in front of me. With a parking lot this full, and a well-known In ‘n Out nearby, my hopes had just increased. Plus I had just sat in traffic in Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, Davis, Sacramento, AND Roseville, so all I really wanted was a damn burger (and to pee).

Ikeda’s burger-joint-part-of-the-restaurant does serve more than just burgers. Oddly enough, the reviews from people who got Japanese inspired dishes did not seem too good – honestly, the food didn’t look very good.

But we’re about burgers here. So let’s get on with it.

Since it is a Japanese-inspired market, I figured I would go for the Teriyaki burger, with their signature sauce. After eating the burger, my thought was that the sauce was pretty good, although a bit sweet. I guess it really wasn’t the most memorable burger I have ever eaten, with a generic bun, and a slice of lettuce. The onions were a nice addition, though. As for the fries, I really enjoyed them, although for my money (about $10 for burger+fries, ordered separately), I would have preferred a reasonably larger portion.

It wouldn’t be fair, though, to conclude this review without a mention of the market itself. Ikeda’s offers two whole rows of free tastings of their delicious sauces and spreads. It’s not really monitored either, so you can be like me and try all 20-30 of these delicacies three times okay not really all of them – we had to get back on the road, which was one lane from Colfax to Kingvale, which, on the Friday of July 4th Weekend, is a mess.

The Last Bite:

– Burger rating: B- (still a good burger, but just a bit boring – I’ll try a normal Cheeseburger next time)

– Overall experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): B

As a final note, Jesse D. bought a tub of something along the lines of a garlic applesauce spread. It was delicious. Although I’d probably just stick to my In ‘n Out stop going between the Bay and Reno, I do recommend you stop and try (then buy) the spreads – they are awesome. Ikeda’s seems out of place, but the packed parking lot doesn’t lie.

Never stop nomming!


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