When I saw the “coming soon” on the window of a new smashburger location, I made a mental note to add it to our list of places to visit. And then, magically, less than two weeks later, it was open. My friend, Beth, has become our unofficial partner in crime when it comes to evaluating burgers, so it seemed only natural that we went together. After some time at a nearby town festival, we made our way over this weekend.
As soon as we opened the door, it reminded me right away of Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace. From the way the line queues up and people place their order, to the long tables for seating to, really, the menu. The Denver-based restaurant is growing at a super fast pace, planning to open up another 100+ locations by the end of the year, and has franchises lined up to bring their total number of restaurants to 375 in the next five years. Voted a Hot Concept! last year, it’s a nice, albeit even healthier, alternative to the usual spate of fast food burger joints.
The menu is varied enough to have a nice variety for meat eaters and meat-freers alike. There are plenty of salad options, kids meals and free soda refills. The shakes, although we didn’t get them, are made with Haagen Dazs, and there are a ton of burger topping options and delicious side items, including fried pickles, haystack onions and sweet potato fries.
Burgers: I went with the New Jersey smashburger, which was topped with bacon, tomatoes and bleu cheese. I added avocado. This burger came on an onion bun and had I been paying attention, I would have swapped it out for a wheat bun (egg bun is the third option), because I thought the onion flavor overpowered the burger. The burger had little to no seasoning on it, and it seems they rely solely on the “smashburger technique” and toppings to carry the burger’s taste. As a side note, I really hate it when restaurants try to use subpar tomatoes and avocados on burgers, as if we wouldn’t notice. The avocado had too much brown and while it may have been fine for guacamole, it had no business crowning the burger. The less than red, less than ripe tomatoes as well.
Haystack Onions – A lot of restaurants offer these, and I think smashburger’s are now the ones to beat. Fully seasoned and totally addicting.
Sweet Potato Fries – I’m not usually a fan of these, but stole a few of Beth’s. There was a definitely taste of rosemary and salt, and they were delish, soft on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside.
Fried Pickles – One of those weird little things that you can’t stop eating, especially with the dipping sauce.
Veggie Frites -not terribly greasy, they were flash-fried to retain their color and crisp bite, and were served alongside another “mystery” dipping sauce. The leftover asparagus bits were perfect in my egg white omelet this morning.
The food comes out in these fun individual silver wire baskets, and the fries and onions are nestled in cute black metal baskets – love them!
Their service is friendly and brisk. The cashier gave me my drink for free after I realized I ordered everyone else’s but mine, and the girl cleaning up our table could not have gone more out of her way for us, offering us containers to bring our food home, and even lids for the dipping sauces. Would I go again? Yes. And you can too. Check out the map to find a location (hopefully) near you. Their burger combinations are not OMG-worthy as some of the ones we found from Bobby Flay’s place, but the haystack onions just might be worth the trip alone.
October 4, 2010, Photo #172
Although I understand the arguments for hunting, I am not a fan. I am even less of a fan of a package of hunting-themed Silly Bandz. Really? A bracelet depicting a hunter with a rifle is necessary for a little kid? Come on!
Mmmmm….burgers! The haystack onions & veggie frites look awesome. Onion rings/haystack onions are my FAVORITE!
Sarah Caron says
Drooling! I want to try that place. Those onion haystack things … YUM!
I am so checking this out to see whether or not there’s a location in NYC! I really want to try those fried pickles!
And yeah hunter silly bandz are kind of ridiculous. I don’t think kids should have anything in their lives that involves guns. At all.
My Nick is a hunter (and a fisherman), as are many of his friends in our rural area. Those Silly Bandz would be a big hit here. They might not make sense in your world but here, where the first day of deer season is a school holiday, they make perfect sense.
I’ll have to check out that burger place!
I haven’t seen those silly bandz and wouldn’t buy them if I did! Seriously, kids don’t need that kind of stuff.
These really are popping up everywhere. I need to try it. Just visited Fat Burger in La Jolla, CA over the summer and it was pretty good!
Since I don’t have kids, I guess I don’t understand what the silly bands are for….
Sounds like they have a lot of choices and some pretty good sides anyway at Smashburger.
The Neighbor Wife says
So, who got Nick the hunting silly bandz??
I haven’t heard of smashburger, but plenty of those menu options sound delicious! And I’m addicted to sweet potato fries… so delicious.
the ky one does a lot of bourbon things and fried banana peppers which is huge in Ky….I will have to try it the next time I visit my parents….we dont have one here in South carolina yet.
Laura – love banana peppers – I bet they taste great on the burgers – yum!
Meg – I’m definitely becoming a sweet potato fry convert.
The Neighbor Wife – haha, nobody, thank goodness. We saw them at the festival on Saturday.
Ramona – they’re just the latest craze amongst the kids. They keep them, collect them, trade them. All different shapes, colors and themes, and at only $2-4 a package, it’s a trend I’m ok with. :)
Casey – mmm, Fat Burger! We have one here too – love their burgers with fried eggs on top, great seasonings!
Patsy – exactly. just don’t think it’s appropriate for kids to be sporting them, but do understand that it is a bigger part of other people’s worlds.
Paula – totally understand. Different strokes. :)
Joanne – Amen! on the no-guns AND the fried pickles.
Sarah and Merry – totally worth it, even if just for the onions.