Murmurings of Smashburger had made their way to me, but what prompted our visit was ultimately another blogger, half way across the country. You see, she went, and she came back with tales of fried pickles.
We were in the door the same week.
Smashburger follows the build your own burger model. You select a size (small smash, smash, big smash, or double, ranging from 1/4lb to 1/2lb of meat) and your desired toppings. The cooks then "smash" your burger (in theory, this sears the exterior of the patty and creates a more tender burger) and assemble your masterpiece. They also offer preset burger combinations if that's your preference.
We had entered the brain-shutting-down phase of hungry and so we kept it simple and selected from the on menu combinations. I chose a BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar small smash with a side of fried pickles. The hubby selected a Spicy Baja smash and cajun smashfries.
We headed to the drink bar and sat ourselves in a small booth. Our food arrived promptly, giving us just enough time to glance around before eating.
My burger (shown at the top of the post) followed its description exactly. I don't know why I persist in expecting lettuce, tomato, and pickles on all burgers, even if not listed, but I am always surprised when they do not materialize. My own idiosyncrasies aside, I was a little let down by the skimpy stack of haystack onions. Joining the few onions were 1.5 slices of lightly cooked bacon with a subtle smokey sweet flavor and a medium or sharp cheddar. The promised root beer based BBQ sauce was applied under the patty and almost entirely to one half of the burger, causing me to initially think it had been left off. Once I found it, it's sweet flavor helped to somewhat offset the salty cheese, onions, and bacon. The patty itself had a loose texture. The egg bun was buttered and toasted, with a soft squish-able feel to the outside faces, though it was overly large for my 1/4lb patty.
The fried pickles, which I had such high hopes for were a disappointment. The breading was thin and the pickles crunchy, but I found the vinegary flavor overwhelmingly sharp. They were served with ranch dressing, but that was a flavor combination that just did not work at all. I was reminded of the yellowy, vinegary spears that many restaurants hand out with sandwiches and which I am equally unfond of. If you enjoy those pickles, you may enjoy these, otherwise, I'd go for the fries.
The hubby enjoyed his burger, dubbing it tasty and juicy. Despite stacking jalapenos in a jalapeno bun, he didn't find it overly spicy though he did declare the fries to be a touch over salted.
Smashburger offers another alternative to your usual burger places and if you are looking for one with veggie friendly options their black bean "burgers" and veggie frites put them ahead of most spots. Their chicken, salad, shakes, floats, and hot dogs ensure plenty of menu diversity for just about everyone. My burger was tasty, but not so inspiring that I would drive out of my way for a visit.
Total for the meal: $19.28 (Two burgers with sides, one soda, one water)
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