Wow, for a while there seemed to be a Smashburger opening every week in San Diego. Heck, I know that FOY (Friend of Yoso) and fellow food blogger Kirbie seemed to be going to a sneak peek event every week for a while. Cathy also did a nice post on the place. Me???? Well, I'm not one for media events and I kinda just take my sweet old time....being kinda slow and all that. For a while it seemed like Smashburger was into full court press marketing mode and they really seemed to do a good job at it. For some reason, the more hype, the less I'm inclined to really get excited about something...it's not always true, but most of the time..... Now things have calmed down and I thought I'd really get an honest meal and see what Smashburger is all about. Hmmmm, is the bloom off the rose?
The decor is what I now call classic "fast-casual"...it might have been the lighting, but the carpets here seemed to be kinda stained in a few places....not a bad thing. Heck, if it's burger juice flowing on those carpets...I'm all for adding that element!
Smashburger claims 100% Angus Beef, which I think is great. They also claim to "smash" the beef onto the griddle which has been brushed with butter. Perhaps not the greatest thing, since you can squeeze the juices out of the burger. And yet, I recall the rather thin pressed patties from diners and bowling alleys of my youth which made up for that short coming with a nice crisp exterior.
I really wanted to taste the burger so I went with a Classic ($4.29). I also got some Smash Fries and a drink which totaled out at $8.80.
Now, I thought this looked kinda puny for a burger, but heck it's Angus Beef, right? Never frozen, etc, etc, etc.... It's great to fall in love with an idea and all. The burger didn't really have a nice crust on it and was rather dry. The flavor was pretty weak for certified Angus. I did love the roll, which was moist, bready (in a good way), and somewhat buttery.
I also really enjoyed the fries which were still almost sizzling when the young man brought it to my table. These were seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. I thought the flavor was nicely balanced...though I love tons of garlic, I appreciated the restrained hand of all the flavors. The crisp texture didn't hurt either.
Love the fries....the burger, well, was ok.....
In this case, the roll was much too bready for the dog, which had been split and griddled. Wrong relish, which also tasted wrong and lack of celery salt made this a Chicago Dog in name only. The dog was dense, it reminded me of a Bison Dog I had recently, though the flavor was very mild. At least the sport peppers were decent......
Since I love onions so much, I ordered the Haystack Onions ($1.99) which I might have really enjoyed if they weren't cold, greasy, and slightly burnt, which made this bitter.
Well, one out of four, not that great for me. Maybe the burger just wasn't right on my first visit...or maybe it does have to be buried in toppings? I dunno....