Downtown San Diego
801 Market St.
San Diego, CA 92101
1555 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014
Open Daily 10am-10pm
1000 Prospect St.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Open Daily 10am-10pm
7610 Hazard Center
San Diego, CA 92108
Open Daily 10am-10pm
Online Ordering Available
There is always a new food fad sweeping the nation and Smashburger is the latest. It’s as if someone went around the U.S. planting Smashburger seeds because they’ve been sprouting up like crazy since the first opening only three short years ago! They currently have over 375 franchise agreements, plan to open 100-125 locations by the end of 2010, and estimate that number to exceed 500 within the next five years. Southern California is in the middle of the craze, with the opening of its third location in just a matter of months. With its diverse menu, fresh approach to fast food, and emphasis on customer service, it’s no wonder Smashburger is quickly becoming “every city’s favorite burger place”.
It’s easy to think of Smashburger as just another place to grab a quick burger and fries, but once you step inside and take one bite you’ll notice some unique differences from other well known fast food spots. “Smash, Sizzle, Savor”, the largely printed words upon the walls of every location, means that your Smashburger isn’t made until you order it. Only then is the 100% Angus beef smashed on the grill, cooked to juicy perfection, topped with fresh veggies, and served with your favorite Smashside.
The full smash and a round-up of our fav Smash Selections after the jump!
You would think with hundreds of locations that they are just a well-oiled machine, pumping out the same menu items day after day in each location. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all right? Wrong! Smashburger wanted to throw out the concept of a completely uniform menu and create special items specific to the location. If you stop by any Kentucky store you can get the Bluegrass Smashburger (or Smashchicken) with applewood smoked bacon, Wild Turkey Bourbon barbeque sauce, cheddar cheese, and fried banana peppers on an egg bun. Before you roll the dice in Las Vegas, pick up a Sin City Smashburger (or Smashchicken) toppped with a fried egg, American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, haystack onions, grilled onions, and Smash Sauce on an egg bun. And of course the three San Diego locations wouldn’t be complete without their own signature burger packed with all the flavors of Southern California. The San Diego Smashburger (or Smashchicken) is piled high with, you guessed it, fresh avocado, cilantro, onions, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and chipotle mayo served on a torta roll with a slice of lime. I guess you’ll just have to pop into the next Smashburger you see to find out what one-of-a-kind selections they’re offering next.
I was privileged to be at the Mission Valley grand opening where I tried a variety of Smashburger goodness. We ordered the Spicy Baja Smashchicken, with guacamole, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, Chipotle mayo, and fresh jalapenos on a Chipotle bun. I felt compelled to try a salad just to challenge the taste and appeal of fast food salads everywhere. I ordered the Smash Wedge, a giant hunk of iceberg lettuce sprinkled with lots of tangy blue cheese, crispy bacon, fresh tomatoes, and crunchy red onion drizzled with blue cheese dressing. It looked like I could have ordered it from a modern little bistro and paid $15 for it. Instead, this over-sized, super fresh, and quite satisfying salad only cost $7. That’s another concept Smashburger has adopted: Serve only fresh, quality, made-to-order products, while making sure it’s still quick, delicious, and always affordable.
As if that wasn’t enough we decided we needed some Smashsides too. While the friendly girl at the register was pushing the Fried Pickles, we went with the Haystack Onions and Veggie Frites. The very thinly sliced onions were delicately battered so they stayed light and crispy but still maintained a sweet onion flavor. The Veggie Frites were something I hadn’t seen before, especially not on a fast food menu. The flash-fried carrots, asparagus, and green beans were slightly over salted for my taste but it didn’t seem to matter since I didn’t stop reaching for them until I hit the bottom of the basket.
I have to mention the service because it surpassed my expectations, and in my opinion, how you’re treated as a diner can be just as important as how the food tastes. From the people taking the orders, to those delivering them, to the employees walking the floor, every single one of them was genuinely interested in making the dining experience perfect for each person. We felt very taken care of and every employee was motivated and willing to do what it takes to make the guests happy and want to come back. We met one of the Mission Valley Smashburger owners, Wayne, and we instantly knew where this motivation came from. He expressed his desire to give young people an opportunity to work hard and learn good customer service skills to carry through their lives and future careers. It was really refreshing to see young high school and college kids enjoy their job and be able to put their own personality into their work. If you want to find out how to be part of the Smashburger team, from in-store to corporate positions, click here: www.smashburger.com/work_here.php.
Mix Tip: Leave those strict vegetarian or vegan friends of yours at home. We saw a sign at the counter offering a “meatless” option, the Black Bean Burger, but were surprised to note the small print that read “NOT vegetarian or vegan”. All the burgers, and chicken for that matter, are cooked on the same surface so if you’re concerned about your meatless burger potentially touching meat, then try a salad perhaps?
By: Tara Imperatore