What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Review: Smashburger

Posted February 17, 2015
Updated February 18, 2015

A look at Smashburger.

— This review of Smashburger has been in the works since late last year when the fast casual chain opened its second Triangle location in north Raleigh. 

During the location's media event, I got to sample a variety of their Smashburgers and Smashchicken sandwiches. I became such a fan that I've been back several times with my family - slowly converting every person into a fan! 

Location: The first Triangle location opened nearly a year ago in the Pavilion East shopping area off of Erwin Road in Durham. The north Raleigh location in Falls Village opened in December. 

Menu: As the name implies, these fresh 100 percent Certified Angus Beef burgers are smashed and seasoned to order. If burgers aren't your thing, there are grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches, black bean veggie burgers and entree salads. Burgers are served regular or big. 

Sides include their Smashfries, which are tossed with garlic, rosemary and olive oil, French fries, sweet potato fries, spicy Buffalo fries and fried pickles. I am a huge fan of their Veggie Frites, which are green beans and carrots tossed in olive oil.

If you save enough room for dessert, there are hand-spun milkshakes in flavors including salted caramel, Oreo, Butterfinger, Nutter Butter and Peanut Butter and Jelly. 

Review: I'm a fan of their beef burgers. The chicken and black bean patties are excellent but the beef is just outstanding. The burgers are juicy and flavorful. You can build your own or opt for one of their signature burgers. 

The local burger, available only at Triangle area locations, is the Carolina Chili. As the name implies, it is topped with chili, American cheese, yellow onions and Duke's mayo. This is a very good burger, but quite messy! 

The Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger, which has sauteed crimini mushrooms, truffle mayo and aged Swiss cheese, was good but way too rich for a me. I could never finish this burger or even come close. Smashburger

The BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar burger has a nice mix of sweet barbecue sauce, bacon and haystack onions. 

My favorite is the original Smashburger. It's simple with just lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and Smash Sauce. 

The sides are all pretty large so you can share even the regular size. My favorites are the Veggie Frites and the Smashfries. Both are seasoned so nicely - not too salty or greasy. 

The children's menu includes chicken tenders, of which my 2-year-old son gave high marks! 

Try to save room for dessert because you wll want to at least split one of their milkshakes. For my birthday, the staff made me a special Oreo salted caramel shake (not on the menu, but ask for it!). It was delicious! 

The salted caramel and Oreo shakes are both great options alone. The Nutter Butter is good, but I wasn't overly impressed with the Peanut Butter and Jelly shake. 

Cost: Entrees start at $5 and go up to just over $7. Sides range from $2 to $3.50. You will definitely be paying more here than a regular fast food place, but the quality of the food is worth it. Join the Smashburger Club for coupons. 

Verdict: It is one of my go-to places when I want a burger. I will be back and you should definitely check it out if you haven't.


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  • Dan Homiller Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Try this, Arlington Stringham: http://www.wral.com/restaurant-review-fiction-kitchen/12185921/

    This place is the real deal, and truly outstanding.

  • Arlington Stringham Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar

    I am looking forward to a vegetarian restaurant getting reviewed on its chops then.

    Its called SmashBurger.

    Serving burgers is the business they should be in and yet the burger is almost an afterthought. A teenager is not going to be satisfied with a 1/4 burger.

    Fuddruckers, Chargrill, 5 Guys, In and Out... they focus on making the burger as good as possible. Not selling you a fried egg or a milkshake.

  • Dan Homiller Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Indeed. And some people who don't eat meat have friends and family who do. It's slowly getting easier for vegetarians and vegans to find what they're looking for when out to eat, whether alone or with a crowd. But some restaurants still don't get it. Just one decent vegan entrée (or one that can be easily made vegan), and you're on my list for eating out with friends and/or co-workers. Without it, I'm encouraging my groups to go somewhere else.

  • Sherrill Craig Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar


    " If burgers aren't your thing..."

    Thats the problem. Why are you going to a burger place if you want black beans pressed into a hockey puck? And why is a burger place selling that?"

    because not everyone eats meat....

  • Angie Cox Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar

    I went there one time and will never go again. the food was disgusting and I had a LONG HAIR mixed in with my burger. It made me want to throw up! I have talked to other people who said the food is nasty so not sure why the news made them to be so great.

  • Whitey Miles Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar

    I LOVE Smashburger. I have also been several times since they opened. I've had the Carolina Burger twice. I requested no mayo, but mustard because that's what a true CB is!! Out of this world. I recommend the Avacado Club as well. I liked the Classic Smash and I plan to try the BBQ Bacon burger next. I did NOT like the seasoned fries, but I always ask for the regular fries. They're good, just need to be might fatter. Service is fast and courteous. Remember to do the survey on your receipt for free fries on your next visit!

  • Arlington Stringham Feb 18, 2015
    user avatar

    " If burgers aren't your thing..."Thats the problem. Why are you going to a burger place if you want black beans pressed into a hockey puck? And why is a burger place selling that?

    The problem is that they arent so great on burgers. For $7 the "big burger" is the same amount of meat as a McD's quarter pounder or the Wendy's cheeseburger.

    Five Guys charges $7 but you get twice the meat and you can actually taste it.

    Thats my problem with Smashburger. Five Guys (and Char Grill) set out to be the best burger place possible. Smashburger sets out to be a chain that sells you a lot of sides and toppings.