Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.