Smashburger Cheeseburger Review
Category : Hamburgers
While eating at Smashburger I came to an epiphany. I had been laboring in my head for quite some time about what makes a burger a ‘craft burger’… and if it was a craft burger it must be excellent (was the theory). Today’s meal helped me tune my formula for determining what category a hamburger falls under, but it also it is now proof that not all craft burgers are great.
With that said, I ventured to Smashburger in Fort Lauderdale located on North Federal Highway. This is the second time in about a week I’ve been there. Before I wrote my review, I wanted to test consistency and also whether my first experience was how I remembered it. I ordered a Classic Smash, which is a typical cheeseburger with lettuce, raw red onion, mustard, ketchup and of course a slice of American cheese. The main dish was complimented with a side of regular fries and a coke to drink.
|Location (map):||Federal Highway|
|Lunch $:||$8-$12 approx.|
On paper, Smashburger is hitting on all cylinders. They provide a great experience and focus it all around the glorious burger. They have a nice atmosphere, they have just enough options for their burgers and fries to let you experiment a little, they have craft beers, they serve Hagen-Dazs ice cream shakes and they tout “never frozen 100% Certified Angus Beef”. They clearly have a passion for the business and that does count for some things. Their smallest burger “the regular” is plenty big in my opinion for the typical eater.
Todd reviews the Classic Smash
Being a nice guy, it’s hard to critique something when the passion is apparent, but as a ‘Taste Critic” I feel it’s my duty to be honest. Let’s face it, there is a lot of competition in this ‘craft burger’ market and you need to know which ones are worth your dollar and effort.
Smashburger is simply average when it comes to taste. Everything about the experience is above average except for the taste and that is the one that matters the most. If anything, the hamburger patty is over seasoned with salt, and this is coming from a guy who puts salt on everything. The bun is a bit devoid of flavor and the American Cheese just seemed okay. When you take it all in and try and analyze the flavors, overall it’s just a little lacking when compared to the best places I know. The process of “smashing” the burger for 10 seconds while cooking seems like something that may actually make the burger less juicy (and therefor less flavorful). There was a video in Smashburger highlighting this as a positive feature, but it makes me wonder.
Eating my last bites of the burger, the best analogy I could think of was that Smashburger resembled a Burger King flavor and was perhaps slightly better, but the bland (and very basic) fries and burger itself tasted in the realm of a Whopper. Does that mean it’s bad? Not necessarily, but it is not a masterpiece of precision like some other craft burgers in the area, yet it’s priced and presented as if it was.
I want to love Smashburger, I even want to like Smashburger, but having two identical experiences a week apart from each other, I honestly have to say it was an average experience and most likely not worth your time and money. A burger, fries and coke came in under $10, just like 5Guys and Burger Fi, but your enjoyment of taste and flavor will be superior at these other establishments.
If I had advice to give to the CEO at Smashburger, it would be to closely analyze each component of the burger and make mild adjustments as needed. The type of lettuce used in my opinion is not as crisp as other restaurants and that detracts from a texture standpoint. The bun could be slightly more moist and even infused with some flavor, like the potato rolls that the competition use. Don’t over season the meat with too much salt, which, after two visits wasn’t a fluke. Is the cheese the single one that will add the most punch to your burger? I am thinking no. Lastly, the fries are junk. I had tried the rosemary flavored fries on my prior visit and they were different, but seemed more like a novelty to me. The regular fries are not even better than your traditional fast food.
Todd’s score: 75/100
Pros: Fresh ingredients, great atmosphere, fun burger options, craft beer, Hagen-Dazs shakes
Cons: Fries are extremely generic and the taste of the burger was too salty and overall just lacking in deliciousness.