Saturday, June 13, 2015

Smashburger - Sandy Springs on Roswell Rd

Smashburger is located at 6080 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs GA 30328. Driving North from I285 it's on your left before you hit Mellow Mushroom and Rumi's Kitchen.

Smashburger is another one of those boutique burger joints popularized by Five-Guys and now ubiquitous in the Atlanta area, with competitors including Farmburger, Flip Burger, Yeah! Burger, Grindhouse, and Holman and Finch, to list off a few. Smashburger heralds from Denver Colorado and there is an obvious pride in their product offering. At this location you park to the right or left of the building (there are "saved" spaces) and meander up to the main entrance under the "Smashburger" tower. The space is clean and obviously still new, with music in the background and the delicious smell of hamburgers in the air. You order from a back-lit menu (most of the burgers are $5.99-6.99 - they also have chicken and a veggie burger) and sit - you're order arrives in just a few minutes - drink refills are free.

I've now eaten here several times and feel that it's much better than Five-Guys (yeah I know that there are adherents to that chain, but the grease-to-food ratio is just to high for me there). Like Five-guys (and most of those others mentioned above), Smashburger cooks their burgers on a flat-top griddle - what makes theirs a bit unique is the process - the place butter on the griddle first, then a ball of ground beef, using a press to "smash" the burger into the sizzling butter (I believe they hold it down for 10 seconds) - this produces a caramelized crust to the burger that makes it quite special. They do something similar to the chicken, first flattening it out before pressing it to the griddle - the results are quite remarkable.

Smashburger offers several "specialty" combinations for their burgers, I've tried: the Classic; the BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar; the Truffle Mushroom Swiss; the Regional (jalapeno, bacon, slaw and BBQ sauce); the Avocado Ranch Black Bean (for my veggie friends), the Spinach, Cucumber and Goat Cheese Chicken and finally the Avocado Club chicken. All were very good with my favorite being the Truffle Mushroom Swiss.

The sides I thought were good but not special - they had your regular string fries, a variant they call Smash Fries (better), sweet potato fries and thin-sliced onion rings (these last were the best to me). You should also ask for the fried-pickles if they aren't on the menu (it's a recent subtraction, not sure why). They also do hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes - my recommendation is to go for the salted caramel.

The service is very good and the place is kept very clean. I won't say that this is the best burger I've ever had but it's damn fine to me. A nice mushroom swiss burger, onion rings and a salted caramel shake please.

-- John

(review also posted to Yelp)
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