Restaurant Name: Smashburger
Neighborhood: Magazine Street
Ambiance: Modern Fast Casual
Name of the Burger Ordered: Bacon Cheeseburger & Avocado Ranch Black Bean Burger
Price of the Burger: $7.79 (+ $2.50 for fries)
Price of the Veggie Burger: $6.39
Size of the Burger: 8 oz *
*we opted for the larger patty
Temperature: Medium-well (only option)
Smashburger holds a spot in the growing category between a sit-down restaurant and fast food. Think, Chipotle. You won't find one on every corner, but there's enough of them in various cities across the U.S. that it definitely qualifies as a chain. The group's ratings for the bacon cheeseburger were pretty consistent across the board, which doesn't happen often. We came in with relatively low expectations given its chain status, but left pretty impressed. Nothing about it blew our minds, but Smashburger deserves your business at least once, especially since it will only set you back ~$10 for a burger and fries. It's worth noting that Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell were dining at Smashburger that night as well - so any burger that is good enough for those two is good enough for Burger Meet. It's ALSO worth nothing that we were too chicken to ask them to fill out one of our rating sheets, but I'm sure they appreciated us showing some restraint. Next time they may not be as lucky!
Good texture, not too squishy - not too firm, and it held up well. It was a pretty standard egg bun, and what you'd expect from a chain burger joint.
Smashburger offers two different sized patties, and we OBVIOUSLY opted for the larger one (go big or go home!). It was a decent griddle patty; juicy, not overly seasoned, a little crumbly around the edges (which can be good or bad depending on your preference).
Bun to Meat Ratio: 6.2
The consensus was that there was slightly more bun than meat, and as a group we generally prefer it the other way around. The meat did handle the bun nicely around the edges, but the thickness of the bun threw off the ratio just enough for us to ding it in this category.
Standard Toppings: 4.8
The bacon cheeseburger came with, wait for it, bacon and cheese. But also lettuce, onion, dill pickles, and ketchup + mustard. Unfortunately the bacon was the weakest part of the burger. It was undercooked and limp, and we prefer our bacon crispyyy. The toppings were just "OK," but for a sub-$10 burger they were about what we expected. Definitely not a deal breaker - just make sure to ask for your bacon well-done!
Smashburger's signature "Smash Fries" are a nice change-up from a standard fry. They are cut extra thin, and tossed in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Although we opted to rate the Smash Fries, we also ordered Cajun Fries and Sweet Potato Fries, and both were solid. Can't go wrong with a mix of all of the above.
We honestly came into our Smashburger experience with fairly low expectations. It's a chain - enough said. But we left impressed. For what you get, it's a slightlyyy above average burger that tasted pretty darn good. So while the burger looks a little dull, don't let that stop you from giving it a shot.
$10 for a decent burger + fries combo isn't as easy to find as you'd think these days. Adding a drink or a shake will push you over that mark, but overall we felt Smashburger's value was above average.
It's an order at the counter, then take your # to a table type of place. Food came out quickly (granted it wasn't busy that night), and the staff was attentive and brought our food to the table. When we placed our order we requested that our shake be brought out after we finished eating (#highmaintenance), and sure enough, the shake showed up right as we were finishing (#nailedit).
Smashburger suffers from being in close proximity to a couple of other really solid burger places on and around Magazine Street. Additionally, most of its close competitors are local joints that New Orleanians would likely seek out over a chain restaurant. However, there's something to be said for knowing what you're going to get, especially if you've been to a Smashburger in another city and enjoyed it. They also have a nice, clean location that is family friendly and rarely busy. Our squad felt that if the stars aligned and we were in the area and craving a burger, it would certainly be an option, but we wouldn't go out of our way to hit up Smashburger given the better options nearby.
Smashburger's veggie option was well received by our veggie raters. While the patty was a relatively standard black bean patty, it was a nice size for the price, and the multigrain bun and flavorful toppings made for a tasty combo.
Avocado Ranch Black Bean Burger: 6.88
Bun to Patty Ratio: 7
Standard Toppings: 6
Want to see how Smashburger ranks? Check out our overall Burger Meet rankings.
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