When I got the invite to attend a media and blogger review at Columbia’s latest burger joint, Smashburger, I had two thoughts. First, I was regretful that I’d be out of town and unable to attend the event. Second, I thought, does Columbia really need another chain burger joint. With Five Guys and Cookout recently added to our fast food scenery, do we really need another, especially with the ever-expanding waistlines of our city’s residents. Since I wouldn’t be able to check it out myself, I sent an extension of myself, blogger and fellow foodie, Ebony Looney of MakeMeOver,Eb fame. She is one of the few people I trust to give me the skinny on Smashburger. I sent Eb in with one question: Does Columbia really need another chain burger joint. So here’s how MakeMeOverEb answers that question.
Does Columbia really need another burger joint? Probably not, but one visit to the new Smashburger on Devine Street, and you will realize that the place isn’t just another burger joint. Truth be told, the name of the restaurant is a little misleading. Let’s ponder their menu.
In addition to their selection of burgers and hot dogs, the menu includes tasty grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches topped with the freshest ingredients that can include avocado, spinach, goat cheese, mushroom, red onions and jalapenos served on your choice of an artisan bun. That ain’t at your typical burger joint.
Founder & Chief Concept Officer, Tom Ryan, known for creating the Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza, the McDonald’s McGriddle and Dollar Menu was on hand to demonstrate how a burger is smashed with it’s special herbs and spices. They start with 100 percent Angus beef meatballs and use a special tool to SMASH it into a burger. Hence the name Smashburger. Interesting, huh?
Can you get string beans and carrot sticks ‘flash-fried’ in a deep-fat fryer for 45 seconds and seasoned with salt and pepper at your local burger joint? Probably not. They call this their Veggie Frites. I like that they offer this option here.
Smashburger is considered ‘Fast Casual Dining’. Fast Casual is a step above a fast food restaurant like Micky D’s, but not close to fine dining where you’re going to get cloth napkins on your lap. However, your food will be served in a metal basket instead of a paper bag.
With a their variety of fresh market salads, yummy Haagen-Dazs shakes served in an ‘old timey’ glass, and selection of beer served in a frosted mug, Smashburger is poised to offer up another delectable option for fast casual dining for Columbia residents.