The entire nation seems to be smack dab in the middle of a burger boom and New York is leading the pack. In the past few years dozens of burger joints from around the nation have laid claim to the city with their classic and crazy beefy creations. Not surprisingly, there is a heated debate over which burgers are the best with everyone having an opinion.
While in California last week I had the opportunity to hit up Smashburger with my father in La Jolla (in San Diego). I had heard of Smashburgers greatness from many friends and was clamoring to check it out. See, a few months ago the first NYC outpost of smashburger opened up in the bottom of my old apartment building but I had yet to make the trek over there to check it out. So with a Smashburger literally two blocks from my parents home, I took advantage of its proximity and went for a quick father/daughter lunch.
Looking like an upscale version of In n Out or Five Guys (both mmmguide favorites), you can eat-in or take-out at this location but the sun was shining and pops and I can never resist an outdoor dining experience 🙂
(American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Ketchup, Onion, Pickles, and Smash Sauce on Egg Bun*
I like my burgers simple so the classic smashburger was the best fit for me. The burger is a cross between Shake Shack and Pete’s (the East Coast version of the In n Out burger in Queens). True to its name, the burger has been smashed flat so that it comes out really tender when you bite into it. The classic is a 1/3 lb patty but you can upgrade to a larger patty that clocks in at 1/2 lb if you want. It’s juicy, very flavorful, seasoned perfectly and cooked so that there is just the right amount of pink in the middle… it was divine.
(Flash-Fried Asparagus Spears, Carrot Sticks, and Green Beans)
I like fries, but they aren’t a must-have when I eat a burger. Usually I opt for an ice cold root beer and am good to go but the veggie frites just seemed to good to pass up. They were barely fried; almost like they had jumped into the hot oil and decided it was time to get out just mere seconds later. Lightly seasoned with sea salt, we were given ranch dressing but the frites didn’t need it….they were that good on their own.While Dad focused on his burger I tried to switch between burger bite and fry, but found myself going at the veggie frites like a hungry wolf.
Smashburger is not the best burger I have ever had, but it was pretty darn good for a quick quality burger…. plus its a hundred times better than anything you will have at Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Burger King. One of the best things about this place is the ability to customize EVERYTHING on their menu! But if you get overwhelmed they also have tons of pre-set options for you to choose from!
So even though I went to the Smashburger location in California, I have been told that the Brooklyn location isn’t much different. With only one location in New York, the smashburger craze hasn’t really “caught on” here, but burger lovers should make the trip to Fort Greene and sample what all the fuss is about!
80 DeKalb Avenue (at Rockwell Place)