Atlanta Dining

How Does Smashburger Stack Up?

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I ordered the BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar burger at Smashburger. Look at those haystack onions on top. The side dish is the sweet potatoes smashfries.

“I was going to put this burger in my top five,” my son said last night during our burger fest at the brand new Smashburger. “But I can’t think of one I’ve liked better.”

High praise indeed from a college student, whose study of all forms of pizza and burgers is practically part of his engineering curriculum.

My husband and I loved Smashburger too, whose first location is in Buckhead at Buckhead Crossing Shopping Center. According to the lovely restaurant PR maven Melissa Libby, the chain has big plans for the metropolitan Atlanta area, with 28 stores in the works.

Founder Tom Ryan claims Smashburger is out to be every city’s favorite place for a burger. He’s well on his way.

Here are the top five reasons we loved Smashburger.

1. Burgers are available in different sizes

Keep in mind that I was eating dinner with two muscular men and my son has the enviable metabolism of a hummingbird. I can put it away pretty well but in the interest of my waistline and painfully slow metabolism, have to moderate myself. So while I could order a smaller size (Smash), they could go all out for the bigger one (Big Smash.) You also can pick the Small Smash for any burger for $1.00 less.

2. The side dishes and add-ons

We had four side dishes: the French fries, sweet potato smashfries, haystack onions and small wedge salad. Our favorite was the thinly sliced haystack onions, perfectly cooked. I also loved my sweet potato smashfries, tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. Chris loved the wedge salad, with tomatoes, onion, bacon and blue cheese – a good-sized portion for just $2.99. We weren’t as crazy about the regular fries and I’d opt for the smashfries, also tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic, next time.

3. Use of local ingredients

Even though Smashburger is a national chain, each state has its own menu, using some local ingredients and catering to local tastes. For example, the Atlanta burger has peach BBQ sauce, Wicked Pimina cheese (their version of pimiento cheese), grilled jalapenos and Vidalia coleslaw on an egg bun. Sweet and saucy  – just like us Southern Belles.

4. The drinks rock too.

Try a Haagan-Daz shake, a soda float or soft drinks, or get a bottle of beer served in an extra frosty mug. I opted for a glass of red wine and got a large portion in a nice sturdy glass that could withstand my knocking it while reaching across the table for another handful of haystack onions.

5. Everything is very affordable

Even though all the burgers are made with 100% Angus beef and placed on an artisan bun, served with real cheese and fresh produce, prices start at just $3.29. Okay, so a cheese slice costs $.75 but you see what we mean. Side dishes are just $1.99 to $2.99 and Kids meals are just $3.99.

There are plenty of other reasons to love Smashburger, including the veggie burgers and chicken dishes that are available, the use of recyclable baskets with liners, and the polite servers.

As for those milkshakes, I can’t personally vouch for them, but I plan to find out soon.

Smashburger is at 2625 Piedmont Road.

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