Sunday, June 23, 2013

Smashburger

Location: 2031 N Clybourn
Cost: About $15 per person

For those of you that don't know, Smashburger is making its way into the city, and the newest spot in Lincoln Park has just opened up. One of the initiatives they're undergoing is this collaborative beer and burger menu with Goose Island. They were generous enough to extend an invite my way, and I brought along Ketterer and Rebecca. We were in for a long night of burgers and beer.

Logistics
Smashburger is somewhat lonesome in a strip mall up on Clybourn. If I hadn't just moved, I'm sure we'd walk there all the time. There's plenty of parking in the lot. This is an order at the counter take a number kind of establishment. As we were there for a special event, the judgements on the extra friendly service and expediency are heavily biased. Normally, a burger will run you between $5 and $7. Throw in $2 side of fries and a $4 shake or $3.50 beer and you get plenty for your money.

The Food
I'll take you through the burger and beer pairings in the order we had them. First was the Classic Smash and 312. The burger comes on an egg bun with american cheese, "smash" sauce, and the other regular accoutrements.






The Classic Smash


Next was the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger, paired with Matilda. This was Rebecca's favorite of the night. The truffle comes through strong and the mushrooms mix up the texture nicely.

The Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger

This next one was my favorite, the BBQ Bacon and Cheddar Burger (also paired with Matilda). Topped with some sweet baby rays and onion crisps, it's no wonder I was such a fan.

The BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger

The Windy City Burger was after that, topped with Merkts, onions, and spicy mustard on a pretzel bun. This bad boy came with the Honkers Ale.


The Windy City Burger

I wasn't so eager about this next one, but it was one of the best... The Spicy Baja Black Bean Burger. The black beans were more or less smashed into a refried patty form with a real kick. If you're a vegetarian, you won't be disappointed. This goes well with the IPA.

The Spicy Baja Black Bean Burger

We then delved into some chicken sandwiches, also smashed mind you. This was much like the Classic Smash but with chicken. The patty wasn't dry at all and had a nice crisp without being breaded or fried (like other chips and snacks ;).

The Classic Chicken

Finally, they brought out the Avocado Club Chicken Sandwich. The Applewood Smoked probably took the predominance of flavor on this guy, and it all paired nicely with the Honkers ale.

The Avocado Chicken Club

As if that wasn't enough, we also got to try out some of the common sides and shakes.


The Veggie Frittes

 The Sweet Potato Fries

 The Smash Fries
(with rosemary and garlic)

The Haystack Onions

The Fried Pickles

The Chocolate Shake

Overall
I think what needs to be considered is how Smashburger matches up against other similar spots around like Five Guys, Epic Burger, M Burger, etc. They have a lot of menu options with some nice regional twists. As they've now broken into our local market, I suggest you check them out, but as the meal was comped there will be no Pearl rating.


Smashburger on Urbanspoon

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