Aug 6, 2011

smashburger: No Ordinary Burger Joint


Secret "Vegas" style smashburger

I really don't frequent chain restaurants. A couple of times a year; mostly  on the road when there are not a lot options in the middle of rural America. Once a year, I would crave a Big Mac meal, but that's about it. Now, things would be different if there was an In-N-Out burger in Michigan - the one chain that I love.  However, there is a new "kid" in town and that frequency might have to increase because this chain is worth the trip.

Smashburger officially opened its 110th restaurant in Grand Rapids in July; the chain's first in the Grand Rapids area. I
was fortunate enough to be invited to the press sneak peak at its Medical Mile location. In fact, you can see from my receipt that I was smashburger's first customer (hey, I thought that was cool)! Expecting another "burger," I was surprised to see fresh Angus beef patties (same day delivery) and options galore to customize each burger. SB also emphasizes the local culture by featuring a Michigan Olive Burger and a Michigan Cherry BBQ sauce. Each SB location offers a local signature dish.

I ordered a Create Your Own burger with grilled onions and a fried egg which was beautifully presented in a metal mesh tray. The burger was seasoned perfectly, and along with my toppings, made for one delicious meal. The counter attendant coerced me into ordering the Sweet Potato Fries which was equally good.

Tom Ryan, the founder of smashburger was on hand to introduce his creation to his hometown. Tom is a graduate of West Catholic High School and Michigan State University. He invited me to "smash" my own burger in the kitchen to really see the quality of preparation that happens with each burger. Each patty is literally smashed for ten seconds to cook the burger surface evenly. There is no shortcut to the method.

Tom also brought out their humungous Michigan Harvest Salad Bowl and SB's secret 'Las Vegas" style smashburger. Let's just say that either would be sufficient for your entire meal for the day.

While I don't plan on visiting the hospital food court soon, I am anticipating the opening of the next smashburger on East Beltline and 28th street (former Blockbuster video). Good things are always worth the wait.

smashburger Medical Mile
25 Michigan Street
First Smashburger inside the Medical Mile Food Court

My Smashburger with Sweet Potato Fries

Smashburger with Fried Egg

Michigan Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

First customer!

Founder Tom Ryan, a West Catholic and MSU grad

Each Smashburger is "smashed" for 10 seconds