Have you ever flirted with someone in a bar for most of the evening… Then you go in for the kill to seal the deal. You are making out when someone entirely more appealing catches your eye. Not because you are some sort of a Casanova, but your kissing companion is a really repulsive kisser that has you questioning the meaning of life with every smack of their lips?
Nope? Me either, but I’ve seen it at least once in the movies.
Smashburger has risen to fame in my home state of Colorado. This has happened since I left the US many moons ago. I was mega excited to try their burgers when we heard that they were expanding to the UK. Sadly, they had no initial plans to open in London. Other towns like Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle
They had completely fallen off my radar for a long time... that is until I was researching my eating plan for an upcoming visit to Bath. When I travel I really make a concerted effort to avoid chains and really seek out the local gems. For Smashburger, I made an exception.
Seeing that I try not to eat meals I want to take pics at after dark, I thought it would be a good excuse to pop my Smashburger cherry. Ping!
I have to say the menu was really exciting and read very American burger. Though I was a little confused by the options to have a regular, single or a double. I just went with my normal order and plonked for a Double Bacon Cheese Burger, a portion of SmashFries (Tossed in rosemary, garlic & olive oil) and a drink from the Coca-cola freestyle machine. I gulped slightly when they said my total was £16.70. I took my buzzer and my refillable red plastic beaker to the table and began up wait.
No complaints on the waiting time it gave me plenty of time to make the best use of the freestyle drink machine. I had a glass of peach Fanta, a glass of grape Fanta, a glass of peach Melba Fanta (half peach half raspberry) a glass of vanilla Diet Coke, after that, I kinda forgot to journal the rest of my soda alchemy. I spent the time watching the youth go in and out of the McDonald’s that was boldly across the street. I’m assuming that Smashburger has the gigantic set of balls it takes to open right across from McDonald’s.
After about 25 minutes my burger and fries arrived. I would be lying if I said it was a sight to behold. As burgers go it looked ok, not wow… the biggest thing glaring at me was the cold un-melted slice of American cheese. I did a quick survey of the SmashFries, they were glistening in oil like a sun-worshiper lubed up in baby oil on the topless beach of Marbella. These were fragrant from the garlic and rosemary which was really nice.
Realizing that I’m not in an art gallery, I stopped looking and went in for the first bite. And what a bite it was. Like I said I’ve never had a Smashburger before, is any flavour, tenderness and general pleasure been smashed out of them. Leaving a pretty insipid, dry and tasteless patty? I was in so much shock that I disassembled the burger to get a better look. I added some salt to the patty, then forged on trying to muster up another bite or two. With each bite, I looked across the road at McDonald's and questioned my life choices that evening. After about 3 bites I had enough I could eat no more, which if you know me is a rare feat. After my third bite, I wanted to ditch it all and head across the road to McDonald’s, but I soldiered on to the fries.
SmashBurger Bacon Double Cheese
The inside of the burger
The fries were supposed to be tossed in rosemary, garlic and olive oil. I believe that they were tossed in the oil and then left to fend for their lives as they were absolutely soddened in olive oil. Which was entirely better than the insipid dry patties and fridge cold burger cheese on the burger. But still not a pleasant experience. Yeah, I managed to finish them, mainly to try and recover from the burger.
According to their website smashing a fresh hand-packed meatball on a hot seasoned grill—results in a delicious burger that stands alone in taste, texture, and juiciness. Yep, this stood alone for sure. I think that this burger was one of the two most disappointing burgers that I've had in my adult life. How could this be? Did I have some bad luck on my visit? Do the UK stores just suck? Does Smashburger just suck? I know that everyone has different tastes when it comes to burgers, but there was just ZERO joy here.
And yeah in case you are wondering.... after I dumped my tray at Smashburger I marched right up to McDonald's and went face first into a double cheeseburger. That's a lie, it was actually two of them (and a small portion of fries).
8/9 Southgate Street, Bath, BA1 1AQ