smashburger / la jolla | san diego, ca
smashburger is a new restaurant in town, opening their first location in San Diego in downtown La Jolla. Smashburger opened up their doors a day early to special guests to have them come in and sample their menu before their official opening on March 24, 2010. I took Jake and his son along with me to experience the beauty of smashburger.
The place was PACKED tonight in this tiny location. We stood patiently in line, reading over the menu trying to decide what we would order. The waitresses were walking around the restaurant with milkshake samples for us to taste while we crawled through the line to place our order.
I tried the vanilla, chocolate and lime milkshakes which are made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream. They were quite tasty, though the one that really stuck out was the lime milkshake. It tasted a lot like a sweet key lime pie. While I did really like the flavor of the lime milkshake, I’m afraid that I couldn’t stomach drinking a full size shake in this flavor – definitely something I’d want to share with someone though since it’s totally unique.
We ordered a crap ton of food – just about a little bit of everything (except the salads)! I think Jake went a little crazy with his order, but that’s what these kind of events are for, right? Trying a little of everything!
These were totally my favorite side dish: Haystack Onions ($2.99 or $1.99 with sandwich purchase). Think onion straws or anything similar to it – light, crispy, thin and delicious strings of onions. They stick these babies on some of their burgers, too.
The Sweet Potato smashfries ($2.99 / $1.99 with sandwich) were good – though I think pretty typical of any other kind of sweet potato fry (if you can find them).
The smashfries ($2.99 / $1.99 with sandwich) were better than their regular old fries because they’re tossed in rosemary, olive oil and garlic, which if you ask me can make just about anything taste better. Crispy and flavorful, these are another good side dish to order with your smashy-sandwiches.
Jake also order the Fried Pickles ($2.99 / $1.99 with sandwich) (top) and I ordered those Veggie Frites ($3.99 / $2.99 with sandwich) you can sort of see in the bottom of the photo. I totally dislike pickles, but Jake made me take a bite of one anyway. It was as gross as I thought it could be, but don’t mind me and my pickle-hating ways. Jake really likes pickles but he said he didn’t like these as a side dish. He thought it’d be good to have a few on a burger (which you can get) and that’s about it.
The Veggies Frites are flash-fried veggies (asparagus, carrot sticks and green beans) and I thought were pretty good. Not too greasy, a bit soft. Wouldn’t be a good replacement if you’re looking for something crispy to go with your smashburger, but probably a bit of a healthier choice.
Let’s look at the burger I ate first, before we get to Jake’s concoctions. I got the 1/2lb. Classic Smashburger ($5.99) with 2 add-ons – applewood smoked bacon and avocado (both $.99 each). I think I got a little gypped on the avocado addition as I just got a little scoop (you can’t really tell in my slightly overexposed photo). The burger itself was juicy and well seasoned and well cooked. I liked how the burger has sort of that crispy edge around it, making for delicious nibbling. My only complaint was that it was a little heavy with the sauces – I’m not a huge sauce person so it was a bit too much for me. I’d ask for it on the side next time so I can put what I want on there. Otherwise – totally delicious and fairly reasonably priced (you can get a 1/3lb. burger for $4.99, sides are extra).
This is one of Jake’s creations – it started out as a BBQ, Bacon & Cheese burger, with 2 extra 1/2lb. patties added to the mix. It’s got BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese and those delicious haystack onions on top. He could barely fit this in his mouth and I think he ate about half of it. I took a little nibble on the side and it was quite tasty – just a lot of meat! Jake’s assessment of the burgers is that he really liked them because they tasted homemade. I agree!
But wait, there’s more!
The Spicy Baja burger comes with pepper jack cheese, guacamole (he got it on the side), chipotle mayo and jalapenos on a chipotle bun (and again, he got an extra patty on this one). I didn’t even try this, I don’t like spicy stuff, but Jake liked it.
Here’s an “action shot” of the smashchicken burger ($5.99) as it was about to head into my mouth for a taste. I took a few bites of this, but I found it to be terribly dry. The chicken was overcooked and didn’t taste very good – it tasted like maybe it had been smashed a little too much that day.
What, you thought we were done here? No sir, we still have these smashdogs to look at! These are both Chili Cheese Dogs ($3.99) but one doesn’t have the jalapenos on it. I took one bite of these angus beef hot dogs and I must say it was pretty tasty. The chili wasn’t too shabby either.
Thackery also ordered the Chicken Strips kid’s meal ($3.99) which we all tried, but for some reason I don’t have a photo of it. The chicken strips were pretty good, but you know, standard fare. I thought the chicken strips were better than the smashchicken sandwich I tried, but maybe the smashchicken was having a bad day.
This photo amuses me greatly.
Man, we had a lot of leftover food.
If you’re looking for an awesome new place to check out (see, I resisted saying something smashing), then smashburger might be just the place for you.
1000 Prospect Street (@ Girard Ave.)
La Jolla, CA 92037