Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Smashburger


Burger lovers rejoice: Smashburger has come to Falls Church. The gourmet burger eatery opened its doors last week and already the new spot is – here comes the cheesy pun – making a smash.

The fast-casual burger joint is named not for the impact it makes on diners, but the one it makes on its burgers. The never-frozen certified Angus beef patties are smashed onto the grill with a metal pounder that seals in the meat’s juices while the patty sears. The “smashed” beef here becomes a juicy, well-seasoned, quality patty that cooks up quickly on the grill. But when toppings are added, the burger gets even better.

The Classic Smash ($4.99) is a strong reminder of why these toppings on a burger make a time-tested classic combination. American cheese goes gooey over the patty. Lettuce and thin slices of tomato add a fresh crunch, with some pickle chips and onion slices for tangy taste. Ketchup sweetness stacks up to the savory meat, and some zesty Smash Sauce makes the burger a little more special than the traditional.

The Smashburger take on the all-American burger is solid, but its more gourmet creations offer intrigue. The Truffle Mushroom Swiss ($5.99) is a burger for mushroom-lovers. The truffle scent pulls you in before the first bite. Truffle mayonnaise carries the taste throughout. Sautéed baby portabella mushrooms and aged Swiss cheese accent and don’t detract from the meat-and-truffle interplay. A fluffy egg bun cradles the creation, clinging to the meat.

For each of its international markets, Smashburger crafts a burger highlighting that region in some way. For the D.C. region’s Capital ($5.99) burger, they made a decidedly classy combination, with a brioche bun, grilled onions, aged Swiss cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon on a patty topped in baby arugula.

The beef patties may have earned Smashburger its name, but those who shy away from red meat won’t be disappointed by this menu. The restaurant offers an assortment of chicken burgers made with marinated white-meat chicken that’s pounded thin and grilled with a similar juice-sealing method as the beef patties. Smashburger also serves a veggie burger made with black beans and ground blue corn tortilla chips. The veggie patty is one that vegetarians and heat-seekers can enjoy when they order the Spicy Veggie Black Bean ($5.99), an explosive burger with fresh jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayonnaise. Even the spicy chipotle bun adds heat (though guacamole provides a little relief).

The Smashburger sides go beyond the basic French fries, served here as little matchstick pieces of potato crispy-fried. But the French fries are also tossed in olive oil with rosemary and garlic for the house Smashfries ($1.99). The Veggie Frites ($2.99) serve flash-fried carrots and green beans, bringing out the vegetables’ natural sweetness while maintaining their dippable structure. Sweet potato fries, haystack onions, and a side salad are also listed on the menu as sides. And for those in the know, a secret menu here offers thinly breaded and fried pickle chips among other off-menu items.

The milkshake is the burger’s perfect drink companion, and the shakes here ($4.29), made with Häagen-Dazs ice cream in a range of flavors, from the classic vanilla to candy-mixed creations, are sippably smooth with an ideal creamy flavor.

For its delicious burgers, sides, and shakes, this burger newcomer will surely become a Falls Church favorite.

Smashburger is located at 308 S. Washington St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-962-7015 or visit Restaurant hours are Monday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.