Saturday, January 4, 2014

Opening: Smashburger in Vienna, VA

By: Laurie Wallin
Capital Cooking Contributor

Smashburger continues to bring its ‘better burger’ concept to the DMV with its newest location, Vienna, VA. This location joins Wal-Mart and 24 Hour Fitness in the newly-developed Tysons West area, just steps away from the soon-to-be completed Spring Hill Metro station and located on Route 7 between the Capital Beltway and the Dulles Toll Road. Like other Smashburger locations, this outpost will feature its signature “Smashed” burgers and chicken sandwiches, salads, sides, and shakes. Given the number of burger joints in the DC area, you may ask yourself, “another one? What’s different?” What’s different is that Smashburger uses their signature “smashing” cooking process, which literally means smashing their 100% Certified Angus Beef burgers on a 400-degree flat grill; this unique searing process seals in the juices and results in a juicy, flavorful burger.

My first time visiting a Smashburger, I was excited to try a number of their menu items. First, I tried their signature Smashfries, sweet potato fries, and veggie fries. The Smashfries were excellent – crispy and perfectly flavored with rosemary and garlic – I had to stop myself at just one basket. The veggie fries were surprisingly crunchy, and I also thoroughly enjoyed the sweet potato fries. It’s nice to see a burger joint that offers additional side options instead of just the ‘typical’ fries (they also offer haystack onion straws and side salads). 

My burger sampling began with the Classic Smash, which is the Smashburger with American cheese, smash sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion on an egg bun. The burger was seasoned nicely and very juicy. I really liked the egg bun – it definitely elevated the flavor of the burger. The next burger I ate was the BBQ, Bacon, and Cheddar Burger, which is the Smashburger with BBQ sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and haystack onions on an egg bun, and this was my favorite burger of the night. Like the Classic Smash, the burger was well-seasoned and juicy, but the bacon, BBQ sauce, onions, and cheddar really added some great flavors. 

Next, I had the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger. A favorite among women, according to Smashburger, this burger featured truffled mayonnaise, sautéed baby portabella mushrooms and aged swiss cheese on an egg bun. The truffled mayonnaise really added a unique flavor to the burger; an elegant twist. Moving on to the next burger, I discovered that one of the really neat things that Smashburger does is feature a “regional burger.” In each of its locations, Smashburger crafts a burger with a recipe designed specifically to represent the unique flavors exclusive to that location’s particular part of the country and is only available in that area. In DC’s case, Smashburger is featuring the Capital Burger, a burger topped with grilled onions, aged Swiss cheese, baby arugula, applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes, and mayonnaise on a brioche bun. 

One of the biggest surprises of the evening was the next menu item I tried – the Spicy Veggie Black Bean Burger with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, spicy chipotle mayonnaise and fresh jalapenos on a spicy chipotle bun. My first time ever trying a veggie burger, I was surprised at the burger’s texture and flavor – both were very, very good, and the toppings on this burger were really excellent. I don’t know that I’ll become a veggie burger convert any time soon, but I was very surprised by how much I liked this burger. 

For customers who prefer a chicken sandwich to a burger, Smashburger also offers a number of chicken sandwiches. I tried the Classic Chicken, with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, and mayonnaise on a multi-grain bun, and the Avocado Club Chicken with avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing, and mayonnaise on a multi-grain bun. Smashed the same way as the burgers, the chicken on these sandwiches was juicy and well-seasoned. Smashburger also offers several other chicken sandwich options, including the Capital Chicken Sandwich (the same toppings as the Capital Burger, just made with chicken instead). 

Smashburger also features a number of additional burgers and chicken sandwiches; in addition, they also offer a “build-your-own” option if you’re looking for something a little more unique. A welcome addition to the Tysons West area, Smashburger will surely satisfy any burger craving.
Smashburger on Urbanspoon

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