The Experience: Popular U.S. “better burger” chain Smashburger opened its doors July 3, 2013 in Sherwood Park. This became be Smashburger’s 3rd location in Alberta to go along with the 2 locations in Calgary.
Smashburger has a common thread throughout all their locations, and that is their commitment to customizing their menu to reflect each location’s food culture. For example, the menu in South Carolina features the Carolina Chili burger and fried pickles, the New Orleans location features the NOLA burger plus Debris fries* (Debris is a Louisiana specialty of shredded beef and gravy) and Nutterbutter shakes. What a smart way to endear themselves to each local market.
You could waste away an afternoon reading all the different concoctions at various U.S locations (don’t ask me how I know that). So how is Smashburger going to win you over, Sherwood Park, Edmonton, and area?
How about the Edmonton burger, for starters. Beef or chicken, grilled onions, cheddar, bbq sauce, and a fried egg served on a kaiser roll. Sounds good, right? There are a number of other “Edmonton Specific” tweaks to the menu, such as the availability of Poutine, a Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger, and perhaps the biggest virtual butt-kiss, the Haagen-Dazs Saskatoon Berry shake! Now that we’ve waded through the hype and propaganda, why don’t we get down to what’s really important here… the food.
Burgers Ordered: The Edmonton Burger
The Taste: Skipping the build your own burger option, I tried the aforementioned Edmonton Burger, with a side of poutine. The poutine was pretty typical fast food poutine, which is to say it was ok. You’re probably not going to get crazy midnight cravings for the stuff, but for a fast food side it’s pretty good. On your burger you can get the big patty, or a smaller one. As you might expect, I got the big one. The bun was nice and soft, and the burger looked like a sombrero the way it dwarfed the bun. With all that melted cheese, bbq sauce, and runny egg yolk, this was a glorious, run-down-your-arm kind of burger. Needless to day, I loved it.
My wife’s Smash Fries were a split decision at our table. A couple people thought they were good, and a couple weren’t fans of the shoestring size. The flavour was good, and I like the addition of a hint of rosemary to spice them up a bit. If you’ve had the fries at Earls and like them, you’ll like these. I found them very similar.
The last menu item we got to sample was the Veggie Frites. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have ordered them if not for the glowing recommendation they received from our friend Karlynn, the Kitchen Magpie. Essentially, the veggie frites are raw carrots and green beans, flash fried, and sprinkled with seasonings. They were really quite tasty, and we found ourselves unable to stop snacking on them. I actually enjoyed them more than the normal fries. I did hear one other diner complain of too much salt on his batch, but a little more consistency in the seasoning will probably come with more services under their belts.
The Verdict: Smashburger seems poised to give Five-Guys a run for their money when it comes to the burger market in Sherwood Park, and with possible Edmonton locations on the horizon, we can all have another option to satisfy our burger cravings. [*Note to self: get to New Orleans, stat. The Debris Fries sound awesome.]
Smashburger is located at #530, 5000 Emerald Drive in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.
To read an even more robust account of Phil’s Smashburger Adventure, as well as his other food reviews, check out BaconHound.
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