Smashburger (San Jose & Santa Clara)

8:00:00 AM

Hulk SMASH (that burger)

How could I resist putting a reference? After all the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie just came out and I finally found time to drag my butt over to the movie theaters to see it. I would’ve went on opening weekend, but a few friends and I went down to LA that weekend for the Korea Times Music Festival. 

As for the movie, I liked it, but I admit I like the first Avengers more. For Age of Ultron, you definitely have to be caught up on the Marvel Universe to comprehend everything that was happening (including Agents of SHIELD, which I’m about half a season behind). And I feel like for Marvel movies, often times you have to watch it again to catch the other bits and pieces.

Take it all in first and then focus after you got the gist.

I will gladly discuss this further with you in the comments. Or hey, just send me an email!

So on my hierarchy of burgers, we have:
  • The Grandfathers
    • McDonald’s
    • Burger King
    • Wendy’s
    • Carl’s Jr.
    • Jack in the Box
  • The Frenemies
    • In-N-Out (I’m an In-N-Out girl, all the way.)
    • Five Guys
  • The Classy Gourmets
    • The Counter
    • Umami Burger
    • Burgers & Brew (Hands down favorite in Davis!)
  • The Mixed Bag
    • Habit Burger
    • Super Duper Burger
    • Sonic Drive-In
    • Smashburger

Smashburger straddles the line between the classy gourmets and the slightly more-upscale burger joints that aren’t McDonald’s. To me, I feel like there are more and more burger joints popping up nowadays to cater the crowd who wants a “specialized” burger, but with better service, quality ingredients, and a higher price point.

Granted, at the core of it all, Smashburger is still a fast food restaurant, which is why it will never be in the same category as the “classy gourmets.”

If McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are the parents, Smashburger is the child who took the key ingredients that makes a great burger and smashed it with Mjolnir. You know--to add some pizzazz and element of surprise.

(San Jose) Regular Bacon Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries
I’ve visited both the Santa Clara location on Rivermark and San Jose location on Coleman a few times and had pleasant experiences. The menu is straightforward with different specials depending on the locations. I believe the locations outside of NorCal have different specialties on the menu. For us, we have The Bay Burger consisting of a smashburger, swiss cheese, mushroom, baby arugula and truffle mayo, sandwiched between a Ciabatta bun.

Smashburger’s namesake originates from the method of smashing the patties or chicken down on the grill to give them a thin and nice crust from the heat. You have a choice between a regular or a large, the difference being the ounces in beef.

(Santa Clara) Smashchicken Club
I’ve tried the Bay Burger, Bacon Cheeseburger, Truffle Mushroom Swiss and Avocado Chicken Club before along with the Sweet Potato fries and Smashfries. They’re all delicious and messy. Especially anything with truffle oil and ranch. And everything tastes better when you put bacon on it. Mmhmm~ The Smashfries are greasy, cut thinly into shoestring fries and tossed with olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Flavor explosion, BAM!

And if that isn’t enough, Smashburger offers a large selection of hand-spun shakes using Haagen-Daaz ice cream, but I haven’t had the chance to try it yet (finding a way to justify the calories are part of my problem). They are very tempting though, but in a “please-split-one-with-me-so-I-don’t-consume-a-thousand-calories” sort of way. 

Like many up-and-coming burger joints, they also serve alcohol-- usually local craft beers and the occasional IPA.

Any clue if they’ll make you an alcoholic shake or would that taste nasty? To my knowledge: Smashburger does not have a secret menu… but if any of you have any details about one, please divulge!

Cost Wise: $$
A meal at Smashburger (burger + fries + drinks) will set you back at about $10+, which can be steep to some people. Especially since it’s just fast food
Ambiance: Generally… loud. Hey, it’s fast food! You get all sorts of people coming in for a bite. At the Rivermark location during lunch time, it’s mainly business folks grabbing a bite, while at Coleman, you have families to college students.
Pros: Large selection of burgers, chicken, salad, fries and drinks. Gives you the option of building your own burger if you please. Fresh ingredients that are different from your typical burger place.
Cons: Pricey and seating can be a problem sometimes. I find this more of an issue at Coleman than Rivermark.
Worth a Visit: Oh definitely. Smashburger has a nice selection of burgers that would be suitable for everybody in the family. As long as you don’t have any specific food allergies or diet restriction.

Am I the only one who separates burgers into categories? Because I also break it down with boba and other cuisines as well. It’s all methodical and oddly calming to look at it that way.

579 Coleman Ave.
Ste 50
San Jose, CA 95110

3948 Rivermark Plaza
Santa Clara, CA 95054

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