Pretty darned good, from what I can tell. Recently company president Greg Creighton and regional franchisee Joseph Henry hosted a group of local food bloggers to a preview on the day before the grand opening. We were impressed by the open, airy atmosphere of Smashburger and their ability to get such a varied selection of items out of the small kitchen so quickly and efficiently. The menu revolves around burgers, hot dogs, salads and shakes with many interesting options within each category.
In addition to Classic American cheeseburgers, Spicy Baja burgers, Mushroom Swiss and Veggie burgers, each local franchise features a regional favorite. Murfreesboro's special burger features the barbecue sauce from their neighbors in Lynchburg, to good effect. The addition of fresh jalapeños instead of the pickled version definitely kicks it up a notch. The Black Bean burger contains 14 different ingredients and, we are told, is hand-made on the premises every day. In fact, all of the meat is 100 percent Certified Angus Midwestern beef that arrives fresh and is never frozen. The buns come from a bakery in Chicago and were a nice palette for their custom creations. Or you can mix and match 15 different free toppings to make your own burger.
The name of the restaurant comes from their technique of smashing a loosely packed ball of meat on the grill, where it is cooked to temperature upon request. They recommend medium doneness to maximize the juiciness of their process, and the resulting burgers that we sampled were definitely worthy of extra napkins.
Smashburger is also particularly proud of their Smashed Chicken sandwiches, which are flattened almost piccata-style and then cooked either grilled or hand-battered and fried. The chicken sandwiches are available with any of the aforementioned 15 toppings or in six standard configurations. The Mediterranean Chicken with fresh avocado, feta cheese, cucumbers, spinach, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce looked especially inventive.
Shakes are made to order with Häagen-Dazs ice cream, and the restaurant had applied for both beer and wine permits before opening. It's certainly difficult to try to do this many things well and rapidly, but out of the gate Smashburger seems to be on the right track. Nashville expansion plans are in the works, but if you get out to Murfreesboro to try them out now that they've officially been open for a few weeks, report back here in the comment.
451 N. Thompson Lane, Suite A
Murfreesboro, TN 37129