A Smash(ing)Burger in New England

I love burgers.  So I was glad to join Tuesday evening’s Blogger Sneak Peek at smashburger University Station in Westwood, Massachusetts.  A few dozen hungry bloggers squeezed into small tables and chairs amid red and white walls and burger-themed decor to feast on sandwiches, sides, and shakes.

I prefer barbecue sauce on my burgers, and my favorite of the seven sandwiches we sampled was the flavorful BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar Burger, topped with haystack onions and served on an egg bun.  The Classic Smash, with the usual ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion, and the Spinach, Cucumber & Goat Cheese Chicken were also tasty.  The Denver-based chain’s menus each contain a regional item, and the New Englander features (no, not lobster) cranberry stilton, cranberry sauce, and grilled onions.

According to the restaurant, the secret to the burgers is the smash.  A smashburger is a fresh (never frozen!) meatball of all-natural 100-percent Certified Angus Beef smashed on a hot buttered grill to sear the meat and seal in the juices.  In my totally unscientific opinion, it works just fine.

But what makes an experience memorable are the extras, the details, and the choices that let you enjoy your own way.  And so it’s in the varied side dishes that smashburger really stands out.

I wish that the relatively figure-friendly Veggie Frites–flash-fried carrot sticks and green beans–had been my favorite.

But alas, that title goes to the carb-laden Sweet Potato Fries–sweet, soft, salty, and savory.

The Haystack Onions–basically thin onion rings–were also delicious, as were the regular SmashFries, tossed with rosemary, olive oil, and garlic.

Having consumed more calories in a night than I should in a week, there was little more damage to be done by sampling an Oreo shake.

Located at 203 University Avenue, New England’s second smashburger opened to the public on Wednesday, April 1.  It promises to be a good place to stop for a bite before heading home from the Route 128 MBTA Amtrak Station, or after shopping at Ulta, Michael’s, Nordstrom Rack, or any of University Station‘s mix of stores, or just at one of those times when only a burger will do.

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