Get smashed at Kalamazoo’s Smashburger: New franchise’s menu will feature items made with Michigan cherries when it opens Wednesday

by William R. Wood, Kalamazoo Gazette

The name says it all.

Staffers take freshly made patties of ground angus beef, place them on a grill, then smash the beef down hard with a flat metal anvil.

“That sears in the juices,” said Terry Henderson, franchise owner, who will open a 65-seat Smashburger restaurant at 4315 W. Main St. in Kalamazoo on Wednesday.

There’s also the Smashfries, Smashchicken, Smashdog and Smashwedge, a salad, available at this new upscale fast food restaurant.

Burgers are made with toasted artisan buns. The Smashfries are tossed with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. One selection includes asparagus spears, carrot sticks and green beans that are “flash-fried,” which are different than the regular French Fries on the menu, Henderson said.

What Henderson likes most about the company, Smashburger Franchising LLC, is that executives have been willing to work with him to develop six special dishes that relate to the Michigan region.
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One is the Michigan Cherry BBQ Bacon and Cheese Smashburger which will have a barbecue sauce made with Traverse City cherries, apple wood-smoked bacon, haystack onions and cheddar cheese on an egg bun.

Another special, the Harvest Chicken Salad, will be made with dried cherries also from Traverse City, Romaine and Arugula lettuces, spinach, strips of fried or grilled chicken, tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar dressing. A cherry milk shake will also be made with Michigan cherries.

Prices range from $5.99 for a large Smashburger to $1.49 for a small order of French fries. Kids meals cost $3.99 and milkshakes, made with Haagen Daz ice cream, are $3.99. Beer and wine are also available.

Contact William R. Wood at bwood@kalamazoogazette.com or 269-388-8549.