Scarf Down a Burger

Fast-food chain’s awesome burgers are a great addition to W.D.M.

By: Jessica Knight; Des Moines Juice


Smashburger keeps it simple, from their “Smash. Sizzle. Savor.” slogan to the slick modern interior decorating.  The walls are plastered with their slogan and logo, and there’s not much beyond that.  The restaurant, tucked into a strip mall, isn’t large, but offers plenty of seating at tables spaced far enough apart to hold your own conversation.


If you order it, they’ll smash it.  Choose from a list of six burger choices, like the mushroom swiss or the Spicy Baja (topped with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, chipotle mayo and fresh jalapenos), or create your own from a complete list of toppings.  They take a ball of Angus beef (you can order third- or half- pound burgers) and then “smash” it on the grill with a press to produce the perfectly round, greasy burger.  Don’t feel like ground beef?  Any burger can be made with chicken, or you can try one of their salads, brats, or Chicago dogs.

I tried the Iowa Smashburger, made with Iowa Maytag blue cheese, applewood bacon and haystack onions (thin and seasoned onion rings).  The blue cheese was pungent but delicious, and the toppings were fresh and hot.  The Smashfries I ordered with it were fantastic, tossed with rosemary, olive oil, gralic and other herbs.

My guest had the  barbecue bacon and cheese Smashburger, also topped with haystack onions.  He told me (About seven times between mouthfuls of sandwich) that it was “the best burger he’d had in a long time.”

Both burgers were $5.99, and fries were $1.79 each ($2.79 if you order them without a sandwich).  Total for two, with tip, cost less than $20.


Despite visiting during lunch on their opening day, the operation ran like a well-oiled machine.  We placed our order with a friendly cashier, easily found a place to sit and our food arrived in the amount of time promised (five minutes!).  Employees came over regularly to check that we were satisfied.  The restaurant was busy, but not unbearably so.  Diners rotated through quickly.

We welcome Smashburger to the local chain restaurant landscape.  Plue, they serve beer and wine, which could make it a fun after-work spot for a cheap, fast, delicious meal.