By Michelle Zakko, The Paramus Buzz
Move over Louie Vuitton because Smashburger, an upscale burger joint, has just set up shop at the Riverside Square Mall.
Smashburger, a Colorado-based franchise, officially opens up at the Riverside Square Mall next to the Pottery Barn on August 18th. But last night, I was invited to a VIP event where I got a sneak peak of the restaurant and a chance to taste the food.
So what is a Smashburger? Thanks to Ranus Reviews who had a 20 minute or so meeting with Dave Prokupek, the chairman of Smashburger, here is the answer.
They take 100% Angus beef and make a meat ball about the size of an adult-size fist. Next, a piece of waxed paper is gently placed on top of the beef ball and then smashed with this custom-made hamburger press. This press looked like it weighed about 10 pounds and the dude smashing the burger was pressing down with all his might. If you are looking for a good way to work out and get paidthen a burger smasher just might be the job for you!
The burger is smashed for 10 seconds which sears and caramelizes the meat. Then the burger is flipped over with a custom spatula that is sharpened daily. It has to be sharp so the burger doesnt lose any of that delicious sear and is then smashed again to lock in all the juices.
So that explains what a Smas burger is. Now here is how it works
My Mom and my boys.
Me, my Mom and the boys walked in and we placed our order at the counter. The burgers come in two sizes: 1/3 or 1/2 pound. There are six different burger variations or you can make your own creation by choosing the bun, cheese, sauces and toppings. Theres also add ons which include a beefy chili, fried egg, garlic sautéed mushrooms, avocado, or fried pickles. It was all so overwhelming and with both kids in tow, I went with the simple option of the 1/2 lb. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger and Sweet Potato Fries. I got the boys a kids Smashburger with Cheese and a Smashdog with fries.
They gave us a table number and within about 6 minutes they brought the food to our table. Seriously it was less than ten minutes. I know because we had just sat down and Matthew began taking off his socks and shoes. Dont ask, its a new phase were battling. Monkey see, monkey do: this means that Jojo follows his brother in the shoe ditch effort. No sooner had he kicked off both shoes when the food showed up.
The kids dived right into the fries as I cut up the burger and hot dog. I have picky eaters so I held my breath as I handed out the meal. They dug right into the burger and hot dog, I felt a sigh of relief that they were eating and this meal was not a wasted effort. My Mom took a bite and her first reaction was this is really good. My Mom is like the pickiest burger eater around. As a chef at High Mountain Golf Club, she has high standards when it comes to food. I knew then that this burger was going to be worth every bite. All I can say is that it tasted amazing! I also had the sweet potato smashfries which were pretty good. While we were eating, they came by with samples of their oreo milk shakes. So yummy! I only got two sips before the kids snatched them away but they tasted so good. It was a perfect end to our meal.
Just so you know, if youre traveling with a non burger lover or someone whos watching what they eat. Smashburger does have other options like the Smashchicken sandwich and salds.
I know it was a special event so I cant speak for everyday service but the staff was really friendly. When I explained to the girl behind the counter that it was my first time coming to a Smashburger she was really patient. She took a minute to explain the menu options and even gave her favorite as a recommendation. The guys that deliver the food to the table are attentive and helpful as I asked for a container to wrap up the boys leftovers. Their positive attitude was contagious and even as the kids became a little unruly towards the end, I still felt happy.
If I had to compare it to another burger place, I would compare it to either Bobbys Burger Palace in the Bergen Mall or Five Guys in Hackensack. Personally, I didnt care for Bobbys and I think Five Guys is greasy/heavy.
What else can I say but I really enjoyed my experience at Smashburger and Im looking forward to going back again!
Smashburger is located at the Shops at Riverside Square in Hackensack, NJ. Take a look at the online menu before you go!