Smashburger Opens in Bethesda, Tysons
Smashburger, the fast casual “better burger” restaurant, opened its newest location at 4903 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, last Wednesday and will open another one this Thursday at 1500-E Cornerside Blvd., Vienna, off Route 7 near Tysons Corner.
The two new restaurants join other area locations at 1739 Connecticut Ave. NW in Dupont; 10160 Fairfax Blvd. #116, Vienna; and 20640 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Suite D1, Germantown. Another Smashburger is scheduled to open 308 S. Washington St., Falls Church, in January along with one in Gainsville, Va. An eighth location in Gaithersburg will open in the first quarter of 2014.
“There’s plenty of business for burgers,” said spokeswoman Staci Lange at a media preview last Tuesday. “There are differentiating factors within the better-burger segment if you look at Shake Shack, if you look at BurgerFi, if you look at some of the local chains. But we all identify one thing in common and that is people are more passionate about the better burgers.”
Each Smashburger starts as a meatball each morning made from fresh 100 percent certified Angus beef then smashed to order on a 400 degree Fahrenheit buttered flat grill to sear in the juices. The chicken breasts and black bean burgers are also smashed on the grill when they are ordered. Then the sandwiches are served on toasted artisan buns and topped with a selection of the freshest produce and real cheeses.
There are six sandwiches that can be made with the burger, chicken or black bean burger, as well as egg, spicy chipotle or multi-grain buns, or guests can design their own picking the protein, toppings and sauces. The sandwiches include the classic with American cheese, Smash sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion; the BBQ, bacon and cheddar with bar-b-que sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and haystack onions; the truffle mushroom swiss (my favorite!) with truffle mayo, sauteed baby portabella mushrooms and aged Swiss cheese; the spicy baja with fresh jalapenos, guacamole, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo; the avocado club with applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and mayo; and the bacon cheeseburger.
Exclusive to the DMV area Smashburgers is the Capital Burger or Chicken sandwich made with aged Swiss cheese, grilled onions, applewood-smoked bacon, baby arugula, tomato and mayo. And the spicy veggie black bean sandwich is a tasty option for vegetarians with fresh jalapenos, guacamole, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo on a spicy chipotle bun. Burgers are $4.99 for the classic or make-your-own and $5.99 for the others; chicken is $1 more; and the spicy veggie black-bean is also $5.99. Both the burgers and the chicken can be ordered as a Big Smash with extra meat for a extra $1.
All three fresh green salads are also $5.99. They include the harvest with balsamic tomatoes, raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and blue cheese topped with balsamic vinaigrette; the classic cobb with fried egg, applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes, onions, cheddar and blue cheese topped with buttermilk ranch dressing; and the baja cobb with applewood-smoked bacon, sliced jalapenos, guacamole, cheddar, tomatoes and onions topped with spicy chipotle dressing. Add chicken to any salad for $2 more. Kids’ meals include the kids’ Smash, hot dog or chicken tenders for $4.99.
Smashburgers sides include French fries, Smashfries (the French fries tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic), sweet potato fries, haystack onions, veggie frites — flash-fried and seasoned carrot sticks and green beans (yummy!) — and side salads. They also serve Hagen Daz milkshakes including salted caramel (delish), Butterfinger, Oreo and Nutter Butter; IBC root beer floats, both fresh brewed and bottled Honest Teas, Coke products and domestic and local craft beers.
There is a secret menu too — deep fried pickle and Las Vegas’ Sin City burger or chicken sandwich with fried egg, applewood smoked, American cheese, grilled onions, haystack onions and smash sauce on an egg bun. Although you won’t find either item on the menu board, you can walk into any Smashburger and they’ll make either item for you.
Smashburger Bethesda has 63 seats while Vienna will have 64 seats inside with an additional 16 on its outdoor patio. Both restaurants, along with the others in the area are open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Smashburger has more than 200 corporate and franchise restaurants in 29 states and five countries.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.