One might think with Smashburger opening in Kearny Mesa just weeks after their Rancho Penaquitos opening, one might get tired of burgers and shakes and fries, oh my! If that’s what you’re thinking, you’d be wrong – it kind of just makes me crave a delicious burger even more.
Once again, I was graciously invited to the sneak peek preview night in Kearny Mesa and happily ran into fellow bloggers: Mary of Foodies: a southern california food blog, Jenny of Vintage Sugarcube, Kirbie of Kirbie’s Cravings, and Marie of Meandering Eats. Travis had other plans that night, so I asked my friend Ben if he’d like to join me that night. Since he hadn’t been to Smashburger at all before, I was excited to show him how awesome the night was going to be.
I’m trying to be a better blogger, so I made sure to pack my camera in my purse the night before. Wouldn’t you know it, I had no memory card in the camera because I had recently downloaded pictures onto my computer and forgot to put it back in! And I wasn’t carrying a spare card. Boo. I managed to take a few pics on my iPhone, but since it’s an OLD iPhone 3G(not even a 3GS!!) the photos aren’t as great as they could be. I was actually quite sad about this because I think we ordered some of the best items that night.
After learning about Smashburger’s secret menu, I was very excited to try and order something “off menu”. I realize I could also get there by creating my own burger, but it’s so much easier to call it out by name and I wanted a Sin City burger. The fried egg on top called to me. The girl taking our order hadn’t keyed one in before, so there was a little bit of suspense as we waited to see what kind of burger was delivered [spoiler: the Sin City burger arrived]. I had never had a San Diego Smashburger, so we ordered one of those, as well as a Spicy Baja chicken sandwich (grilled), and a chili cheese dog. For sides, we ordered Smashfries, fried pickles, haystack onions, and veggie frites. I’ve ordered the veggie frites before and was perplexed by them, so I wanted to see if they were still the same [more spoilers: they are].
We ordered the burgers “Smash” size – we’re not gluttons here, people, ha ha ha! And they were all delivered hot and quickly.
(from top to bottom: Sin City burger/haystack onions, San Diego burger/Smashfries, Spicy Baja chicken/fried pickles, Chili cheese dog/veggie frites)
Ben and I split everything and we dug into the Sin City burger first. It was pretty much everything I wanted it to be, except that the egg was pretty well done (I love me some runny yolk). There’s egg, cheese, Smashsauce (don’t know what’s in it, only that it tastes good), bacon, onion strings, and the burger. Tastiness in a soft egg bun.
Then we split the San Diego burger, where Ben remarked upon the awesomeness of a burger with both avocado AND guacamole. The cilantro adds a brightness to the burger, along with the squeeze of fresh line. I only ate half of my half (that’s ¼ for those of you playing along at home) because I could see how much more food was on the table. The San Diego burger may be my favorite burger on the menu.
We moved on to the Spicy Baja chicken, which was indeed quite spicy. I’m sure the fresh jalapenos on the sandwich played some part in that. It was a little similar to the San Diego burger, with less avocado and more heat. Lots more heat. I’m too much of a wimp for this one. I also only ate half of my half of the chicken.
I did finish my complete half of the chili cheese dog! When we were at the Rancho Penasquitos opening, we tried the chili cheese fries as a side and I loved the chili. So, I was excited to try it on a hot dog. We picked off the jalapenos, having been introduced to the spiciness already, and just dug in. Yum. I would happily eat this chili on a dog or on fries. Even in a bowl on its own (which you can do, it’s a side item!) The chili cheese dog was a last-minute addition to our order, but I think Ben was happy he got to try it because he liked it. And how long would it have taken him to order a chili dog at a burger spot??
I don’t know where to start with the sides: maybe I’ll start with the ones we liked. The Smashfries are amazing – simple, crisp, with a sprinkling of rosemary and garlic but not overwhelmingly garlicky. The haystack onions are what they are: crispy, skinny, onion-y bites. Delicious, but a little awkward to eat. The fried pickles had a nice crispy batter on them, but man were they salty! We only got through a few of them. I should have asked if they’re always that salty. The veggie frites have not changed – they are flash-fried, but not battered, so there’s no crispy coating to them. They’re kind of just greasy cooked veggies. I’d almost rather have them steamed. With a side of ranch, of course.
While we were finishing up dinner, we did manage to snag a sample of a chocolate and a vanilla milkshake – so good! I also heard a rumor that the Windy City burger may be showing up at a secrety menu item soon. I sure hope so – it’s served on a pretzel bun!
The Kearny Mesa location is located right down the hill from my office, but the parking lot can get kind of crazy during the lunch rush. It’s almost as easy for me to get to the Mission Valley location, which has better parking. If anyone ever wants a burger date, let me know!
As always, I’m very thankful to Elle Communications for the invitation and the sneak peek! It was so much fun getting to introduce Smashburger to a friend!