Smashburger’s Windy City Burger

Sometimes, I can be a sucker for “limited time only” products. I hate feeling like I’ve missed out on something that may never come back (even when it usually does come back at some point).  I’ve gotten better at this, as most things always go on sale again and I really don’t even need half the things I want to begin with.

Food is a completely different story. If we’re on vacation and near a must-eat spot, Travis knows that we’re most likely going to eat it.  I’m still sad we weren’t able to squeeze in a dessert trip to WD-50 when we were in New York.  Or splurge for a meal at Alinea when we were in Chicago (granted, we weren’t really in the same financial situation then).  I also enjoy seasonal food items – peppermint mochas at Starbucks, mint M&Ms, Cadbury mini eggs (those may be my weakness).

So, when I heard Smashburger was bringing the Windy City burger to San Diego, I was intrigued.  When I found out it was only going to be here through October, I was very interested.  And when I found out the darn thing is served on a pretzel bun, I started making plans to work in a burger dinner.  Throw a limited-time banana shake in the mix and I’m a goner.

Elle Communications graciously set up a tasting for us and I thought it would a good chance to stop by the Rancho Penasquitos location again to see what it’s like on a normal day.  There was a line out the door, although I think it had more to do with the fact that only one register was taking orders – it wasn’t really that crowded inside.

We both got the Windy City burger (Travis opted for a Big Smash), some Smashfries, and haystack onions.  Of course, I added a banana shake and then added Butterfinger pieces to that.  And Travis ordered a whole bunch of sauces on the side.

Let’s start with the banana shake: we found chunks of banana at the bottom of the glass, so you know it’s made with real banana and Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream.  I know some people aren’t fond of bananas or banana shakes, but I love them and this one was delicious.  Mix in crunchy pieces of Butterfinger and I could have made a meal of this shake a lone.

But we still had burgers to devour!  The Windy City burger has spicy brown mustard, lettuce, tomato, and haystack onions.  It also has cheddar cheese, but it’s not regular melty cheddar cheese. They call it bar cheese: it’s soft and spreadable and probably oh-so-processed, but it gives the burger a great flavor. And the whole thing is on a pretzel bun, a bun so tasty, we started pulling pieces off to eat by itself.  I think I could have just eaten the bun and been satisfied.  The whole thing just made me so happy.

Even though we split the shake, we were extremely full after the burgers and sides.  We may need to rethink our ordering strategy if we include a shake the next time.

The Windy City burger AND the banana shake are only here through the end of October, so if either (or both) sound good to you, you’d best get over to Smashburger within the next couple of weeks!

Smashburger Rancho Peñasquitos on Urbanspoon

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11 responses to “Smashburger’s Windy City Burger

  1. Pretzel buns are so good. I hope more places start to have them!

  2. I have got to try out this burger and the shake before it’s gone. It’s been on my to-do list this month. Need to squeeze in some time!

    • You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard to find time to try it, but since we try not to eat out too much, we really had to plan a Smashburger night out. I hope you get a chance to try it, though – they’re both so good!

  3. I wonder if the San Diego burger is a limited menu item in other locations like say, Texas? The Windy City burger was amazing and the first time I had a pretzel bun.

  4. Although I didn’t care for the haystack onions, I think it would have been good on this burger. I’ll have to head back to try this before it goes away.

    • I’m not a fan of the haystack onions as a side (Travis likes them, though) but I really enjoy them on top of a burger. I’ve found that the amount of onions I get on a burger varies wildly from visit to visit, though. Not sure why and I haven’t really asked.

  5. Wow – sorry I missed this! So nice to see you yesterday at the pie demo!

  6. Thanks for the head’s up about the limited time offers! I, too, am a huge sucker for limited time offers, but that banana shake sounds so delicious! Only 5 more days left to try it!

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