Dara with Elle Communications invited us to the Mission Valley Smashburger (7610 Hazard Center Drive #507) for a preview of some of their new menu items:
· BBQ Ranch Smashchicken topped with applewood smoked bacon, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing on an egg bun
· Avocado Club Smashchicken topped with fresh avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and mayo on a multi-grained bun
· Buffalo Smashchicken featuring Frank’s® Buffalo Sauce, crumbled blue cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on an egg bun
· Honey Mustard Chicken Smashsalad a mix of fresh garden greens, topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and red onions with creamy honey mustard dressing
· Chicken Caesar Smashsalad with a mix of fresh garden greens topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes and croutons with parmesan Caesar dressing
· Harvest Chicken Smashsalad a mix of fresh garden greens topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, marinated balsamic tomatoes, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and blue cheese, with balsamic vinaigrette dressing
· BBQ Chicken Ranch Smashsalad a mix of fresh garden greens topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, haystack onions, cheddar cheese, with buttermilk ranch dressing and bbq sauce
We decided to get a salad and a sandwich, plus a side of the veggie frites and haystack onions. Travis didn’t want a buffalo chicken sandwich, and he’d just eaten a club sandwich, so we ordered the BBQ Ranch Smashchicken with the crispy chicken (not grilled). I got the Honey Mustard Smashsalad with grilled chicken.
On a side note, we were behind a lady ordering a salad and chicken sandwich to go and the cashier kept asking her if she wanted the crispy or grilled chicken and the lady just did not understand what was going on (language barrier). After a lot of back and forth, and us looking at each other trying to figure out if we should help and how to help, Travis tried to explain that one chicken was fried and the other was not. Somehow, that made sense and the lady asked for grilled chicken.
The food came out quickly and Travis’ sandwich was hot out of the fryer. Crispy fried chicken on a soft bun is outstanding. Totally not healthy, but so good. I’m not sure what to say about it – we devoured it pretty quickly. The chicken was moist and crispy, the bacon was really good, and it was a tasty sandwich.
The salad comes in a large bowl and I’d say it would make a decent lunch. The grilled chicken was flat, so I’m guessing it got “smashed”, but it was still moist. Tasted like chicken. My salad had bacon and red onions and tomatoes and just the right amount of dressing (I don’t like tons of dressing in my salad). Looking at the list above, I don’t think I saw the Harvest salad on the menu, or else I’m pretty sure I would have ordered it. I’ll have to take a look the next time we’re there.
The haystack onions are the same that come on the sandwich (and burger) – thinly sliced and all tangled up together. They’re actually pretty flavorful, if a little salty. I enjoyed them almost as much as I do regular onion rings. The veggie frites were well salted, but the concept confuses me. They weren’t crispy, like fries, but they were greasy. I guess I shouldn’t complain, though, since we ate every last bit. We did enjoy the asparagus in the basket, since you don’t see that often.
After we finished the sandwich and salad, I thought I was still hungry. But, after finishing the fried sides, I was pretty full. So, I’d say portions are probably just right for lunch, but maybe not enough if you’re hungry for dinner. We’re intrigued about the smashed burger concept, and since it’s close to both of our offices, we’ll probably meet up for lunch one of these days to try one. The food is what you’d expect from a chain, but I think it’s also decently priced. Personally, I liked the sandwich better than the salad, but I’m also not a big salad fan. I’ll eat them because they’re supposed to be better for you, but you really can’t compare it to a crispy fried chicken sandwich on a soft egg bun. I mean, there’s no way salad would ever win.
Many thanks to Dara for the invitation!