Very few chains actually make a decent burger. The two big boys on the block, In-n-Out and Five Guys, make a decent burger. Now there’s a new kid on the block however who is using both the same ideas of quality and freshness along with a unique idea for toppings to give them some serious competition. Smashburger stresses the “make your own burger” concept with a wide range of toppings, some conventional and some very different from what people are used to getting on their burger. It’s a fun way to experiment and come up with your own creation. With Smashburger, Mission Viejo has an affordable, gourmet quality burger to please any one.
Smashburger starts your burger with a “meatball” of 100% Certified Angus beef. The object of the “meatball” is to allow the burger to be smashed down as it cooks, retaining juices and creating a nice patty. The meat is fresh ground which also helps retain the juices. The cook (smasher? Smashmaster? ) takes the “meatball”, places it on a buttered flat top grill, seasons it and proceeds to smash it into a burger patty. The process caramelizes the beef and adds an extra depth of flavor to the meat. It also helps the patty retain it’s juices, creating a moist, flavorful burger.
The creativity begins with a choice of buns. The Artisan buns come in sesame, egg, multi-grain and telera styles. They are all toasted before receiving the burger patty. In addition, a lettuce leaf wrap can be used instead of the bun. The black and white sesame seed bun had a nice texture, soft but holding together with the juicy burger and moist toppings on it.
Toppings come in 3 categories that can be combined any way you desire. The free sauces and toppings include old standbys such as mustard, mayo,pickles and ketchup, but are augmented by specialties such as truffle mayo, spicy chipotle mayo and Japanese steakhouse ginger dressing. Lettuce is available but so is baby arugula and spinach for a different taste treat. Burgers always seem to have an affinity for grilled onions and they are available too, supplying a warm, tangy and sweet taste.
Cheeses also cover all the bases, from classic American, cheddar and Swiss to goat, blue and pepper jack. The cheese costs a bit extra but if you like cheese on a burger it is a small price to pay to get the burger the way you want. Finally, there are several premium add ons for an extra charge. Applewood bacon, garlic mushrooms and chili are some of the choices.
The wait is not long for your personal burger to come out. They seem quite efficient with the myriad of choices available. The burger is served open so you can see everything before you close it up and take the first bite. With the juicy burger patty, this is a burger where the toppings complement the flavor and do not overpower it. The juices drip the way they should in a proper burger. This is an excellent hamburger and could stand on it’s own even if you put no toppings on it at all. An option for the person who just wants an easy choice, available in either the burger or chicken sandwiches, are several combo sandwiches that include a Classic, Fresh Mex, L.A. (wonton and fried egg among the toppings) and O.C. (sauteed mushrooms, truffle mayo, arugula and more) style.
Sides include chili and a garden salad. Fries come in a variety of flavors. There are standard fries or Smashfries tossed with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. The standard fries can also be ordered as chili cheese fries. Veggie fries are a unique take, using carrot sticks and green beans fried up like french fries. One of the best choices are the sweet potato fries, crispy but with that sweet flavor that provides a nice contrast to the rest of the meal.
Healthy and vegetarian choices include a veggie burger and marinated chicken breast sandwiches. Four entree salads are on the menu such as Caesar, and a Spinach and Goat Cheese salad. Chicken can be added to any of the entree salads. Beverages include fountain drinks, beer and wine. Häagen Dazs ice cream forms the base of a variety of drinks and floats.
Smashburger is located inside the Shops at Mission Viejo, providing a nice break during a day’s shopping. They have also opened a location in Aliso Viejo. Smashburger has brought a delicious burger to South Orange County. Whether you are looking for gourmet toppings or just an old-fashioned one, Smashburger will make your taste buds happy.
1003 The Shops at Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, CA 92691