Smashburger, a chain spreading out of Denver, opens its first St. Louis location today (Nov. 16). A preview visit revealed quarter-, third- and half-pound burgers with four bun options, The medium-thick burgers are quite juicy and show considerable verve in the spicy options like the BBQ, bacon and Cheddar and the Spicy Baja (shown below).
The Smashburger group has local touches at each of its locations, and the Clarkson Road spot, like its St. Charles sibling, offers provel cheese as an option, Maull's Sweet-N-Smoky BBQ Sauce as another, Fitz's Root Beer and gooey butter cake shakes.
We liked, in particular, the pretzel bun, with the whole grain a second choice; the BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar burger, the haystack onions (thin and greaseless) and the Butterfinger shake made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Sweet potato and regular fries, the latter available without the house sprinkle of rosemary and garlic if desired. Battered and fried pickle slices were tasty, but fried vegetables (carrot sticks, asparagus spears, green beans) were greasy. Hot dogs, both Chicago and St. Louis style, received good marks.
For eaters with more self-control, there are salads and several styles of chicken sandwiches and the usual variety of soft drinks, plus both regular and diet root beer. And three kinds of iced tea. Order and pay at the counter, and eager servers bring food to the table. A quick lunch stop in the midst of holiday shopping madness?
1671 Clarkson Rd., Chesterfield
www smashburger com
Lunch & Dinner daily
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair access: Good