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La Casa Italian Grill – Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday. Today I feature a guest review from Mike Christensen. Follow Mike on Twitter @SCSA31274.

Inside a quaint converted house on Old Roswell St less than a block from Main Street is La Casa Italian Grill.  Owner Pasquale Cardamuro opened La Casa four months ago in the old Café Efendi location to make a fresh start.  Having owned several previous strip mall and shopping mall restaurants in Atlanta, the long time Alpharetta resident longed to have a free standing building in which to serve his generations old Italian recipes.  Pasquale has gathered a loyal following in his 31 years in the restaurant business since he came to American from Naples.  All the ingredients used are locally sourced from the pasta to the herbs grown by Pasquale himself.

The house has undergone extensive renovations since purchased.  Pretty much everything except the walls has been molded to suit Pasquale’s needs.  Walking across the porch to enter the restaurant feels as if you’re going to a good friend’s home for dinner.  Inside it’s cozy, inviting, and warm.  There are several rooms to dine in, each lending an intimate feel to your meal.  La Casa would be great for either an office party or a private date out with your sweetie.  The front porch overlooks a nice fountain as well as a few herb planters that were recently added.  This spring and summer, La Casa will have live music on the porch.  The parking lot is limited, but there are plenty of other lots to choose from within walking distance.

Growing up in the South, I have experienced my fair share of “Italian” food (I’m looking at you Olive Garden).  The food you will get at La Casa is the real deal.  My wife and I visited La Casa a few weeks ago for dinner, and I was very impressed not only with the quality of the food, but also with the professional level of service.  Choices on the menu range from the more traditional spaghetti and meatballs to much more advanced dishes such as mussels marinara and scallops terramia.  All of the sauces, breads, and desserts are made in house.

After you are seated, they bring out two different type of bread along with olive oil with herbs for dipping.  Both types did not last long at our table.  I had the lasagna Bolognese and can only describe it as the best lasagna I’ve ever had.  The pasta was fresh, the cheese had  great texture and flavor, and the sauce was superb.  My wife picked the Pappardelle Bolognese, which is wide ribbons of pasta in meat sauce.  She kept commenting on how fresh tasting the pasta was.  There were no take home boxes.  She did take home a slice of cheesecake, which was gone before we got home.  She said that it rivals the cheesecakes in New York.

One interesting observation I made was one of the employees bussing a table across the room was making faces and waving at my 2 year old son.  It was nice to see someone take the time to entertain even the smallest customer.

Most of the items on the menu for dinner are in the $12-18 range, but taste much richer.  La Casa’s menu will change seasonally, and has already undergone a few changes since they have been open so check with them often for any changes.

La Casa is open Monday through Friday 11 AM -2 PM for lunch and Monday through Saturday 5-10 PM for dinner.  They are also open on Sunday noon to 8 PM for brunch, lunch, and dinner.  They are in a prime location to take advantage of the foot traffic in Alpharetta.  Take a stroll off busy Main Street and come have some real, fresh, and delicious Italian food.  We look forward to visiting La Casa many times in the coming year.  Pasquale is frequently in the dining room greeting customers with the enthusiasm and warmth that can only come from someone who has found his true home.

La Casa Italian Grill is located at 37 Old Roswell Street in historic downtown Alpharetta.

La Casa Italian Grill Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Crafty Draught – The Avenue Forsyth

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Andre Airich and his partner Cody Anderson accomplished much before their business even opened. In a few short months they managed to change the law in Forsyth County. They successfully lobbied for a change to an alcohol ordinance, a remarkable feat here in the South. We’re not exactly known for our forward-thinking laws when it comes to booze.

What did Airich and Anderson change? Forsyth now allows retailers to break the original packaging of beer. This paves the way for growlers. What’s a growler? It’s a 64 ounce glass jug used to transport draught beer. Their newly opened beer store, the Crafty Draught, will fill your growler with one of twenty craft beers they have on-tap. It’s a new concept for this area, something I had to try.

Crafty Draught’s selection changes almost daily. It’s best to check their website ahead of time to see what’s pouring. Also be sure to check their “coming soon” page. It’s sort of an on-deck circle of beer – a list of kegs in the backroom waiting to be tapped. When they empty a keg, one of these will replace it.

Most beers are in the $10 to $12 range for the 64 oz growler portion although some can reach as high as $20. Unfortunately samples are not available. New growlers can be purchased for $5, a one-time cost.

On my visit I met co-owner Andre Airich and secretly put him to the test. I explained that I don’t like beers with a lot of hops. I also mentioned my love of Bavarian hefe-weizens. Both of these statements are true which probably completely ruins any credibility I may have with the beer drinking world.

Being wintertime their selection is geared towards a lot of stouts and IPAs. Thankfully Airich didn’t steer me towards any of these. I let him talk me into a highly-rated beer called Ommegang Abbey, a Belgium-style ale made by a microbrewery in Cooperstown, NY. Twenty bucks later I had paid for my beer and new growler. Yikes, this had better be good! How did I like it?

Airich didn’t lead me astray. The beer had a yeasty character much like the hefe-weizens I enjoy. I tasted a lot of rich flavor going on including toasted nuts and honey. I can see why this brew wins awards. It also had a higher alcohol content, something I’m not accustomed to. Let’s just say I would avoid operating heavy machinery or writing wordpress blogs while  enjoying this beer.

Airich and Anderson might make successful political lobbyist if this beer gig doesn’t work out. I doubt that career change will be necessary. Crafty Draught is a cool little shop and I wish these young men much success. If this concept catches on I’d imagine they might have some competition soon. They’re well prepared to face it in my opinion. Check them out at 415 Peachtree Parkway, across the street from the Avenue Forsyth. I also like they’re active and effective use of social media. Follow them on Facebook and twitter @CraftyDraught.

Photo Copyright Robyn Guy Photography, used with permission

Azul Agave – Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Before blogging I used to write reviews on yelp.com. And over on yelp they have an expression for a two-star review… “Meh. I’ve experienced better.” I keep coming back to this when I reflect on my dining experiences at Azul Agave. But let’s back up a moment.

Azul Agave opened on Old Milton Parkway a few months ago after a long buildout. I regret that I’ve never dined with this building’s past occupants. Had I done so I might have been prepared for the magnificent decor of this restaurant. Outside a small bridge spans a waterfall. Inside it’s spacious with beautiful stacked stone features and blue accents. I’m hard pressed to think of other Alpharetta-area restaurants that rival Azul Agave in looks and decor.

Unfortunately the same creativity and attention to detail that went into Azul’s decor didn’t go into their menu. It’s boringly divided into sections like fajitas, tacos and quesadillas. I meandered my way through its options, searching for something I couldn’t eat at El Azteca or La Parrilla. Nothing jumped out at me.

I settled on some fish tacos, which can be a good litmus test for a joint like this. The fish was a little dry and needed some help from a creamy sauce drizzled on top. The cole slaw was crisp and pretty good but no other toppings were available to provide a flavor boost. These tacos were, at best, a smidge past mediocre.

My wife ordered a steak quesadilla and found it to be on the greasy side. She wound up deconstructing it to salvage some morsels of meaty steak. Side items like black beans are just okay but lack depth or robustness.

In the end, I found the food at Azul Agave to be ordinary and lacking of creativity. They’ve got amazing decor and good service working in their favor. But even the hip and contemporary china can’t save the food resting upon it. Meh, I’ve experienced better.

 

Azul Agave Mexican Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Boga Taqueria – Milton

Chef Alfonso Huerta, left, and Medardo Briceno

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Medardo Briceno has paid his dues in the restaurant industry. This soft spoken man from Venezuela has worked nearly every job in the business. He started in kitchen prep before working his way into the managerial ranks of Frontera, a chain of Atlanta-area Mexican restaurants. Following that gig he worked for food service distributor Sysco. Boga Taqueria marks a big stepping out, his first venture into restaurant ownership.

“I wanted to offer something different to Alpharetta, an experience like you would find in midtown,” said Briceno. So don’t let his history with Frontera set any expectations you might have of Boga. This restaurant is a far cry from the ubiquitous Mexican joints that fill suburban stripmalls. Speedy Gonzalez is nowhere to be found on the menu. That alone makes Boga worth a visit.

Boga’s menu is a mix of Mexican cuisine with some South American influences. Portion sizes are generous, especially for the money. Most entrees are priced in the $8 to $10 range. Atop the menu is their taco selection. For $10 you mix and match three tacos. The Taco al Pastor stood out. This traditional Mexican favorite of pork, onion, pineapple and cilantro forms a harmony of flavors.

More pedestrian taco choices are available, such as ground beef and shredded chicken. Boga pokes a bit of fun at these choices, labeling them as “gringo”. This gringo passed on them.

El Macho

A best seller is the El Macho. They start with a bed of lettuce and add a generous helping of braised pork or pulled brisket. Next comes black beans and a few pieces of mango to tease with some sweetness. A delicious lime vinaigrette is drizzled above that. Finally a large plantain is sprawled across the top. The presentation is beautiful. And don’t let the lettuce and vinaigrette fool you as El Macho does indeed live up to its name.

The talent in the Boga kitchen comes from chef Alfonso Huerta. His most recent gig was at Rio Nuevo on North Point. Owner Medardo Briceno described Huerta as “a MacGyver in the kitchen,” but not for judicious use of duct tape and Swiss Army Knives.

Huerta pulled a MacGyver with his dessert. His flan cheesecake was dazzling and amazingly delicious. It was the perfect marriage of two desserts that didn’t neglect anyone’s taste. The custard flavor from the flan was still there but the cream cheese brought a dense richness. The caramel on the plate fanned out with flames on the edges covered by a layer of chocolate sauce. It almost looked like a total solar eclipse. It was as beautiful as it was culinarily resourceful.

Music like Sergio Mendes’ “Mas Que Nada” dances out of speakers at Boga. It’s cool, hip and – more than anything – helps to create a cool vibe to this place. The modern and minimalist decor doesn’t hurt either as it’s very well done. If this restaurant thing doesn’t work out, Briceno might consider a career in interior decorating. The work inside was all his effort, not contracted out.

But the decorating world will have to wait on Medardo Briceno. Boga Taqueria should be a serious contender for Mexican food in this area.

Photo Credit: Robyn Guy Photography

Disclosure: I received free food from this restaurant. You can read my disclosure policy on my about page.
Boga Taqueria on Urbanspoon

BW Tavern – South Forsyth

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

BW Tavern isn’t afraid of taking chances. You don’t have to look very far to see new and creative thinking in south Forsyth’s latest concept restaurant. Their former self, Mulligan’s, was a dive bar that had a loyal following. They took a chance when they flipped this somewhat successful, yet cigarette smoke-filled restaurant on its head.

Alex King, left, with Chef David Smith

The name “BW” pays homage to Benchwarmers, an Atlanta sports bar in this same family of restaurants. It was this original owner who took a chance bringing in a new partner – Alex King. This young man with spiky hair brings youthful energy and confidence to BW Tavern. It’s hard to miss his presence both in the restaurant and in their already active social media campaigns.

BW is taking chances with their menu. It would be easy to follow the Mulligan’s model of burgers, chicken fingers and tater tots. Fear not as these items are still around, just a little jazzed up. The burger now has a pretzel bun and the fingers are hand-tossed in panko breadcrumbs. The menu relegates these guys to a lonely corner, a space called “the staples.” Far more adventurous cuisine awaits on the rest of the menu.

Thanksgiving Spring Rolls

BW’s Thanksgiving spring rolls may put these guys on the map. They start with tender morsels of fried turkey made in-house. It’s rolled and fried in a spring roll wrapper and served with a cranberry sauce for dipping. The sauce is more sweet than tart and contrasts with the peppery dressing inside the roll. Don’t dare come here without ordering this appetizer, in November or any month.

The menu has three entrees offered as bowls. They all are stick-to-your-ribs, manly choices. The Asian chicken bowl ($11) is an eclectic mix of braised chicken thighs, Asian-flavored black beans and collard greens. Each ingredient is great on its own, but they didn’t mesh well together.  The rasta bowl ($11) is a creamy and spicy mix of sausage, shrimp, bay scallops, beans, rice and veggies. It’s a playful and delicious take on jambalaya.

BW makes their own ciabatta bread for half a dozen different sandwiches. Try the bayou gobbler ($9). They start with the same smoked turkey from the Thanksgiving spring roll and slice it deli thin. It’s moist and delicious all by itself. Crawfish tails give the sandwich a bayou influence, but the flavor of these mudbugs gets lost in the pepperjack cheese and mayo. It’s still a very solid turkey sandwich.

BW Tavern isn’t afraid of taking chances with local vendors. While a lot of restaurants talk of sourcing product locally, it’s rare to see it taken to this degree. For example, sausage for their Brunswick stew comes from Woody’s Meat and Sausage just down the street. Partner Alex King liked the arrangement so much he starting buying just about all his meat products from Woody’s. “Anything with a hoof we buy from Woody’s,” said King. You’ll also find a boiled peanut appetizer on the menu from D’s Nuts. You might remember these guys from their road-side peanut stands in Forsyth County.

King even sources his music locally. You’ll find live music on weekends, which certainly isn’t out of the ordinary. What’s unique is that BW will pipe in tunes from these local musicians during the week. It’s refreshing to see this restaurant’s honest and sincere desire to keep their business local.

Any restaurateur takes a chance when they open in this extremely competitive market. BW Tavern is upping the ante when it comes to dining in the Midway community of south Forsyth. You’ve gotta like their chances.

Photo Credit: Robyn Guy Photography

Disclosure: I received free food from this restaurant. You can read my disclosure policy on my about page.
BW Tavern on Urbanspoon

Tex’s Tacos Food Truck

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Everyday 100,000 people commute to Alpharetta to occupy our cubicles. And it may be hard to believe but not all of them go out for lunch each day. It may seem like 100,000 cars are on Windward at noon (it’s actually more like 90,000). Thousands of poor cubicle dwellers suffer through a quick but mediocre lunch at an office cafeteria or they brown bag it.

This is the great untapped market for lunch in Alpharetta. And it is this niche that food trucks could fill in Alpharetta. So you might understand why I was thrilled to learn of Tex’s Tacos recent visit to Alpharetta. A visit from a food truck almost never happens in Alpharetta. Atlanta’s food truck scene is exploding with popularity and growth and I want our little burb to get a piece of the action! I hyped Tex’s visit on twitter as best I could and was one of the first to arrive during Tuesday’s lunch hour.

Tex’s Tacos describe themselves as “Nueva Texicana”, a fresh yet traditional take on Tex-Mex cuisine. Their menu features pork, chicken and beef offered in both tacos and quesadillas.  I first tried their pastor de puerco taco. This is roast pork with chilies served with pineapples, cilantro and grilled onions. The pork was tender and flavorful. The chilies and cilantro provided a nice contrast to the sweet pineapple. I devoured this taco.

Next came the carne asada taco, which felt a little more traditional to me. The menu says the beef is “citrus-splashed” but I didn’t taste it. It wasn’t quite as tender as I would have liked, but was alright. The smear of guacamole was creamy and delicious but wasn’t enough to save this taco. I enjoyed the pork far more.

Their menu also has a barbecue pork taco made with Q from LowCounty BBQ. This is a catering outfit with roots in this area. I regret not trying it.

As for side items… don’t miss their lime fries. This is a simple but generous helping of perfectly cooked french fries. They are covered in a mix of lime zest, sugar and salt that is strangely addictive. They also use this on their chips and salsa. It’s the kind of flavor that you either love or hate. I loved it.

I hope this review encourages Tex’s Tacos and other food trucks to give Alpharetta a try. These guys pulled right up to the front door of a five story cubicle farm and did a pretty good business. When I left I counted 25 people in line waiting to order. We’re hungry for food trucks up here in Alpharetta! Please make that drive up GA-400 for us!
Tex's Tacos (mobile truck) on Urbanspoon

Bite – Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the best pork you’re likely to find in north Fulton won’t come from a barbecue joint. You’ll find it in unlikely places like Bite.

Their red chile pork tacos are getting a lot of attention, as they should. They start by rubbing pork shoulders with chiles before smoking them. Next the pork takes a bath in a mole sauce braise. The pork is then pulled and cradled in a corn tortilla. These morsels of swine are smokey, tender and bursting with flavor. The texture contrasts with a crisp pickled jalapeno slaw and a creamy goat cheese.

Bite quietly opened several months ago behind the Webb Bridge post office in the old Field Good location. It is an intimate space with just a handful of tables and some seating overlooking an exposed kitchen. I suggest sitting here to observe the chefs in action. You’re close enough to smell the lemon and garlic as they hit the saute pan.

The decor is modern yet sophisticated and classy. I appreciate Bite’s artwork, photography on wrapped canvas. The restaurant will certainly appeal to affluent women from east Alpharetta and Johns Creek, drawing those who might frequent restaurants like Never Enough Thyme or Wildflour. Their distance from the offices on Windward and Old Milton should keep most of the cubicle dweller riffraff away (with the exception of yours truly, who was willing to brave Windward’s bevy of four way stops to get here).

These guys at Bite are serious about layering flavors and textures in entrees like tacos, sandwiches and salads. The menu makes prodigious use of cheese, many varieties are smoked in-house. Check out the pimento cheese, made daily. Or how about the cotija cheese on their “street corn” side dish as an alternative to boring Parmesan. I’m by no means a cheese snob, yet I enjoyed this cheesy grilled corn.

Bite’s steak sandwich both impressed and disappointed. The combination of caramelized onions, white cheddar and a sweet fig sauce on ciabatta bread was fantastic. The use of filet medallions was impressive on a sandwich, yet the steak wasn’t very tender. Unable to shred them as I was biting, I was left with entire medallions in my mouth. I was forced to discretely consume a pretty big hunk of cow that I’d hoped would have lasted for several bites.

However, none of the sides have disappointed. Bite’s potato salad hits your taste buds with a pungent tarragon kick. You can’t go wrong with the pickled jalapeno slaw or the aforementioned street corn.

Bite is a winner and will likely add themselves to many a favorite restaurant list. Try them before they completely overwhelm this small space. I’m surprised they don’t have lines out the door.
Bite on Urbanspoon

Midway Meal House – South Forsyth

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

“I really want to like this place.” It’s an over-used cliche, usually written with some guilt, that often accompanies negative restaurant reviews. I’m certainly not above invoking this phrase, especially when it comes to Midway Meal House. Why? Because I do indeed want to like this place.

Who wouldn’t want to like a charming old farmhouse with a large wrap-around veranda? Who wouldn’t appreciate the history of this building? And who wouldn’t respect the Meal House’s story of rising from the ashes, literally.

I do indeed want to like Midway Meal House. I like the nostalgia I feel here, something that’s hard to find in the suburbs anymore. And I like the friendly atmosphere and hospitality. Unfortunately I cannot say much positive about their food and what they’ve done to southern cuisine.

I love the meat and two veggie format of many southern restaurants. At Midway Meal House $7.25 will let you choose from several meats and a long list of veggies plus some bread. Described by the menu as “delicious homemade vegetables,” these sides are anything but. Many taste straight from a can. Liberal applications of salt and pepper are usually necessary to make their beans, corn or instant potatoes suitable to my palate.

It is a shame that a country cooking restaurant with such history doesn’t make better use of locally grown produce.

Several years ago Midway Meal House burned. It was a fierce fire that nearly reduced the place to the foundation. They wasted little time and rebuilt. Unfortunately the owners passed up a golden opportunity to transform the restaurant into something great. The rebuild was nearly identical, leaving behind the same drab interior and a menu to match. With a new look and fresh new approach to the menu, the Meal House could have really shined. Today, not many years later, the building is starting to look rundown and dirty. It’s really a shame.

I’d imagine breakfast at Midway Meal House is a better experience, but I’ve never been in the AM. And their dessert menu, featuring truly homemade cakes and pies, deserves some recognition. But serving canned veggies is inexcusable. With south Forsyth’s restaurant scene finally coming of age, the Meal House is being left in the dust.

I welcome your comments and criticisms. But remember… I really want to like this place!

Midway Meal House on Urbanspoon

Heavenly Gourmet Popcorn – Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Popcorn? Gourmet popcorn? It may be America’s favorite snack food, but it usually isn’t mine. When the entire movie theater is binging on buckets, a handful of popcorn will satisfy me most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate buttery/salty combinations. There’s just something about the texture of popcorn that keeps me from consuming it in significant quantity.

So I was a bit hesitant to try Alpharetta’s new popcorn joint. Yet with over 100 varieties available at Heavenly Gourmet Popcorn, I figured there must be something that would appeal to me.

And if my multiplication was correct, I counted about 120 varieties at Heavenly. A seemingly endless wall contains shelves of plastic storage bins. They appear a bit odd at first. These bins look like something you might buy at Target to store knickknacks in your basement. The rest of the store has an upscale feel but the bins do not.

Nevertheless, the bins and shelves divide 120 flavors into three categories; cheese, candied and gourmet. You’ll want to take advantage of the free samples as it is difficult to decide on a flavor. On my first trip I went straight to the gourmet choices. Most flavors here contain chocolate, caramel or other rich combinations.

I settled on their “heavenly crunch” flavor which is a best seller. They start with caramel popcorn, then cover with milk chocolate followed by a white chocolate drizzle. It’s way over-the-top and sinfully delicious. About half way into the very smallest size (called “snack size”) I cried uncle. This is a spoiled dinner waiting to happen.

Dill pickle popcorn enjoyed in my cubicle

On my second visit I went for the lighter cheese varieties. A sample of their cajun flavor didn’t appeal to me. With some reluctance I bought a bag of dill pickle popcorn. Again, this is a best seller but I had doubts. The first few kernels left strong dill flavors on the back of my tongue. But before long I was addicted! I snacked on it for the rest of the afternoon in my cubicle, wishing I had purchased a bigger size.

The folks at Heavenly make all 120 varieties in-house. A good portion of their business is sure to be corporate and mail order clients. They also might not be a bad choice for a party or event. On one visit I overheard someone asking about popcorn for a wedding reception.

Small quantities are certainly available but tend to be on the expensive side. Their snack size bag (about the size of a soft ball) will set you back five bucks for a gourmet variety. It’s an expensive snack no doubt. I’d probably only order this again if I were having a serious craving. The dill pickle popcorn is something I could see buying on a regular basis, and certainly in a larger size.

So pick up a bag of Heavenly’s popcorn and bring it back to the office. Even if they don’t enjoy it, you’re co-workers will still thank you. At least you won’t burn a bag in the break room microwave.

Heavenly Gourmet Popcorn is located at 875 N Main Street, Suite 305, right next to Taco Mac.

Smashburger – Windward

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

And you thought the burger craze was over.

Join me in welcoming the latest fast-casual burger concept de jour to Alpharetta. Metro Atlanta’s third location opened this week on Windward Parkway. You can find them in the shopping center with Einstein Bagels across the street from the HP campus.

Phil Wilkins owns the Atlanta Smashburger franchises and has plans for as many as 30 locations. Right now you’ll only find stores in Buckhead and Johns Creek. Kennesaw and Sandy Springs are next, although Wilkins told me they are looking at real estate in Cumming.

Smashburger has an interesting tradition of letting each large franchise owner create their own unique burger. For example, Chicago’s burger is served on a pretzel bun. Atlanta’s own burger features a peach barbecue sauce, pimina cheese, vidalia coleslaw and grilled jalapenos. By themselves, each ingredient is interesting. Mixed together, the combination is a pretty big mess that completely overpowers the burger itself. It would probably make a delicious sandwich without the hamburger meat.

And speaking of the burger… Smashburger gets their name from their cooking process. They take a ball of meat and smash it on the griddle for twenty seconds. The goal here is to create a sear while hopefully not squeezing every bit of juicy flavor from it. The burgers do have some sear but I would have liked more.

My biggest disappointment with the smashing is that I didn’t get to see it! If you’re going to give your restaurant a verb in the name, I want to see someone performing that verb. Sell the sizzle, right? With a closed kitchen, patrons are left to their imagination when it comes to the cooking process.

The rest of the menu contains a few chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and a salad or two. As for side items, I really enjoyed their Smashfries. These are shoestring french fries tossed with rosemary and olive oil. On my two visits this week the fries have been prepared well; crispy (even with the olive oil) yet soft in the middle. The rosemary seasoning really makes these fries shout.

Smash also offers milkshakes made with Haagen Dazs ice cream. The peach shake I tried as a sample was delicious and worth an order next time.

So after all the smashing is over and your burger is consumed, what’s the verdict on this place? It’s just an ok burger. Don’t expect some kind of transcendental experience that takes you to burger nirvana. Aside from the smashing thing, I don’t see a lot that separates this burger from many others available in this crowded market.

Disclosure: I received a free meal from this restaurant at their pre-opening event. You can read my disclosure policy on my about page.
Smashburger on Urbanspoon

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