It seems that there’s always a new competitor out there in the field seeing to claim ownership of the best burger title, and this month a new competitor is throwing their hat into the competition here in San Diego. Smashburger, a chain of premium burger joints, has opened their doors of their very first store in San Diego county. Their first location is located in downtown La Jolla, home to some fine restaurants and premium shopping experiences. Perfect for a place offering superior quality burgers.
I’ve actually been to Smashburger twice now. The first visit was with a couple of friends. I met them there after I got done with work. They had driven up from San Diego and I was heading South from work. The restaurant itself wasn’t jam packed with people yet, but the parking in La Jolla was a challenge. The only unfortunate side about La Jolla is that parking and getting around there are not the most enjoyable experiences. So until Smashburger opens some more locations, the La Jolla location is just going to be an occasional visit depending on how willing I am to put up with frustrating parking.
The second visit I went with another friend who was out of town at the time I went with the first two friends and while we were there my friend had a suggestion for their manager and he came out and talked with us for a few minutes. Apparently the success of the new La Jolla location has been far exceeding expectations so they’ve been readily welcomed into San Diego. At peak meal periods they’re struggling to meet the demand and that’s always a good sign.
I quite enjoyed my experiences at Smashburger. On the first visit I tried one of their burgers with their signature fries. They’re shoestring fries with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. The fries were alright, although I think they would have been better if they were steak fries instead of shoestring style. The seasoning was a great combination, I liked that. The burger was really good as well. On my second visit , the second time, I opted to try out the fried dill pickles and they were just amazing. I really liked them and think I’ve found a new favorite side item. I’d never heard of frying pickles before. And on this visit I also opted to do the burger without the bun and it was really well prepared and delicious.
I would definitely recommend Smashburger as a place to go. And it seems they like to create custom menus for the various locations they’re in, so there are some exclusive choices available, for example at the San Diego location, they offer the “San Diego Smashburger” which comes with avocado, cilantro, onions, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and chipotle mayo on a torta roll and served with a wedge of lime. They also have a San Diego exclusive salad, so it does encourage even Smashburger devotees to have a reason to seek out Smashburger locations in other locals to try out the local burger or salad as opposed to the same menu everywhere. To check out San Diego’s menu, click here, and you can even click on other local menus to see what’s on offer in other places that Smashburger has set up shop.
And after having really gotten a chance to try some of San Diego’s known locations for great burgers, including Hodad’s, Five Guys Burgers, Canada Steak Burgers (I know, doesn’t sound like the place is in San Diego at all), Burger Lounge, In-N-Out, etc, I’ve come down to the conclusion, there is no such thing as the best burger ever, pretty much all these places do their own things that make them somewhat unique, and you have as much success comparing these burgers as you do apples and oranges. They’re all in a class on their own and depending on what you’re looking for a different burger will be the perfect one to meet your need. For example if you want the best reasonably priced fast food burger, then In-N-Out is tops. If you’re wanting organic grass fed beef, then Burger Lounge is going to be where you’re going. If I want an amazing bacon burger, then Hodad’s is where I’m going to go. And it seems if I want a good burger with fried pickles on the side, it’s going to be Smashburger hands down. As a burger loving guy, I’m glad to call San Diego home as there’s a wealth of great options for great burgers.