Smashburger lands in Edmonton

The number of fast casual burger restaurants in Edmonton just keeps on growing. On July 3, 2013, the Edmonton area’s first Smashburger franchise opened up in Sherwood Park, joining the likes of Fatburger, Five Guys, Rodeo Burger and The Burger Joint in an increasingly crowded burger scene. In many ways, it’s not surprising – North America’s love affair of the hamburger is well-documented, and with palates leaning more towards fresher alternatives, those offering something a step above drive-thru fare are blossoming. The Sherwood Park location is Canada’s third Smashburger, adding to Alberta’s glut, with two already situated in Calgary.

Mack and I attended the media reception in early July, eager to see how Smashburger would differentiate itself from others. It turns out, Smashburger attempts to distinguish its beef burgers with its proprietary cooking process: meatballs, rolled fresh daily, are “smashed” on the grill to order, a method, they promise, provides a caramelized sear that  seals in the patty’s natural juices.

We were invited to order whatever we desired from the menu, a very generous offer. Featuring a number of pre-designed beef and grilled chicken burger creations, salads, and sides, prices ranged from $5.99-$8.49 for burgers. For more creative (or particular) eaters, Smashburger also offers a “create your own” option.

Mack immediately gravitated towards the Edmonton burger (each city features a recipe inspired by regional flavours). In this case, a beef or grilled chicken patty is topped with grilled onions, cheddar, BBQ sauce and a fried egg. A Saskatoon berry shake and poutine are also exclusive to the Canadian menu.

I decided to stick with the Classic Smash, with American cheese, Smash sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion on an egg bun. Mack chose a poutine side, while I chose the Haystack onions.

We were happy to run into Su and Joveena, two of Edmonton’s prolific #yegfood tweeters. Dinner is always better with good company!

Smashburger

Su and Joveena

Portions were generous, and everything was delivered piping hot. Both of us enjoyed our respective burgers, but save my sweet egg bun, I’m not sure I’d be able to identify the burger in a blind taste test. I did appreciate that the Smash sauce was given as a side, which gave me control over how much I wanted to add, but Mack commented how much it reminded him of a certain “special sauce” at a rival quick-service giant.

Smashburger

Edmonton Burger and poutine

The sides, however, left something to be desired. Shoestring fries are not ideal for poutine, as they aren’t as suited to be weighted under the layers of gravy and cheese. My Haystack onions were more like the onion straws used as a textural addition to burgers, instead of the substantial battered and fried rings I’m used to. They were also incredibly salty. I’m sure this is just a personal preference, but I prefer my onion rings whole and not shredded.

Smashburger

Classic Smash and haystack onions

The service that night was over the top, as expected, though I’d be curious to see how it has toned itself down as the staff settle into a more typical rhythm.

Located in Emerald Hills, one of the newer neighbourhoods of Sherwood Park, it was a bit of a shame the Edmonton attendees didn’t decide to carpool before hand. The drive was close to 45 minutes from downtown in rush hour traffic, so it would be doubtful we’d undertake such a commute if we didn’t already have plans in the area. That said, if we were looking for a fast casual burger in Sherwood Park, we wouldn’t mind returning to Smashburger just for their namesake dish. Thanks to the restaurant for the invitation!

Want to give it a try yourself? For a chance to win $25 in Smashburger gift certificates, leave a comment below (with a valid e-mail address) with the name of the burger you’d order off of the local menu. Contest closes on July 26, 2013 at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and contacted by e-mail.

EDIT (July 28, 2013): Congratulations to Jessica for winning $25 in Smashburger gift certificates! Thanks to everyone who entered.

Check out the plethora of reviews from other local bloggers: Andrea, Courtenay, Eva, Diane, Karlynn, Lillian, Liv and Phil.

Smashburger
#530, 500 Emerald Drive, Sherwood Park
(780) 410-0999
Hours: 10am-10pm daily

30 thoughts on “Smashburger lands in Edmonton

  1. Sharon, our family ate at smashburger last week, I had the classic as I love my burgers basic. The burger was good, one of the better ones out there I thought. The 4 year old also gave his a thumbs up, virtually polishing it off, he’s not usually a burger kind of kid so they are now held in toddler high esteem.

    Mrs Abdu was in the throws of morning sickness…..even though it was 6pm, so she had fries only. Been a skinny fries kind of girl she enjoyed them and hopes to try the veggie burger next time (good veggie burgers are hard to come by!)

    Signing out

    Abdu (mcook@arrow.ca)

  2. The Classic Smash would be my top pick- gotta have cheese on my burger. I also like that they have milkshakes, which is a perfect pairing with a burger (Five Guys doesn’t offer them.) Hope to try it soon.

    -Liesel

  3. I’d have to try the BBQ, BACON & CHEDDAR burger, maybe with some added avocado because I love avocado on just about everything these days. Hopefully you can glean my email via my Disqus profile, I don’t want to post it directly.

  4. I would try the truffle mushroom swiss but only because I love mushrooms with my burgers. HMMMMM

  5. I’d like to try the spicy baja! I am not fond of the location either, although I hope they get enough business to open a second one closer to the core.

  6. Great article. 🙂 I’d definitely order the Edmonton Burger just cuz of the name to make sure it represents us well. 🙂 Definitely enter me in for the GC as I’d love to try them out!

  7. I would definitely choose the Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger. It sounds heavenly. I also love the idea of the local flavors that they’re incorporating in the menu. Can’t wait to give the Saskatoon Berry Shake a try!

  8. I would love to try the Spicy Baja! And the location is perfect for me, 5 min from my house ;). Not sure what route you took Sharon, but I can get there from downtown in rush hour in about 20-25 min!

  9. I’d follow in Mack’s footsteps and try the Edmonton burger! I’d probably skip the poutine though, we’ve got too many other places to get good poutine here to bother with this one. Regular fries for me please.

  10. I’d give the place a go if I were in the area, that Truffle Mushrooms Swiss sounds great. Isn’t it a myth though that the Maillard reaction “seals in juices”?

  11. And Thank You for your company too Sharon! Wonderful food & great conversation; I felt so blessed!

  12. I love ordering from these custom burger places like Smashburger, Burgerworks (aka Fulton Market) (sigh…RIP), and South St. Burger company, because I always have to ask other places to take off the processed cheese, or tomato, or especially the horrible sauces on them. Rather than choose one of their already designed burgers, I go custom: chicken burger on a multi-grain bun with lettuce, grilled onions, regular onions, aged swiss cheese, and a little bit of BBQ sauce, with some pickles on the side. And sweet potato fries on the side too (hold the extra salt). Now I’m hungry, and too far from Smashburger right now…

  13. I’d try the truffle mushroom swiss. I love mushrooms and swiss cheese on a burger!!

  14. I would LOVE to try the Edmonton burger. Where I grew up, an egg on the burger is a must!

    PS I love your blog. I always read your blog to find out about the latest and greatest restaurants in Edmonton!

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