Smashburger (Mission Valley)



Our last review of Smashburger was almost three years ago and in that post I mentioned that it deserved another try maybe three years later.  So here we are, almost three years later visiting Smashburger once again.  Would we notice anything different?


The menu appears to be similar from our last visit.  If you aren’t familiar with Smashburger, they are a nationwide burger chain that pride themselves on quality, never frozen 100% angus beef, artisan buns, a variety of cheeses, and fresh produce.  They want to stand out from all the other fast food chains and deliver on a more specialized product, while not breaking the bank in the process.  We met up with Stephen, VP of Quality Control for Smashburger and he did mention that they are removing some of the items from the menu in order to focus on their other core menu items.  Things like chili and the fried pickles are going to be a distant memory soon so if you want to get them before they are gone, get in the car quick!  Some locations may still offer these but you’ll have to ask.


Stephen provided us with an SDF first!  He told us we were going to be smashing our own burgers.  We joked later on that if we didn’t like the burgers it was our fault because after all, we were the ones cooking it.  He made the first burger and then we had our turn smashing the next two.  It definitely was a unique experience going back in the kitchen seeing firsthand what their process was and it turned out to be a ton of fun!  They call it Smashburger because they use a special metal smasher to sear the meat and trap all the juices in the meat.  Behold, our smashing good creations!


We got three burgers to try out on this day:  a classic smashburger, spicy baja chicken burger, and a sin city burger(not on menu).  The classic burger was, well…classic.  It wasn’t over complicated and tasted like a simple burger should taste like without all the bells and whistles – crunchy fresh vegetables highlighted by a juicy beef patty.  They were served with the smashfries which are tossed with rosemary, olive oil, and garlic.


The spicy baja chicken burger had pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, and guacamole on a spicy chipotle bun.  We had to get the fried pickles since who knows when the next time we’d get to try these.  Between the classic and the spicy baja I prefer the classic.  There was a lot going on and I think for me less is more.  Maybe I couldn’t handle all the spice that it had going on.  Much like the beef patty, there was good flavor in the chicken.


Last up was the sin city burger.  We were told they serve this burger in the Las Vegas market.  Luckily they had the ingredients to make it for us in San Diego.  It is not for the faint of heart.  On top of the meat you have cheese, a fried egg, bacon, and fried onions.  Can’t fault Stephen for putting this together because we actually asked him about it and were curious.  Hopefully curiosity wouldn’t kill us cool cats later down the road.  On a per bite comparison, this one had the most flavor and wow factor.  But for me, I couldn’t order this on a regular basis and would have to go with the classic more times than not.  I have to say it was pretty damn tasty!  Maybe next time grab three friends and share this along with some other burgers so you can waddle your way home on your own.



As if three burgers weren’t enough for Michael and I, we also sampled a chocolate malt and mint cookie shake.  The chocolate malt tasted more like a typical chocolate malt you’d get at a diner.  The mint cookie was more cookies and cream than mint, but I didn’t mind it at all.  They are on the thinner side so if you prefer the shakes that force you to use spoons instead of straws these are not for you.

Three years later Michael and I had a great time smashing our own burgers and finding out what the Southern California Smashburgers are aiming for.  Stephen said he was brought in to ensure a more consistent experience and I believe he’s done that at the Mission Valley location.  Service seemed to go smoother and the product was more polished this time around.  So if you are in the mood for a good sit down burger joint, give Smashburger a try…just don’t expect Michael or I in the kitchen next time!  😛  Special thanks to Lauren over at Bolt and Stephen for reintroducing us to Smashburger!  We shall be back to smash another day.


7610 Hazard Center Dr.San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 684-1550

Smashburger Mission Valley on Urbanspoon

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About Darren

Fooood! I love it if you can't tell already. I love everything about it. The taste, the smell, the look, the feel, the satisfaction, the gratification, and ultimately: the fun! I've been in San Diego for about 10 years now and it amazes me that there are still places to uncover. Traveling, eating, and taking pictures of food has always been a hobby of mine. So naturally Michael and I thought it made sense to share what we found with all of you. I tend to side with the savory but never shy away from a knock out dessert. If you have a place you think we haven't tried let us know! We're always on the lookout...

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One Comment on “Smashburger (Mission Valley)”

  1. What great looking milkshakes and food – you guys have fantastic reviews, this is the type of blog I love to find new places in cities where I don’t know anything. What a great looking restaurant, I hope I can make it out there my next trip!

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