When Smashburger opened up in Bath (directly opposite MacDonald’s, which is surely an invitation to throw down) I have to admit, my first thought was that we weren’t exactly lacking places to get a good burger already. Bath has plenty to choose from (even if you don’t count Maccy D’s). Having said that, a really good burger is a wonderful thing, so when Smashburger invited me down to write a review, I knew I had to see for myself what they had to offer.
Bath’s new burger joint is a cavernous unit spread over two floors, with an industrial feel to the décor – chunky exposed ducts and struts on the high ceilings, shiny white tiled walls, exposed filament bulbs – trimmed with bright splashes of lipstick red, from the neon signs to the banquettes in the booths. The whole of the front is one big window, flooding the space with light, and there’s a long counter with stools for anyone who likes a little people-watching with their food.
Speaking of which, Smashburger’s USP is the way their burgers are made – the beef is shaped into a ball first, and then ‘smashed’ onto a searing hot, buttered grill with a flatiron, so that the burger ends up thin and crispy. To be honest, I’m not really sure it’s better than the usual thick, juicy burger, but it was still pretty tasty. I went for the BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar, piled up with crispy onions, while my dining companion picked the Avocado Club, with bacon and ranch dressing. The portions are reasonably generous and there’s plenty of flavour going on. The only thing that really annoyed me was that the burgers are served in trendy wire baskets, which makes it almost impossible to eat them with a knife and fork. And I know, I’m a loser for wanting to eat my burger with a knife and fork, but when you have a nice top on, sometimes you need to eat a little more carefully.
Alongside, we ordered a double portion of Smashfries, which come with garlic and rosemary – they were yummy, although they’re also tossed in olive oil so they were a little greasy for my taste. To wash it down, my dining companion hit the bottomless soft-drink machine (which kids big and small will love – it offers over 100 combinations, so you can chug sugary drinks until you don’t have a single tooth left) while I decided to keep it classic and go for a chocolate milkshake. This is what I really want to talk about, because it was, and I promise I am not exaggerating, the best chocolate milkshake I’ve ever had.
Smashburger milkshakes are hand-spun, made with Haagen Dazs, and topped with whipped cream, and they’re gloriously thick, creamy and indulgent. Just thinking about it now is making me crave another one (note to self, find out if Smashburger do milkshakes to take away). This was the absolute highlight of my meal and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
|The best milkshake ever|
All in all, I thought the burgers were pretty good – the ingredients were of a good standard, the portions were fair (I like that you can choose between a regular and a large burger, depending on how hungry you are) and the price was reasonable, starting from between £6 and £8 for burgers and around £3 for fries. If I’m honest, I’m not sure Smashburger are doing anything particularly new or original, but what they are doing, they’re doing well. And I’m definitely going to be back for another one of those milkshakes.