If deprived of burgers to grip, buns grind their sesame seeds together in frustration and clap desperately to get the attention of nearby steaks. Keep bread from making a scene with today's Groupon: for $6, you get $12 worth of burgers and American fare at Smashburger. Choose from the following locations:
Smashburger's chefs cook each Smashburger ($4.99+) on the menu to order, in addition to crafting grilled and crispy fried white-meat Smashchicken sandwiches ($5.99+) and Smashsides such as rosemary-and-garlic-tossed Smashfries ($1.89–$2.99). The Smashburger pairs 100 percent Angus beef with veggies and cheeses on a toasted, buttered bun, and Häagen-Dazs shakes keep mouths air-conditioned ($3.99–$4.29). Eleven complementary sauces and seven toppings call to rumbling bellies, which quiet down in the presence of masterpieces such as the Spicy Baja burger ($5.99+) with its chipotle mayo and fiery jalapeños. Smashburger also creates regional sandwich darlings unique to its local outfits, such as the Texas burger ($4.99), comprising a seared patty, mustard, pickles, american cheese, and an "everything's bigger" bumper sticker.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.