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.
Generations-old Thai family recipes and established Japanese cooking techniques continue to inspire the cooks at Fuji Hana & Thai Peppers. Hibachi chefs man the dining room's six tabletop grills and sear entire orders of scallops or filet mignon right in front of transfixed guests. Hibachi-grilled lobster tail even makes its way onto the restaurant's sushi menu, which includes 12 specialty maki selections that attempt to elevate sushi with sriracha sauce, dried cranberries, or cleverly disguised helium balloons. The Thai menu items remain more grounded in familiar flavor combinations, such as spicy basil fried rice and panang curry with coconut milk and dried chilies.
The colorful cuisine stands in stark contrast to the deep, soothing earth tones that fill the dining room. Hand-laid mosaic tiles complement the dark leather booths, and a 31-foot oak bar surrounds the sushi chefs and bartenders as they dexterously assemble orders.
Creative Loafing Atlanta declared Chin Chin the city's best Chinese restaurant in 2012; that's a title the eatery has held for the better part of a decade thanks to the skill of the chefs there. Diners catch glimpses of those chefs chopping vegetables, braising tofu, and glazing breasts of duck through a large pane of glass that separates the kitchen from the dining room. Rice soup simmers, and dumplings open blossoms of steam near plates of pork ribs covered in honey like the world’s wealthiest bear.
At Kuroshio Sushi Bar and Grille, sushi creations and other beautifully presented dishes could double as artwork. The "Crazy" roll, for instance, includes unagi and avocado rolled together, then topped with spicy snow crab salad and tobiko—but the bright reds, greens and, carefully presented rolls first serve as something to stare at in admiration. The menu includes a wide range of inventive specialty rolls, plus appetizers such as crispy egg rolls and calamari, edamame, and hot wok shrimp.
The staff at Blush Kennesaw love talking clothes with their customers. Whether it's face-to-face in their cozy shop, or through their Facebook page, they leap at the chance to share the latest dresses and tops with other fashionistas. And with an ever-changing stock of colorful sundresses, trendy knit tops, comfortable shorts, and glimmering accessories, coupled with a penchant for 1920s sports trivia, they always have something exciting to chat about.