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.
Mandangos Sports Bar & Grill caters to game lovers of all stripes. Whether you fancy watching sports, playing darts, or challenging perfect strangers to eating contests, 25 TVs, including two 100-inch HD projectors, facilitate sports spectatorship as fans nosh on half-pound burgers fashioned from 100% ground chuck or juicy french-dip sandwiches mounded with slow-roasted beef. As tunes blare from an Internet jukebox boasting thousands of songs, patrons sink solids and stripes on three billiard tables or compete at shuffleboard to overturn the conventional wisdom that friction exists.
AJ’s Casual Eatery marries a menu of gourmet eats with speedy counter service in laid-back environs. Similar to diamond-studded snow tires, the curious mash-up boasts both practicality and refinement. Do-it-yourselfers can build their own six-ingredient salads ($6.75) or take on a house specialty such as the apple chicken walnut ($8.50). Signature sandwiches such as grilled cheese and bacon ($6.75) or a trio of tri-tip sliders under a canopy of crispy onions ($8) invite finger foodies to dive in. For those seeking sustenance a tad more toothsome, the chef carves up slabs of smoked tri-tip, roasted turkey, and marinated chicken, each served with two sides and cornbread ($8.95–9.95).
The chefs at Ninja Sushi wield culinary skill like a sword, cutting a menu of sophisticated sushi and Japanese entrees preceded by starters such as edamame ($3.95), calamari ($6.95), and fire balls of spicy red tuna and crab ($9.95) for a more adventurous nibble. Rolled sushi offerings include the irresistible Bad Boy roll and its renegade posse of spicy tuna, cucumber, and chili sauce ($10.95). Paying homage to famous local cylinders, the Sacramento roll blends salmon, masago, and the restaurant's trademark sauce ($9.95), and the philly roll packs east coast flair with salmon, avocado, and cream cheese ($7.95). Evening guests fill up on traditional entrees such as chicken teriyaki ($13.95) and vegetable tempura ($10.95).
Bravo!'s eatery menu builds a house of satisfaction upon the strong, savory building blocks of international flavors, fresh-baked bread, and unshakeable pasta. Set out on a scrumptious journey with an antipasti order, such as a half-dozen Bravo! stuffed mushrooms, filled to the buttons with Italian meats and cheeses ($6.95). To fully appreciate exactly what's in a name, order a heaping plate of traditional lasagna (layered pasta, meat sauce, ricotta, parmesan, and creamy béchamel sauce, $11.95) or the Thai chicken pasta—linguine with sautéed chicken, broccoli, peppers, and onions, topped with green onions, carrots, peanuts, sesame seeds, and mandarin oranges in a spicy peanut sauce ($11.95). Control mealtime destiny and play matchmaker with the “Choose a Sauce, Pick a Pasta” option, which features nine sauces, six pastas, and countless combos, including the bolognese bowties ($8.95) and white-clam whole-wheat angel hair ($9.95). Specialties and build-your-owns come with homemade bread (add a garden salad for $2.50), and you can visit the add-on corner for a tasty bit of mathematical aggregation such as six black tiger shrimp ($5.95), sautéed mushrooms ($2.75), or Italian sausage ($2.95).
For more than 50 years, Round Table Pizza has fired up the appetites of flavor-starved foodies with a host of appetizers, crisp salads, and topping-laden disks. Dough is made from scratch using wheat sourced from the company's family farms, ensuring that the bready foundations of mainstays, such as the barbecue chicken pizza ($17.90 for a medium), are fresh and familiar with agricultural machinery. House creation King Arthur Supreme takes charge of nearby chompers, guiding them through an invasion of pepperoni, italian sausage, salami, linguica, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, and more ($12.75 for a small). Meanwhile, the Wombo Combo tempts taste buds with crisp bacon, mushrooms, roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green onions, and a medley of magnanimously portioned meats ($7.30 for a personal size). Inspiration-stricken patrons can design their own pie or swing by the all-you-can-eat salad bar ($5.29) to adorn lush leaves with tasty toppings under the glow of the light bulb growing from their foreheads.