New Burger Chain Could Be a Smash Hit - NBC Chicago

New Burger Chain Could Be a Smash Hit

Popular Denver restaurant set to open in Chicago



    New Burger Chain Could Be a Smash Hit
    Smashburger's halo of meat candy. Hungry yet?

    Chicago has been importing burger joints left and right lately: Sonic Drive-In from the South, Fatburger from the West Coast, and Five Guys from the East Coast. We can soon add another regional burger to the mix: Smashburger, whose huge, open-faced burgers have been described as a "halo of meat candy."

    The Denver-based burger chain announced Wednesday that it awarded an 11-unit franchise to Food for Thought Enterprises, a Chicago catering group. The first store is scheduled to open next spring.

    The chain's menu features third- and half-pound balls of Angus beef that are smashed flat on a buttered griddle. Customers then choose from a wide variety of signature buns and custom toppings. Burgers are served open-faced and priced from $4.00 to $6.99. The restaurants also offer chicken sandwiches, salads, flash-fried veggies, and chili.

    While we've never heard of them, Smashburger has been quite popular in the Denver area since it launched two years ago, and it's a big hit with Jason Sheehan, a Denver restaurant critic.

    "It happens to be a cheeseburger joint I really dig. You should be excited," Sheehan told the Tribune. The smashing of the beef "instantly carmelizes the patty and forms a halo of meat candy."

    Meat candy?

    Brian Rosen, president and COO of Food for Thought, swears the burgers are the best and throws down the gauntlet:

    "As a lifelong Chicagoan, and a lifelong burger eater, I have sampled burgers from all over the globe. And by far, this is the best one I've had. By. Far," he said, reports the TOC Blog.

    "No bulls—t," he continued. "The thing will rock your world. You can quote me on that."

    Those are some pretty strong words. Do you believe the hype? Have you already tasted a Smashburger? Leave your comments below.

    Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.