A recent New York Times article examined the eating habits of the “millennial generation” and highlighted the struggles major fast-food and informal restaurants are having attracting those ages 18-30. The story says younger consumers “spend their dining dollars sparingly and in a more calculated way.” Including a focus on local and healthier options, it seems millenials are leaving behind the standard fast-food burger places for newer options like Shake Shack (which I hope to try soon in NYC), In-N-Out Burger (a mandatory stop everytime I’m in CA or Vegas) and SMASHBURGER.
If you didn’t know, Kansas City DOES have Smashburger! It’s in the same shopping center as Cheesecake Factory on 119th Street (just east of Metcalf) along with locations in Olathe and Manhattan. And it’s clear why many are spending their foodie-bucks here instead of those tired old drive-thru spots.
Word from a friend had preceded my visit, so I was expecting something pretty darn good. I walked in to the modern, minimalist space and headed to check out the menu. I was pleased to see that this franchise with locations in more than half the states (oh yeah, and Kuwait for the next time you’re there) listed the first item as the Kansas City Burger.
It was a tough pick since the other six burger options also sounded amazing. The bbq/bacon/cheddar, avocado club, truffle mushroom swiss, and spicy baja all had my attention for a short time. And of course there was the “build-your-own” option. The chicken sandwiches added nice variety and there were even a few entree salad selections to round out the menu.
The order was out to my table in just a few minutes and it looked so appetizing I couldn’t wait to dig in. My KC burger was stacked with A1 Steak Sauce, grilled onions, sautéed baby portabella mushrooms, aged Swiss and haystack onions on an egg bun. It reminded me of a traditional diner burger – thin but tasty patty and just a little greasier than I expected. The fried onions were superb and played a nice contrast to the sweeter grilled onions. Overall, this was a winner!
To make a good meal even better, those french fries were a show-stealer. Long, thin and crispy, they were perfectly cooked and seasoned. The rosemary and other spices gave them just a touch of gourmet taste, but with a the feel of good old “burger joint” fries.
I was quite content after my SMASHBURGER experience – full belly and happy tastebuds. Then I looked at my receipt and smiled even bigger. I had spent under $11 for a hearty burger, awesome fries and a soda. This is a place I will visit again!