Smashburger in Fairfax
Never been to and only heard of this place recently. Is this like a Five Guys or Z-Burger? How does it compare? FWIW, I find Z-burger and Five Guys very similar (my favorite of fast food burger joints, which I seldom go to), but an edge goes to Z-Burger since they have shakes (it baffles me a burger place would not have shakes).
Went for lunch today - it was packed with a line out the door. Very good service. We enjoyed the BBQ bacon burger and the avocado club burger. The regular was big enough for us - but the big would probably be many people's choice (and you can make any size burger a double). They have interesting buns - more of a choice than most places. Good toppings. The shakes looked good, but I didn't try them. The veggie frites (green beans and carrots) were tasty. The onion straws were good - but I could have had more of them. I thought the price was fine for what I got, though.
We ate outside and really enjoyed our meal!
Went for lunch and dinner. Its busy all the time.
The burgers were good. I still prefer Shake Shack, which uses a combination of sirloin, chuck, and brisket in their burger patties from Pat LaFrieda. I might be wrong but Smashburger tastes like it only uses chuck (like Five Guys and In-and-Out).
I tried the Capital and the Classic. The Capital burger I wasn't impressed with, but the brioche bun was good. With the cheese, and onions, etc it wasn't able to get that smashed crust that is their name sake. I think they use the Miraclean griddles, that Shake Shack uses; that get real hot, and give you that nice crust. Unlike the Capital, the Classic had the crust as advertised, and was the better burger.
For the Classic the cheese didn't have that melty-gooey quality that's in In-and-Out. Which was disappointing. It was just normal American cheese that stayed nice firm and square on my burger. But there was an option for Sharp Cheddar, (I don't think its 6-mo aged cheddar cheddar like Elevation Burger).
Service was excellent. They assign you a table at the register so you're not fighting for it. They also come around to your table as well to check on things and ask if you need a box for your food. Its in-between a waiter and fast food experience, but without the tipping.
Personally, I would say its better than Five Guys, its kinda Shake Shack-lite in its burger style. But based on mood and preferences I could see people preferring Five Guys style burgers. The beef and tomato quality is nowhere near Shake Shack neither is the cheese, but SmashBurger might be in a better location depending on where you live.