Today was media day at the new Smashburger restaurant that's opening tomorrow in the Metro Centre in Peoria. Smashburger smartly understands that the way to a broadcaster's heart is through their belly with free food. So with that disclosure out of the way, and to my knowledge they haven't yet bought advertising on our station, here's my quickie review of Peoria's newest eatery.
They served us copious amounts of their many dishes. I opted for the Windy City burger on a multi grain pretzel bun, with haystack onions heaped on it. Plus, I went for a side of chilli cheese fries (see pic). I'd consider this place to be a gourmet burger restaurant. If you're looking for fastest and cheapest, this isn't the place. The Angus beef is never frozen. We went back in the kitchen to watch 'em smash the thick hockey puck of fresh meat with a specialty metal tool that sears the highly seasoned meat.
The fries are hand tossed, cooked in rosemary and olive oil and seasoned with garlic. I sucked down a delicious milk shake. All their shakes are made with Haagen Dazs ice cream. I described the meal as a "taste orgy." Every item is top end and flavorful. It's not a fast food restaurant, in fact, there is no drive through...and they do serve beer if you wanna go for the burger and beer combo. It may be hard to get a seat for a while, as it probably seats about 30-40.
Smashburger is a chain of high end burger joints that started in Colorado and is sweeping East. The Peoria franchise is its 200th nationwide. Smashburger celebrates the history of the American cheeseburger, but it's got plenty of other entrees, ranging from marinated chicken sandwiches to salads served in huge bowls, like I make 'em at home, but better tasting. I liked everything I sampled and will be back.