Smashburger Opens on University Parkway

And Chef Judi ponders the ultimate burger question: how do you like your patty?

By Judi Gallagher July 6, 2016

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OK, I admit it. I prefer a big juicy hamburger. The kind you need two hands to eat and can barely stretch your mouth around. So when I heard Smashburger was opening on University Parkway, I immediately went out to four other burger places to compare.

Smashburger is pretty good. The meat is fresh Angus, which you can clearly taste, and although this blog is about hamburgers, the shakes--made with my favorite ice cream, Haagen Dazs--are delish. (Strawberry was my favorite.) But I digress... back to the burgers.

There's a large variety, with special-diet options like Udi’s gluten-free buns and a fiery black bean burger that demands some credit. We tried several burgers, with the cheeseburger with truffle mushrooms and Swiss on an egg bun winning big time. A classic burger with Smash sauce was pretty good, made better with a side of Smash fries. Now those are really good--thin fries topped with olive oil, garlic, rosemary and, of course, a good dose of salt.

Smashburger fries wayuty

 Smashburger's only been open a few weeks, but with the lines and people who are already return guests it most likely will be a force on the Suncoast.

And if you're craving a big, juicy burger, here are some of my faves:

Patrick’s, on Main Street in downtown Sarasota, still has it. A medium rare-cheddar burger is big, juicy and oh-so good. Right up there, in a more gourmet style, is the bacon-wrapped, boursin-stuffed burger with killer house made steak fries at Painter's Palate on North Tamiami Trail. 

Libby’s bacon jam burger with truffle fries also reigns high on my list.

Knick’s Tavern's burger is solid, as is Bogey’s in Venice, which cooks its burger to a perfect medium-rare.

Unfortunately, Shakespeare’s is long gone from almost all our best burger lists. The cook left and you can’t get a burger without it being cooked well-done, no matter how hard you try. Sad but true.

So here's the burning question: do you prefer a smashed or a jumbo burger patty? Leave a comment and let me know!

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