REVIEW: Smashburger – “more Five Guys than fine dining but well worth a visit”

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Nestled in Newcastle’s bustling Eldon Square, Smashburger is one of a plethora of restaurants to have opened in the past year. It’s nestled amongst neighbours as talked-up as Chaophraya and as well-established as TGI Fridays and Ask. But, does Newcastle really need another burger joint?

I immediately went with the Truffle Mushroom Swiss; a beef pattie with truffle mayo, sautéed crimini mushrooms and aged swiss cheese, on an egg bun. Truffle oil is one of those flavours that can be overkill if done wrong and it’s usually an indulgence. But, on a burger? I couldn’t pass on that one.

A friend plumped for the Spicy Jalapeno Baja – fresh jalapenos, guacamole, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo on a spicy chipotle bun. They were out of guac (a first-world problem if there ever was one) but our waiter willingly substituted it for haystack onions. A fair compromise. We opted for sweet potato fries and Smash fries, which are a pretty dreamy combo of fries with rosemary, italian olive oil and garlic. Both were a great mix of old and new, and the haystack onions were a more-ish addition.

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Ending the night on a high, the chocolate Oreo and strawberry milkshakes were to die for. Well worth the calories if you fancy getting your Pink Lady or T-Bird on.

The service on the night wasn’t the most efficient or attentive and the restaurant wasn’t busy. Although our food came fast, the shakes were forgotten until we’d finished eating. Fingers crossed it’s still just experiencing teething problems.

In what is quickly becoming a saturated market in Newcastle, Smashburger plays to its advantages; it’s more fast food than fancy cuisine, more Five Guys than fine dining. However, whereas it’s surroundings are classic burger joint, tastes like truffle mayo and applewood smoked bacon elevate it to more than just your regular burger and fries. It didn’t quite smash it out of the park on this occasion, but this place is definitely worth a visit.

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