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smashburger storeI am excited about Smashburger, a new burger chain restaurant, opening today in Columbia, SC. I was able to be at a tasting yesterday afternoon and try a number of the items first hand.

Mushroom Swiss Smashburger with friesDuring the tasting, I ordered the Mushroom Swiss Burger, Sweet Potato “Smashfries”, Nutter Butter Milkshake, and Fried Pickles. Yes, fried pickles. There was no such thing as just ordering or trying one thing. It didn’t hurt that the founder, Tom Ryan was egging us along and kept bringing yummy things to the table for us to try.

Smashburger is a national chain with East Coast locations in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and now South Carolina. In addition to seven kinds of “smashburgers” and a create-your-own-burger menu, there are six chicken burgers, four salads, two hot dogs, a veggie burger, a selection of 10 sides, and milkshakes and floats. A special menu item includes the Carolina Chili Burger, which has American cheese, beefy chili, chopped yellow onion, Duke’s Mayor and coleslaw on a pretzel bun.

Smashburgers, as the name suggests, are prepared by smashing a ball of 100% Certified Angus ground beef on a grill to “sear in the juices. And they do have a lot of flavor.

Smashburger tastesI also sampled the Spicy Baja Chicken Sandwich, Veggie Frites (flash-fried carrot sticks and green beans), and the Spciy Baja Black Bean Burger. If you like things with a little kick, the Spicy Baja Sandwich might just be for you.

Smashburger will rank as one of my favorite fast-casual burger places. I particularly liked the sweet potato “smashfries,” which are tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic.

Smashburger will be on the top of my go-to places for a burger and shake.

I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with free lunch. All opinions are my own.