Ok, back in the game after completing one seriously grueling quarter in school. I once blogged on Facebook “Death – by homework”. It got several “likes”. And it never helps when life continues to roll boulders in your direction.
Today can actually be looked upon as a good thing; I now have one less Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registration notice that will arrive in my mailbox each year. I have so many vehicle registrations due every year (yet, not nearly as many as some people I know), that I have the California DMV as one of my “Favorites” on my web browser. Today one of my vehicles was retired from service. Unfortunately, it was still a dependable form of transportation, but it wasn’t worth the money necessary to bring it back into California emission standards (smog test). After a somewhat lengthy process of playing “mail tag” with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) , I finally met all requirements necessary to have the vehicle smashed at an authorized dismantler and get $1000 bucks that we will put toward the purchase of something else. Once approved the first thing the dismantler does is quickly tag your vehicle.
On the way back, a quick trip to buy groceries traveled us past some quick-stop eateries for lunch. A mention of Rubios for a quick fish taco steered us in the direction of Smashburger. My son and I have never eaten there and stopped to look at the menu. A few items caught my eye so I went in to investigate. I however, have heard that they are not that good, and a bunch of hype. Well, at least in Southern California, the “gourmet” burger food joint is quickly growing into a popular trend, with another burger place (any burger place) sprouting up seemingly on every corner (Crazee, Burger Lounge, Woody’s, 5-Guys to name a few); and everyone’s opinion is just like another person’s unmentionable body part, “everyone’s got one, and they all stink”.
Today I met Brie, the shift lead (or something like that . . ., manager) at the Smashburger in Vista, CA. I asked her, “why Smashburger?”; hoping to get a thorough explanation of why I should eat at Smashburger instead of getting my fish taco on. She explained their concept, philosophy and method of “smashing” the hand-rolled burger portion (5oz or 7oz) under a press on the grill. Smash Burger offered these statements from their website, “Our handcrafted burgers are smashed, seared and seasoned to order, using our fresh, never frozen 100% Certified Angus Beef® . . . Every great burger needs a companion, and our selection of signature sides — like our Smashfries hand-tossed with garlic, rosemary and olive oil, hand-breaded Haystack onions and fried pickles — are the perfect complement to any meal . . . Every Smashburger menu is specially crafted to reflect the tastes and flavors of your city or state”. I felt comfortable that their menu was worth a go-’round and ordered the “San Diego, w/Fresh avocado, cilantro, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream and chipotle mayo on a torta roll served with a wedge of lime”. Brie, delivered our plates outside to us and explained that the lime additionally squeezed on the toppings helps create the ultimate effect of the regional flavor. I squeezed and I agree. A delicious burger with a tender and flavorful, medium-well (as described by Brie) beef patty that allowed all of the ingredients to play into the regional flavor. It was good! I tried the Haystack onions . . . meh. I couldn’t seem to get a decent mouthful without getting my fingers coated in the horseradish dipping sauce that was not prepared on site; but made, so I was told by Brie, exclusively for Smashburger. I did not really care for them. My son ordered another burger and the Smashfries. Those were some of the best fries I have ever had. A unique flavor that was just a bit lighter than the very common gourmet trendy burger joint’s Truffle, Parmesan or just garlic style of flavoring for fries. Smashburger also had a nice, yet different selection of various iced teas for beverages. It was a unique touch. It was early that day and Brie made several stops out to our table to ensure we were happy and asking us if we needed anything. Brie was very friendly and quite knowledgeable about the Smashburger enterprise. Brie gave us great customer service and added to our overall enjoyable experience. Smashburger was good and unique. I have a feeling they’ll be around for a while.
After a full day of running around and getting much needed small things (work) done around the house, it was time to relax and put our feet up. Needles to say, that martini resulted in the same destruction as the car first mentioned in this story. That’s why I’m writing this the next morning.
I’ll give Smashburger a full truckload of smashed cars.