I almost made a Smashburger live up to its name by accidentally dropping the bag during my brisk walk back to the office in today's 90-something-degree heat. Luckily, the Smashburgers survived and we were able to sample some of the offerings from this Colorado chain, which opened its first D.C. location today. (There's a location in Fairfax, too.) You can find Smashburger at 1739 Connecticut Ave NW.
The Capital Burger: We're not sure what makes this a "D.C." burger other than the six-year-old reference to then-Senator Obama's mention of arugula on the campaign trail. But the Capital Burger is attractive and juicy, with a hearty dose of Swiss, grilled onions, and applewood-smoked bacon in addition to the aforementioned greens. Like all burgers at Smashburger, it comes in two sizes, though we had trouble discerning which was larger at first glance; it seems like you get a little more meat with the "Big Smash" size for an extra dollar, at $6.99.
The Baja Burger: It has plenty of heat even if you get the fresh jalapenos on the side. We loved the concept of the chipotle bun, but ours was on the dry side. The Baja Burger comes with guacamole, red onion, and pepper jack cheese.
Veggie Fries: Smashburger's regular fries are shoestrings, and today's batch wouldn't have been a contestant in our fantasy burger-and-fries poll. But these veggie "fries" were surprisingly satisfying, albeit a bit oily. They come with a ranch dipping sauce, and didn't make us miss the potatoes at all.
Alas, Smashburger arrived too late to be a contender for our People's Burger.