Since I first mentioned the phenomenon in August last year, for good or for ill, I have accepted more than a few invitations to sample various dishes and visit restaurants but I’ve continued what seems to be my favourite habit of not being invited to any burger chain store launches. Clearly not wanting to buck the trend, Smashburger opened it’s first UK store right here in Milton Keynes and I didn’t go. While waiting for the opportunity to get in there, I waited to see what the other Milton Keynes twitteratti made of the big event and the result was a somewhat underwhelming silence…. now I know we are not yet a culinary force to be reckoned with but there are enough of us about that I would have thought that someone would have gone to tell us what they thought.
So, the first shot seems to have fallen to me and I’m afraid, as the title of this post suggests, I can only do half a job because I only had half a meal. No fries, no sides, no drink. Just burger. But before we get there, lets start with the venue itself; firstly, most people I’ve spoken to haven’t got the foggiest clue where the damn place is.
Once you’ve found it at the Kingston Milton keynes chain restaurant block and taken a look inside you will see a clean, airy space that you’ll feel perfectly comfortable ordering a burger in. So far so good. If you, like me, have an unhealthy obsession with Googling stuff, then a couple of quick finger taps will show that the decor is a carbon copy of every single other Smashburger in the US but hey, if it works for Five Guys/Byron/McDonalds/Burger King/KFC…
So we’re not exactly oozing with individual character and flair then, but it is certainly different to the other burger joints around. But, when an overly enthusiastic member of staff thrusts a flyer in my hand offering me a free burger in exchange for an admittedly morally dubious pre-emptive Facebook ‘like’, who was I to say no?
So there you have it. A squashy sweet brioche bun, big, thick burger with american style cheese, lettuce, crinkle cut gherkins, raw red onion and the apparently ubiquitous monster sized genetically modified tomato slices. I know some people like them but a burger should never be adorned with ingredients that either destroy or wash out the flavour of the beef, so for me the onion and the tomato had to go. The burger proper then, was an unapologetically meaty slab of hunger destroying deliciousness. Well cooked and still juicy, but not thankfully pretentious or fancy. When you order, you know what you’re going to get, and it’s going to be big. And meaty. In short, it’s a pretty damn good burger.
Smashburger Milton Keynes: Review Verdict
However, the question you all really want to know the answer to is: is it better than Five Guys? Well, that will have to wait until I return for the rest because while I was impressed with the burger itself, there are a few more factors to consider. Both have the fantastic mixy drink machine (made famous here) and Smashburger are cheaper than Five Guys, but they are also a way out of town so hardly a convenient meal unless you are already nearby. However, Mrs P does have her eye on the milkshakes so, to be honest, watch this space because anything can happen once she gets her hands on that Haagen-Daz ice-cream…