YGE: Hungry customers cram in to Smashburger

By Joe Bennett

August 30, 2012 Updated Aug 30, 2012 at 7:59 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Burger lovers are lining up in Bloomington to find out what sets Smashburger apart from the countless other fast food joints to choose from.

"It's seared for 10 seconds on the grill with a special smasher, which will caramelize the outside," said Smashburger franchisee Doug Cekander. "There's nothing out there like it right now."

The restaurant goes beyond burgers.

The menu includes salad and a black bean veggie burger for herbivores.

They also have Vienna beef hot dogs (the only hot dog worth eating in my opinion) and chicken sandwiches.

"They flatten the chicken breast so it can cook in a couple minutes," Cekander said. "It will stay tender and moist."

"I think my husband does a great job grilling," bragged Jenny Denham of McLean. "He's the best. Good job, Chip! But these were very comparable, so they were great."

"It was very good seasoned, and a very juicy burger," said Dave Andrew. "Very good."

As for the shakes, Alexis Wiley of Bloomington said, "It tastes like they actually put their heart and soul in it. Tastes really good."

Photographer Doug Smith had the big Classic with haystack onions and a chocolate shake.

He said it was so good he could have eaten two.

I had the regular Barbeque Bacon and Cheddar with seasoned sweet potato fries and a chocolate strawberry shake.

The burger was good, though it did remind me a lot of a buttery burger from a certain competitor. And the next time I order a shake, I will go with one flavor instead of the mix.

As for the sweet potato fries; they're fries made from sweet potatoes, so they're awesome.

Our meals plus two drinks came to $27.70.

Also, a beer selection is coming soon to Smashburger, so as their t-shirt says, "Get Smashed."

But do it responsibly.

Smashburger is at 1401 North Veteran's Parkway in Bloomington.

They are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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