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Smashburger Set to Rock Dallas

By • Nov 11th, 2009 • Category: Burger Blog

In my last post, I lamented the lackluster cheeseburger being served at the sparkly new home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys.  Perhaps a few of the players were unimpressed with the homefield concessions as well, because two gridiron gladiators have taken matters into their own meaty hands.


Leonard Davis, the Cowboys’ 6-foot-6, 353-pound right guard, leads a local business development group appropriately named BIGG Capital Holdings.  Next week, he’ll open the first of 30 Smashburger restaurants in the Metroplex.  “I’ve had great success in the NFL and my career with the Cowboys continues to drive me,” Davis told the Dallas Business Journal.  “But I wanted a business opportunity that made sense with my life after football.  Smashburger has all the right things in place to be a huge success in Dallas and nationwide.” The man who plays next to Davis on the O-line, Marc Colombo, has also signed on to invest and participate in 5 of the restaurants.


Smashburger is an up-and-coming player in the fast-casual gourmet burger biz (think Five Guys), with a handful of locations currently in just 11 states.  But the Colorado-based chain has plans to get over 200 locations up and running in the next 5 years, from California to New Jersey.


Smashburger’s goal is to be “Every City’s Favorite Burger Place.”  Jonathan McNamara took this tasty shot of the All-American Smashburger for the Phoenix New Times:


But the chain also tweaks the menu on a state-by-state basis, offering unique regional toppings exclusive to that locale.  For example, an Arizona Smashburger has habanero cheese, guac, and chipotle mayo.  The OK Smashburger (in Oklahoma) features fried pickles and buttermilk ranch dressing.  An Idaho Smashburger is topped with potato chips and served on a potato bun.  The new Dallas locations will follow suit, offering Big D-centric items like the DFW Dog and the Cowboy Cobb Salad, along with the open-faced Lonestar Smashburger, topped with cheddar, chili, and jalapenos.


But the real calling card for the chain is their cooking methodology.  Rather than serve oversized, superthick hockey puck-shaped burgs, Smashburger opts for a thin patty.  In the kitchen, a large meatball (half- or third-pounders) is dropped on a hot grill and then smashed with a heavy metal press, as shown above in Darin Mcgregor’s photo for The Rocky Mountain News.  This searing technique, Smashburger’s owners claim, seals in the juices and creates a tastier burger.


To celebrate their Dallas debut, Smashburger is hosting a “Rock Your City” competition.  Local bands are invited to submit a brief video performance via YouTube by Friday.  The winning band, as chosen by fans, will play a one-hour set at the restaurant in Addison (a Dallas suburb) on grand opening weekend.

In addition, the winning band will be “paid in Smashburgers” and enjoy a sit-down lunch with Davis and Colombo after the NFL season ends.  Davis and Colombo, along with fellow Cowboy lineman Cory Procter, in a nice bit of full-circle coincidence, happen to have their own hardcore heavy metal band called Free Reign:


From left to right, that’s Davis (guard/bass), Procter (guard/drums), Colombo (tackle/guitar/lead vocals), and non-NFL-star Justin Chapman (guitar).  It looks like all 4 of them know a good cheeseburger when they see it, so this could be a match made in heaven.

Dallas welcomes Smashburger on November 18.  For more on the “Rock Your City” contest, hit this.

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