When Friday night rolled around and we decided to go out for dinner, we thought we'd try someplace we hadn't been to, or at least hadn't been to recently. I had gone to the gym after work and H rode his bike in the basement so it was going on 8 p.m. when we finally found a parking spot at Stella Grill (owned by the same group who owns Desert Edge Brewery). It was really busy, with a 45 minute wait, so we moved on. The next stop was the Fiddler's Elbow in Sugarhouse. After driving around quite a while looking for parking (parking is a nightmare in Sugarhouse), the hostess at FE told us it was an hour wait at this point. The bar was full too, so we tried across the street at a place we knew nothing about, Flat Bread Neapolitan Pizzeria. We still know nothing about it because it too had a 45+ minute wait. At this point we were hungry and grumpy, so when we spied a Smashburger around the corner, we went there.
Smashburger is a chain, based out of Colorado (?), and their gimmick is irregularly shaped burgers that are "smashed" into patties. I ordered an "avocado club" burger with bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing, and a side of Smash Fries, which have rosemary, olive oil, garlic and sea salt; H ordered an All-American cheeseburger with a side of regular fries. Since this is a fast-casual place (meaning you order at the counter and get your own beverages, but servers bring your food out to your table) with no beers, we had fountain drinks. The burgers were juicy and very tasty, although on the small size for $6.99; my fries were delicious but H's were cold.
It wasn't what we'd had in mind when we set out for dinner but we were so hungry and fed up by the time we found Smashburger that we didn't care any more, plus the food is pretty good. I try to avoid chain restaurants if I can help it and am not a big fast food person anyway, but Smashburger will certainly do in a pinch and is quite a lot better than most similar places. That being said, we'll see if we can't do better the next time we try to go out to a new place to eat.