Sunday, May 18, 2014


SmashBurger is a new burger chain that recently opened near Duke. I was so impressed with the burgers upon my first visit that I decided to try their hot dog on my second visit. It turns out it’s not quite as simple as that.

SmashBurger Carolina Hot Dog
First, their hot dogs are only available on the kids’ menu. That’s OK, though. They don’t mind selling kids’ meals to adults. The problem is… the hot dog is served as so many kids’ dogs are served: naked. And that’s certainly NOT the Carolina Hot Dog way! 

The naked dog sits on a big bun. I'm sure lots of folks like the trend of making a big deal out of the bread, but for me, a hot dog only needs just enough bread to hold everything in. Bread is not the belle of the ball, that's where the toppings come in. In fact, I've been known to skip the bread, entirely.

Now the kind folks at SmashBurger—and I do mean kind… theirs is some of the best customer service I’ve experienced… it’s like the people who work there like to go to work!!—were willing to add chili, slaw, and onions on the side (mustard is on the table) so that I could construct a real Carolina Hot Dog, myself. And I did just that!

Once I had assembled everything, I had a pretty decent hot dog. The slaw (one of my favorite components, as you might have noticed) is really pretty good. The chili isn’t bad. It’s meaty but not all-meat. It reminds me of a chili that make have smashed beans or some other thickener. Again, not bad, but not wowing. The onions, too, were fine, but nothing that stood out.

Veggie Frites
On the side, SmashBurger offers three kinds of fries,fried onions, and side-salads, but the Veggie Frites, flash-fried green beans and carrot sticks, intrigued my taste buds most.

In the end, I really like SmashBurger, but considering the obstacles to ordering hot dogs and the fact that they didn't really knock me out, I’ll stick with their SnashBurger's burgers and leave the hot dogs to the kids' menu. . 

There are better places to have a hot dog.

My verdict: 3 weenies