Burger Review: Burgers N’ Smiles

Don't let the sign out front fool you

When we embark on our Burger adventures, we are always trying to find something a bit different and out of the way. Burgers N’ Smilers meets both of those criteria.

Now when you go to find Burgers N’ Smiles, don’t expect to see a big sign out front with their name on it. They are actually located inside Hoppin’ Chicken. Both are owned by the owners of Red Maple down the street. While the hours are limited now, they hope to expand them and the days as time passes.

When we go in, we are met by our waitress, Betty. Now let me tell you about Betty. She is one of the nicest, friendliest people on this planet. You can tell that she really does like her job and serving customers and making their experience great.

But your here for the burger. A new trend in burgers is the ‘smash burger’. I have actually never tried a smash burger unless you count the time that my friend was BBQ’ing some burgers, got mad, and smashed the heck out of them. Oh, the humanity!

I went with the Single Smash. Here is what it says about their featured burger, “Patties made in-house using USDA-certified sirloin and chuck seasoned and smashed on a sizzling hot griddle, layered with white American cheese, diced caramelized onions, pickles, and our house-made signature smiley sauce. Served on a toasted world-famous Martin’s potato bun.”

When Betty brought the food to our table, I have to tell you I was slightly disappointed in the presentation. It was brought in to-go containers even though we weren’t going anywhere! I can see if we ordered food to go, but we did not. I get it; to cut down costs, you don’t use plates. In that case, however, paper plates would work just fine and be easier to handle as a customer.

Since this was my first time experiencing a ‘smash burger,’ I really did not know what to expect. As I stared at the burger, I suddenly realized it was staring back at me. So yes, I smiled. They had burned a logo on top of the bun, which looked pretty cool. How could you do anyone else? And for the record, I hate smiling.

As I picked it up, I noticed a liberal amount of cheese and their house-made signature smiley sauce. I could tell the patty was fresh, but damn, it really was smashed and skinny. My first bite was surprisingly good, The patty, as small as it was, had great seasoning, and the flavors all sem to hit the spot. Because of the sauces, the burger and bun did not taste dry at all, and each bite gave me the same experience.

What was also nice was that the bun held up the entire time. You know how we feel about those disintegrating buns!

Now, here is the only reason I just can’t give it a Tops in Town. When I really enjoy a burger, and I mean really enjoy a burger, I bite into that nice medium rare fresh patty and taste the juices that flow from it. While yes, this was seasoned well and had some great taste, it just is not the same as a thick, juicy patty. But that’s it, the only reason. Will I go back again? Absolutely. For the same reason you enjoy a burger from In N’ Out, but you know deep down inside that the patty, while it is fresh, is just not a great juicy patty.

Smiles N’ Burgers is definitely a place you need to try. Especially if Betty is working!

One nice thing is the price. At $7.50, it is affordable in these times. They also have a double for $10.50, and considering the quality of their ingredients, it sounds like a very fair price.

Side Notes: For my sides, I tried both the Signature Smily Fries, which were described as “seasoned crinkle-cut fries topped with an aged cheddar cheese sauce, diced caramelized onions, and our signature smiley sauce,” and their Mac & Cheese.

The Smily Fries were also really good, they do not skimp on the cheese and toppings, but it would have been nice to have them in a larger container. The fries were crispy and helped together fine for the entire experience.

On the other hand, the Mac & Cheese was made fresh and not from a can, but it lacked any kind of flavor whatsoever. It was literally Mac & Cheese, nothing else. That could use a bit of a rewrite.

For our dessert, the always helpful Betty had an entire Gelato ice cream display. She was more than happy to give samples, and I had to settle for three scoops. Great flavors!

Burgers N’ Smiles is located at 3917 Riverside Drive, Burbank – (818) 860-4115. Only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 3:45 pm to 7:45 pm.

Burgers N’ Smiles receives: On the Marquee

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

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