The Capital Burger, the regional specialty for D.C. [Photographs: Brian Oh]

Earlier this month, Smashburger brought its signature clobbered burgers to the Washington, D.C. area with a location in Fairfax, Virginia. AHT readers should be familiar with Smashburgers eponymous technique by now, but for the uninitiated, the rapidly expanding Denver-based chain crafts its burgers by smashing the patties onto a buttered griddle with a custom smashing tool before being seasoned and flipped. As Kenji explains in his Burger Lab post, smashing burgers maximizes browning, resulting in a more flavorful burger. Smashburger's been reviewed favorably here in the past, so it's a welcome addition to the region.


As Smashburger extends its greasy, beef tendrils across the country, it brings a regional menu to each new location it opens. For the D.C. region, Smashburger is introducing The Capital Burger ($5.99 regular/$6.99 big). Made with the traditional Smash-patty, grilled onions, aged Swiss cheese, baby arugula, apple wood smoked bacon, tomatoes, and mayo on a brioche bun, it's a substantial, flavorful burger. The onions are nicely caramelized and provide a balancing sweetness to the generously salted meat and satisfyingly thick, smoky bacon. The arugula tops it off with a lighter texture than traditional lettuce. In the end, the Capital Burger presents a very well balanced burger that, truthfully, is a bit of a misnomer. A burger that would honestly reflect the tenor of election year D.C. should probably contain wildly disparate and conflicting ingredients. The paradox of the The Capital Burger's complementary flavors notwithstanding, it's tasty, pretty greasy, and worth checking out if you make it out to Fairfax.

With Smashburger comes more than just their trademark burger: There are also grilled and fried chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and a variety of sides (the rosemary and garlic seasoned Smashfries are particularly good and are reminiscent of Good Stuff Eatery's Village Fries). Smashburger has plans to expand to more locations in and around D.C. soon, so if you can't make it out to Fairfax, it shouldn't be too long before there's one that's metro accessible.


10160 Fairfax Boulevard #118, Fairfax, VA 22030 (map)
703-291-1264; smashburger.com


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