If you’ve been in and around Newcastle City Centre lately, chances are you’ll have taken a stroll through the multi-million-pound investment, that has been opening up and revealing restaurant by restaurant, in the Grey’s Quarter.
The redevelopment of a once tired and outdated market-style space has now been transformed into a modern, bustling destination for revellers in search of delicious global cuisines. Situated in the intu Eldon Square shopping mall conveniently located at the mouth of the stairs from the Monument Metro stop and the entrance by the Monument of Earl Grey himself it really is the central hub of the city.
We were invited to Smashburger last week to indulge in burgers and shakes and of course having previously seen the offerings of Tapas Revolution, Choaphraya and The Alchemist we knew we needed to check out this American Diner Burger Joint to see if they served up the best burgers in town.
And did they?
We arrived at around 6:30 pm on Wednesday evening, there was a bustle of people around as we walked into the Greys Quarter from the Blackett Street entrance. The first restaurant on the left when you enter Smashburger is located in a prime position at the bottom of the escalator. With plush red leather diner seating and exposed metal, the decor transports you across the pond to an all-American diner. It is comfortable and relaxing and doesn’t feel like you are in the centre of a shopping mall.
Having experienced burger joints similar both here and of course, the authentic real I am in Miami I know a good burger bar when I see one.
We were shown to our seats by Jackie the manageress who through her fabulously thick Scottish accent told us she had just joined the company. You could instantly tell she is going to be popular with both customers and staff as she had such a great, friendly and helpful vibe about her. She was extremely proud of her new role, proud to serve up great quality food, and so proud of the choice and offering Smashburger brought.
She explained the menu and offered some of her own personal favourite recommendations, which is always a great sign of a great place to eat. What I loved about the menu was that there was, of course, their famous homemade, handmade quality beef Smashburgers but there was also the option of chicken both grilled and breaded too. Not only this but a gluten-free bun was also an option. Looking for fewer carbs? No problem, all of their burgers can be prepared bun-less or with a side salad. Not satisfied with the menu choices? you can create your own burger from a selection of ingredients.
Having seen the Truffle Mushroom Swiss on Instagram I knew that I was going for this, my Mum decided to try the Buffalo & Blue Cheese. On Jackie’s recommendation we chose the haystack onions, we also ordered the French fries.
Boasting over 370 restaurants across 9 countries, it’s clear to see that Smashburger is a global favourite. In all honesty, we’d never heard of this chain until they launched right here in our home city.
With an extensive menu and wine, beers and ciders on offer they cater for all. If you’re partial to a Coke though you must try out their famous freestyle coke station where you can create 100s of different combinations of drinks.
A speedy service is the name of the game here at Smash and within 5 minutes our burgers had been served on wire trays and quirky printed paper.
Have you ever eaten something that’s transported you back to a great childhood memory? The Truffle Mushroom Swiss did just that. Within a few bites, my childhood memories of sitting eating mushroom and cheese garlic baguettes at Swanpool Beach in Cornwall flashed before my eyes. It was complete nostalgia. My burger contained truffle mayo which is made in-house, sautéed crimini mushrooms & aged Swiss with a signature Smashburger on an egg bun.
My burger was tasty, it was more of a patty than what us Brits would refer to as a burger, but when in Rome or Newcastle in an American Burger Bar you’ve just got to roll with it.
The Swiss cheese was paired perfectly with Smashburger’s homemade truffle mayo which I think I need the recipe for as it was sensational.
Jackie’s recommendation of the haystack onions was spot on, think onion rings, just smaller, thinner and more of them, they’re a popular choice over in the states and we’re so glad they’ve made their way over here to British soil they were fantastic!
My mum opted for the Buffalo & Blue Cheese which again was the signature Smash patty with a spicy Frank’s® RedHot® Buffalo Sauce, blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato & mayo on an egg bun. She really enjoyed her Burger, however, she wishes she had the regular Burger as she decided that she preferred regular cheese on a burger to blue.
Overall the burgers were absolutely delicious and we both did agree that Smashburger is a great place to go for a lunch or pre-cinema food. The Gate complex is a 2-minute walk and is home to a sixteen screen cinema for all of you non-locals looking for tips where to head.
With the average burger costing you around £7.95 (we’d recommend going large) and sides from £2.95 this is a well-priced pit stop for those wanting fantastic service, freshly cooked, great quality food.
Whilst we were enjoying our food there were two gentlemen nearby eating with a small baby, she was crying and crying. Jackie, the manageress checked to see that their food was going down well when the father of the little baby asked a question, without hesitation she nodded her head and she headed down the strip of restaurants. Arriving back minutes later with baby milk and a bottle. With a smile on her face, she had gone above and beyond with top quality service to ensure her diners were enjoying their meal and the little baby had a bottle (clearly she was envious of her dad’s awesome burger).
This service really made an impact on not only these two gentlemen but us too, to see just how much she cared.
Of course, gluttony struck and I couldn’t leave Smashburger without trying one of their talked about milkshakes. These handspun creations are made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream, you can pick from a choice of 5 flavours. Of course, I opted for the chocolate Oreo flavour, not thinking about the bikini I’ve got to get into in a fortnight when I head to Ibiza!
Arriving with whipped cream and crushed Oreo I knew I was going to love it. Smooth and creamy and ice cold this milkshake was pretty epic. Served with the remainder in the shaker I got pretty much two shakes from this one mix which for £4.50 was great value. They’re the kind of shakes that when you’re passing you just know you have to have one!
Overall we both thoroughly enjoyed Smashburger and have already made plans to head back to test out some more of their extensive menu, although this creature of habit probably will go for the Truffle Mushroom Swiss again as it was a dream.
The burgers were great, fresh and flavoursome. We found all the staff to be naturally friendly and attentive without being too much, the ambience was relaxed yet fun. This is a great restaurant for going to with friends for a laugh and great food and they also have a great kids menu too. A pit stop when shopping for lunch, or somewhere to grab a bite before the cinema. It comes well recommended, even so much so I’ve already scouted the Smashburger we’re going to head to when we’re in Vegas later on this year. I still, however, await a challenger who can beat what I personally think are the best burgers in the whole of the City. Want to know where to find them? Why not reveal them here?