Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Smashburger goes green -- with green chiles

Smashburger got its start here in Colorado in 2007, and since then the local chain has been a smashing success as it expanded into other markets, often offering up regional variations on the their great burger formula.

Now, finally, Smashburger is showing Colorado some home-state love. On February 14, it will roll out a few specialties with a very local flavor. "Smashburger's success has grown out of our own backyard here in Denver," says founder Tom Ryan (read his interview with Jason Sheehan here). "We can't think of a better way to show our gratitude for the fans that have supported us from the beginning than by giving them something new to sink their teeth into."

And so the menu at local Smashburgers will now include a Colorado Smashburger topped with grilled fresh green chiles, grilled onions, melted cheddar and pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo, all on a toasted chipotle bun. The Colorado Smashdog will repeat the chiles, onions and cheese, but add chipotle sauce.

That's not all. "We are adding delicious fried green chiles to the menu," spokeswoman Alexis Walsko says, describing them as "stunning to the taste buds." The green chiles are sliced, flash-fried and served with chipotle sauce,

And soon, Smashburger will have more Colorado outposts where you can buy those regional specialities. There are currently nine Smashburger locations in the metro area, including one that opened at the end of 2009 in Aurora. A Boulder store will open this spring, and this summer, downtown Denver is slated to finally finally get its long-promised Smashburger, in the Tabor Center.

By the end of 2010, the company, which is owned by Consumer Capital Partners, plans to have over 100 stores -- with a goal of 500-plus before it's done.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun