It's not easy to find a good veggie burger when you're off the meat wagon, but thankfully, Smashburger -- a homegrown chain whose burgers have garnered rave reviews since it opened its first location on Colorado Boulevard in 2007, and which was recently listed as a rising-star company in Forbes -- now carries a black-bean burger that's smashed on the grill just like its beefy counterparts. (Fair warning: The black-bean patties are cooked on the same grill as the beef burgers, and allergen information on dairy and egg are not currently available on the website, so strict vegans should avoid it, and strict-ish vegetarians might want to consider the burger-grease factor when ordering.)
We decided the risk of burger grease was worth it and stopped by a Smashburger on a Saturday night, when it was completely packed and table space was at a premium. Squeezing in on the long bench in between two other groups of diners, we waited in anticipation for the burgers to arrive, and they did not disappoint.
Pictured above is a black-bean burger on a chipotle bun with avocado, haystack onions and garlic mushrooms -- and, of course, the famous Smash fries with rosemary and olive oil. Unlike the meat-laden Smashburgers, there's only one size available for the veggie version, but it's big -- so big it'll fall off the bun.
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There's a specialty black-bean burger that comes with pepper Jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, spicy chipotle mayo and fresh jalapenos on the chipotle bun (basically, the Spicy Baja burger, only veggie-style), or you can substitute a black-bean patty on any of Smashburger's other specialty offerings. Or build your own; we were certainly satisfied with the savory results of our adventure.
Visit www.smashburger.com for a full menu, allergen information and more.