Brett Kavanaugh, as we all know, likes beer. Well, I like burgers. I acknowledge this rather unfortunate — at least, for my arteries — fact because it is important to remember while reading my review of Smith Burger Co., Champaign-Urbana’s newest food truck. (The truck changed its name from its original moniker, The Burgersmith.)
Whether you’re talking about high-end burgers (Hamilton Walker’s, Farren’s) or fast-food burgers (Freddy’s, Five Guys), burgers are high on my list of favorites. So when I mention that Smith Burger Co. has some good burgers, remember that my natural predilection is, “Mmmmm, burgers.”
That said, I’m somewhat confident my views on Smith Burger would be shared by many burger connoisseurs.
Smith Burger features “smash burgers,” moreso resembling a place like Steak ‘N Shake than the crispier versions at Freddy’s or Culver’s. Smith Burger offers 13 ways to enjoy them, from “Swiss N Shroom” to the Rocky Balboa (sauteed onions, bell peppers, provolone cheese and marinara), all on brioche buns. Best of all: Beef can be substituted with grilled or fried chicken, and there’s a black bean burger as well.
The menu also includes seven other sandwiches, such as BLT, grilled cheese (which scored well on my 8-year-old’s scorecard) and the buffalo chicken, which will find its way to my belly before long.
Then there’s the sides. Two types of fries — regular and cajun — plus onion rings, sweet potato tots, and white cheddar poblano mac ‘n cheese are the highlights. We tried both types of fries, which passed a key test for me. After picking up my food, I took a short drive home in order to eat. The fries remained crispy — no soggy mess here — all way through my meal. I was digging the regular fries; Mrs. Chambanamom raved about the cajun ones. The family also enjoyed the Wisconsin white cheddar cheese curds.
As for the burgers, well, you don’t have to take just my word for it; my better half has much more discriminating tastes. She had the Swiss N Shroom ($6.50) and liked it. I had the Plain Jane ($5) — just like it sounds, it is the burger for minimalists; don’t judge — and, as you can guess by now, I liked it. It is, in my estimation, better than just about any chain fast-food burger you’ll find.
Now for the tricky part: Smith Burger isn’t open every day and you’ll likely have to check out its Facebook page to find out where it will be stationed on a given day. (Most often you’ll find the truck at Tatman’s Carstar on Mattis Avenue in Champaign; Smith Burger owners are relatives of that business.) You can find the menu on its website.