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Burger Smith
August 28th, 2012 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)
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Burger Smith
www.burgersmith.com

To the Smithy –

I love the food in Louisiana and I am not alone. Lafayette, Louisiana was named Southern Livings Tastiest Town for 2012. From this tasty town has risen a new entrant in to the burger world, Burger Smith. Operating under the mantra of doing one thing and doing it well, Burger Smith makes the claim that making burgers is a craft and those who venture to pursue it are in fact “smiths”. Not coincidentally, this conjures up in my mind a blacksmith forging and shaping, which happens to be their logo.

Fortunately for the burger lover from Baton Rouge (ie. Me), a Burger Smith opened up shop not far from Louisiana State University campus.  On a recent visit home we headed out to try these crafted burgers for ourselves.Burger Smith is located in an old retail area that is being rebuilt after a fire at the old restaurant and bar The Caterie burned it down. Tucked in on the first floor, the small entry way hides that cavernous space inside. We arrived at 12:30 on a Thursday, prime lunch time, and the place was pretty full. We were shown a table in the back and to the left which turned out to be a very spacious bar area. With menus in hand were now equipped to choose the form of craftsmanship that would shape our opinion of these smiths.

 

Hello, Mr Anderson –

The menu touts fresh ingredients, fresh baked buns, hand crafting, and a special blend of signature beef to create an “authentic” burger. An interesting note is that after trying 29 different blends of beef, they settled on a blend using beef from Chicago which is known, according to them, for “quality and fanciness”. I’m all for quality and fancy beef but Chicago seems pretty far away when Texas is your next door neighbor. Anyway, I easily settled on the Smith Burger with cheese and added all of the ‘complimentary toppings’ with the additional ‘premium choice’ of an organic fried egg (of course). We also ordered a large fry for the table and fried okra just because I love fried okra! The wait was about 10 minutes which was more than reasonable for how busy they were. I was pretty hungry when our order arrived.

Right of the bat, the okra won my heart. I love fried okra, even frozen, but fortunately for me this seemed to be freshly made. It came with a creamy dipping sauce, but I’m more a of ketchup guy. The burger, however, garnered a lesser amount of my enthusiasm. Visually, the proportions were a little off. The veggies were vivid which was indicative of their freshness. The bun was fresh baked but was dominating the rest of the burger. The hand-formed patty was a tad undersized for the rest of the package. The first bite left a little to be desired. The flavor of the beef was forefront. It was seared nicely, juicy, and fresh but it lacked seasoning and fatiness. It was too lean and the scant amount of cheese was not sufficient to add the unctuousness you expect from a good burger.  The veggies tasted as fresh as they looked. The Smith burger claimed to be ‘Seasoned with spices and Smith Sauce for Louisiana flavor’ but none of this flavor was present. All I tasted was beef, fresh but unseasoned, and veggies. The fries were fresh cut and cooked crispy and made a nice addition to the okra as a side.

The Wrap It Up –

Louisiana Food! I had high hopes for a burger chain originating from here and taking over the burger scene, a la Five Guys or Smash Burger. Sadly, these craftsman, these burger smiths, have made the mistake that freshness and quality automatically equals flavor. Perhaps this burger was an anomaly, perhaps the cook forgot to season my burger, perhaps in this instance, they put out a burger that was not meeting their burger vision. Unfortunately, this was all I had to go on and there are already good quality burgers to be had in Baton Rouge.  Some may not be using words like ‘organic’ and ‘fanciness’ and some might but in the end it is about flavor.

 


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