Smashburger, the Colorado-based chain that planted its flag in DFW a few years ago, derives its name from the “smashing” technique it uses to sear extra flavor into its burgers. But our Classic Smash, which arrived open faced in a basket, was flat as a pancake and largely flavorless, as if it had taken too much of a pounding on the grill. (The partially melted cheese didn’t help, either.) The toasted egg bun was scrumptious and gave us a flicker of hope. But with standard veggies and forgettable condiments (ketchup and Smash Sauce), this burger did very little to distinguish itself.
Twisted Root, on the other hand, is a funky Deep Ellum original that occasionally goes too far trying to be different. But on this day, we chose a fairly standard burger, and the half-pounder with cheddar and bacon arrived sizzling, on a buttery-brown bun. The patty was seasoned with a pinch too much pepper, but the delicious burger juice (is there a better word?) made up for it. We got an ample mouthful of crisp bacon with each bite, and the house-made ancho-chipotle ketchup gave this traditional burger a modern flair and a powerful punch of flavor — one that easily knocked out Smashburger.
The winner: Twisted Root