Gluten Free at Smashburger

I recently tried yet another burger joint – Smashburger. I had never heard of this chain before, but after doing some searching for the best burgers that accommodate gluten free diets, this chain kept coming up as a top option. Smashburger has over 250 locations across the US as well as Canada, Costa Rica, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia so the chain is well on its way to becoming an international brand. In the Carolinas, there are 6 locations – 2 in Charlotte, 1 in Raleigh, 2 in Columbia, and 1 near Charleston.


Gluten Free at Smashburger
Smashburger is best known for its cheeseburgers and Smashfries – which are french fries tossed with rosemary, olive oil, and garlic. I was disappointed that they did not have a separate gluten free menu, but when I inquired about what would be safe for me to eat, there were plenty of options. You can also check out the complete menu here. The cheeseburgers are served on Udi’s gluten free buns which are $1 extra. I ordered the BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar burger along with some smashfries. I asked that the haystack onions not be included since obviously they are not gluten free. Unfortunately, when they brought out my burger, the onion rings were included on top and I had to send it back – specifically noting that I would need a brand new burger and that they couldn’t just remove the onion rings from the top due to cross contamination.  Thankfully the manager brought out my new burger when it was ready, and I felt comfortable eating it after his reassurance (and further details) of how the food had been prepared.

The cheeseburger was huge and absolutely delicious.  I can’t think of another time I’ve had a better cheeseburger.  Seriously, check it out!

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The Smashfries were also great, and it was a good portion. They remind me of fries you would order in a fancy restaurant.

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Smashburger vs. Burger 21
Overall, Smashburger reminds me a lot of my recent experience at Burger 21. The cheeseburger was the best at Smashburger, but I enjoyed the fries (particularly the sweet potato fries) more at Burger 21. I think that both chains do a good job of accommodating gluten free diets, but Burger 21 edges out Smashburger because of their separate gluten free menu and the way that everything (even sauces) are clearly marked “GF.” Also, I trust that the preparation of food at Burger 21 is safer based on conversations I had with managers at both places.

Have you eaten at Smashburger? If so, did you have a good or bad experience?



Gluten Free at Fuel Pizza

After my overwhelmingly positive experience at Mellow Mushroom, I was craving more gluten free pizza. Some local gluten free friends suggested I check out Fuel Pizza. Fuel Pizza started in 1998 after some former New Yorkers felt there was no good pizza in the Charlotte area. Thus, they bought a 1930’s gas station on Central Avenue and Fuel Pizza was born. Currently Fuel Pizza has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington, DC.

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Gluten Free at Fuel Pizza

Fuel Pizza has a nice selection of create your own and specialty pizzas as well as gluten free beer options. The gluten free crusts come in 12″ medium size and are $3 extra. I choose the Hawaiian pizza which had chunks of pineapple and a nice helping of ham and mozzarella cheese.

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Overall, the pizza was very good. If I had not just had the excellent pizza at Mellow Mushroom, I would’ve said the pizza was great. However, I did not think the Fuel pizza lived up to the pizza I had at Mellow Mushroom. If you live in the Carolinas or DC area and you’ve had the gluten free pizza at Fuel, let me know your thoughts. Which do you prefer – Fuel or Mellow Mushroom?