Sep 15, 2022 - Food and Drink

Automat's smash hit smash burger

Automat smash burger
Automat's "Cheezy Buddy" smash burger and fries. Photo: courtesy of Marlon Molinare

My friends and I went to the recently opened Automat restaurant this week with one mission — to try the burger.

Details: The Automat burger ($25) is a smash burger with two crispy-edged patties layered with garlicky cheddar and pickled onions, served on a milk bun.

  • Dubbed the "Cheezy Buddy," it comes with dill-pickle-spiced fries and a side of "automac" sauce — the restaurant's version of thousand island dressing.
  • Ketchup was available upon request.

The verdict: Really good.

  • Crunchy sides might sound strange for a burger patty, but don’t be fooled — it’s incredibly tasty.
  • And, while initially underwhelmed with just cheese and onion as toppings, the flavors worked wonders together.

The feedback: One of my friends wished sliced pickles were included, which I agree would have been interesting.

  • Others commented on the patties being "well done," which I personally didn't mind because they were so flavorful.
  • Automat's founder/chef Matt Kirk later told me over email that the two 4-oz Cream Co. beef patties are "intended to be well done [because] it's a smash burger and [you] want those crispy edges."
  • As for the fries, I wasn't totally into the pickle spice, but Kirk told me that next time, I can order them plain.

The rest: Automat has a bunch of other dinner options (including a $65 per person prix fixe, or "automatic," menu), and a daytime lineup that features their baked goods and sandwiches. The burger is available at lunch as well.

  • A couple of other highlights from my visit this week included the crispy beef taco — which tasted like an upscale Jack in the Box taco, hot sauce and all — and the sourdough chocolate chip cookie, which was delicious.
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