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Dining Out with Kids: Smashburger Was Smashing!

A few blogs back, I mentioned that JD got yelled at by a fellow diner when we were eating at a family diner (that gave out crayons and had a kiddy menu!). The patron was annoyed that JD was singing and sometimes hitting the high notes, um, really high—or OK, fine, loud. The blog sparked interest from The Record of North NJ and they interviewed me here. On my never-ending quest to find kid-friendly places to dine, I want to tell you all about our latest experience at Smashburger. One word: Yum.

My mom, JD and I hit up the Smashburger in Glen Ridge, NJ this past weekend. We had never been to this chain restaurant, but I admittedly love a good burger and always want to try burger-themed places to taste-test the goods. When we walked in JD was in awe of the red and white shiny décor, tables and chairs. “This place looks like a spaceship,” he squealed. We got on line to order our food. My mom and I both ordered Classic Smashburgers (with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions). I got Smashfries (tossed in olive oil, rosemary and garlic) and she got sweet potato Smashfries (that tasted like fast food Thanksgiving!). I was delighted to see that there was a kiddy menu that offered options other than burgers, since JD is not a huge burger fan—yet. The Smashburger kiddy menu offers: Chicken tenders, grilled cheese, Kids Smashburger and Kids Smashdog—all served with fries and a soft drink, juice or milk. I ordered JD the chicken tenders and the best part was, the cashier gave us a number to put on our table and told us to help ourselves to the soda fountain and have a seat—I loved that we didn’t have to stand on line with squirmy, fidgety JD and wait for our meal. This alone, makes the joint super-family friendly!

The food arrived in silver tray baskets (adorable!) and the fries were in cups (think French bistro). JD’s kiddy meal was the perfect size. One of my biggest pet peeves is when you order chicken tenders off a “kiddy meal menu” and they serve up 6 or 8 tenders (most diners do this). Smashburger offered JD two, thick and juicy tenders with a pile of fries on the side. It was the perfect portion for his tummy! He gobbled up the entire meal, leaving a few stray fries behind. That I ate. What!? Haha.

As for the Smashburgers—delish! Juicy, fresh and piled with crunchy lettuce. The fries were delightful and seasoned to perfection. The staff was friendly and inviting and no one cared that JD was humming, coloring and racing his Matchbox cars on the table. We’re definitely going back for more—and you can too! Want to win $25 worth of "Smashbucks" to redeem at any Smashburger? Click here to enter a giveaway on

Tell me, where was the last family-friendly place you dined? Please share.

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