>> Friday, December 13, 2013

72-06 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 261-4527

Myna and I were wandering the Austin Street boutiques, hoping to accomplish some holiday shopping without having to stray too far from home and decided to grab a quick lunch at the area's newest hamburger spot, Twist and Smash'd. The "twist" clearly comes from their signature twisted potato dish. The smash I'm somewhat lost on. 


Inside, orange lamps and orange wall bathe the room in an orange light (hence the orange tint in all of my photos). The interior is very modern and clean, but because placing tables between the door and the counter would block access, there aren't that many places to sit and, as a result, it seems very barren inside and if they fill up, I'm not sure where people could wait comfortably. The staff was extremely nice and chipper and told us that this is the first location after starting out as a venue at those roving street fairs. They hope that they'll be able to add more locations in time. If so, then this will be the fourth Forest Hills restaurant to do so (5 Burros, Aged, and Cabana being the first three).

As I mentioned, Twist and Smash'd is a hamburger place. They have a variety of different kinds, from beef to short rib to crab, but they also do breakfast as well. Myna ordered the BEC Smash'd, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I ordered The Original Smash'd, an angus cheeseburger, and the Chipotle Chicken Smash'd, a chicken burger with chipotle mayo, cheddar, and avocado. Both were delicious. The regular cheeseburger was juicy and perfect but if you don't ask for toppings like tomato or lettuce or onion, you won't get 'em. Most chicken burgers are mediocre at best; dry, chalky endeavors designed to give those I-won't-eat-red-types something to nosh on while the rest of us enjoy our food. But this one was different. Tangy and far from dry. I highly recommend it. French Fries aren't on the menu, but they do have that Twisted Potato thing that's in their logo. You can choose Idaho or Japanese sweet potato. We went with the Idaho and it was interesting, but I prefer fries. Soda is not on the menu. If you want to drink something other than water, they have a selection of iced teas and lemonade.
So the food is very good and the location is very good. BUT here are the downsides. First, this isn't fast food. They make everything right there when you order. So we waited a good while for the food to arrive. Easily fifteen or twenty minutes. Second, the burgers are small. Eyebrow-raising small. They're bigger than sliders, but only just. And that ties into the third issue, cost. Depending on the burger, the price ranges from $5.50 to $7.25 each and you're well advised to order two. Ergo, lunch can easily hit $20.

Still, all that aside, I like the place and will certainly go back.


Anonymous,  December 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM  

i had a double burger for $9.25 and it was great. Cooked perfectly and on the same level as shake shack, bareburger and five guys. the fries were stunningly horrible. I got two orders; one was completely dry and tasteless and the other was under cooked and soggy. I preferred the under cooked ones b/c at least there was some moisture in there.

Anonymous,  December 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM  

Why bring up the unsuccessful attempts to open new locations (now all closed) by Aged and 5 Burros? Also, Cabana expansion happened almost 15 years ago. Different economy, different loan practices, different attitude towards Latin American cuisine (it was exotic then).

Jon Parker December 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM  

First, re: Aged and 5 Burros, I was unaware that those locations were gone. Interesting and unfortunate.
Second, re: Cabana, because I wanted to.

Anonymous,  December 18, 2013 at 2:40 PM  

Cabana was fantastically busy, super popular and very promising restaurant when they decided to take their show on the road. (Although I never liked it.)
You are comparing it to a place that opened 3 weeks ago to mostly two-star Yelp accolade.
That is all I wanted to say.
I like your reviews and even found one of your ideas useful.

Anonymous,  December 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM  

Writing one sentence about how the restaurant hopes to expand beyond the neighborhood is hardly "comparing it".

Anonymous,  December 29, 2013 at 9:26 PM  

I don't give this place to last through to 2014. Its burgers are ok but the fries are horrible. Also, the decor is depressing.

Anonymous,  January 23, 2014 at 3:10 PM  

so whats coming up next Jon?

Anonymous,  January 25, 2014 at 2:51 PM  

I kind of like the "not-insanely huge burger" approach but I also thought the fries were lame and gimmicky. They combined the worst qualities of fries and chips.

I can see how they make sense as street food, but they simply aren't good enough for a restaurant that needs repeat business. I bet if they sold a reasonably quality "normal" fry they would do quite well.

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