Revisiting Smash Burger in Natick, Mass.
Now More Expensive with Less Food
Back in 2016, my daughter Juliana and I embarked on a culinary adventure that was both delicious and inclusive, given Juliana's Celiac condition. Smash Burger was our destination, a place that promised a delightful meal without the worry of gluten-induced repercussions. Fast forward to today, and we decided it was high time to revisit this establishment to see if it still holds up to our fond memories.
The 2016 Experience
Seven years ago, Smash Burger was a revelation for us. Finding a place that offered a tasty, gluten-free burger option was like striking gold. Juliana's eyes lit up with every bite, and I could see the joy in her expressions?she was finally able to enjoy a meal that many of us take for granted. The gluten-free bun was a mere $1 extra, a small price to pay for dietary peace of mind. The serving sizes were generous, leaving us both satisfied and full. Our total bill came to $19.43, a reasonable amount for a quality lunch that catered to specific dietary needs.
2016 - Gluten Free Kids Smashburger
The 2023 Visit
Returning in 2023, we were curious to see how Smash Burger had evolved. The ambiance remained inviting, and the staff was as friendly as ever. Juliana, now a teenager, was eager to dive into her favorite burger once again. As we placed our order, a few changes were immediately apparent.
Firstly, the portions seemed to have shrunk slightly compared to our memories supported by photos from 2016. While the quality and taste of the food remained top-notch, it was hard not to notice the difference in serving size. Moreover, the gluten-free bun, which was a $1 add-on in 2016, now came with a $2 surcharge. This increase in cost was a bit of a disappointment, though not entirely surprising given the general trend of rising prices in the food industry.
When the bill arrived, the difference was stark. What cost us $19.43 in 2016 now amounted to $29.26. This significant jump in price for essentially the same meal?albeit slightly smaller?was a moment of reflection. Yes, inflation affects all sectors, and the food industry is no exception. However, the question of value for money inevitably creeps in, especially when dining out becomes a luxury for many families.
2023 - Gluten Free Classic Single Smash Regular Fries
Despite these changes, the experience at Smash Burger was still enjoyable. The quality of the food has remained consistent, a testament to their commitment to offering delicious meals. For those with dietary restrictions like Celiac, finding a place that caters to your needs without compromising on taste is crucial. Smash Burger continues to be that place for us.
However, the increased costs and reduced portion sizes are points of contention. It's understandable that prices will rise over time, but as consumers, we're always looking for that balance between cost and satisfaction. It makes one ponder the broader implications of dining out and how it fits into our lives and budgets.
A Look Ahead
As we move forward, our adventures in dining will undoubtedly continue to evolve. We'll seek out new places that cater to Juliana's needs while keeping an eye on the value they offer. Smash Burger will remain a fond memory and a place we'll return to, albeit perhaps less frequently.
The landscape of dining out, especially with dietary restrictions, is always changing. It's a journey of discovery, adaptation, and, occasionally, nostalgia for the way things were. Yet, the joy of sharing a meal with my daughter, watching her savor each bite without worry, is priceless. That experience alone is worth every penny, regardless of how the specifics might change over the years.