The Big A at Smart Alec's

Smart Alec's is a burger place on Telegraph in Berkeltown (or Berkeley, for you college kids).  We stopped in on President's Day after going to Urban Ore (that place is nuts!). I got the big A combo and was pretty excited about it.

I wanted to like this burger!  I remembered it being good from when I ate here long ago with fellow breadxbread contributor Jon P.  I also appreciate that the veggie burger is "the big A" while the more common meat fare is relegated to secondary "big B."  Also I like it when places make their own veggie patties (like my last review) rather than serving up lame boca burgers or whatnot.

But sorry, I didn't like it very much.  Their veggie patty tastes a lot like bread.  It's very flat and grainy.  So when you put it between buns, it doesn't taste much like a burger, it tastes like a BREAD SANDWICH.  Instead of breadxbread, breadbreadbread.  Maybe if I loaded it with more ketchup and mustard (and maybe barbecue sauce?  horseradish? chocolate?)  this would have had more flavor.

Their fries were great though.  According to the fascinating paper with which they line their food trays, the fries are baked rather than fried (they should call them bakes) and have 1/1,000,000,000 the fat of regular fast food fries.  But they don't taste bland and dry, they taste greasy and delicious, like fries should.  So either they're lying or they've figured out a magic fry trick.

Their gimmick is that if you bring in a test or paper with an A on it you get free fries with your order.  But scantrons don't count!  Anyone know why?


  1. oof, that isn't a very flattering pic of Jonnn P! I'd like to go to Smart Alec's again, I haven't been in a couple years. Do they have other veggie/vegan options, or is their veggie patty the only thing? Also I bet they don't accept scantrons because they wanna check your work. Or copy your answers for themselves, who knows.

  2. oooh you might be right about copying answers. i think they might have a portobello burger, and they have 4 or 5 soups (which are all vegan). katie got a corn chowder that was pretty good.