Metal-loving linemen bring the beef

The two professions most in dire need of a fallback are athlete and musician -- you can't play sports forever, and what are you going to do with yourself when "Girl, You Know It's True" turns out to be false? Backing up their sports and music careers, the handsome behemoths behind Smashburger.

The first N. Texas franchise for an exponentially expanding Denver chain, the red-, white-, and chrome-colored Smash is co-owned by Cowboys linemen Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo, who along with Cory Procter and pro axe man Justin Chapman also form the metal act Free Reign, a powerful band name that's super-fun to scream when Longshanks is pulling out your entrails. Guided by the mantra "Smash. Sizzle. Savor", the menu's built around flattened balls of never-frozen Angus, tricked out with your choice of three buns, five cheeses, six sauces, and extra toppers like haystack onions, sauteed 'shrooms, or a fried egg, with sides including herb-dusted fries and flash-fried pickles; other hand missiles include classic, Chicago, or chili-cheese dogs, and the Smashchicken sandwich, through which Free Reign proves they're all about Free Range. Some items are this-location-only: the Lonestar Smashburger, served open face on a buttered, toasted bun and topped with Texas chili, cheddar, diced onions/tomatoes, and fresh jalapenos; sweet potato fries in rosemary, garlic & olive oil; and the pepperjack/guac/chipotle sauced DFW Dog, also made from Angus, whose mother was right when she told him he could be anything he wanted.

For your quaffing needs, Smash offers Häagen-Dazs root beer floats & shakes, and by Xmas will serve wine (Barefoot Chard & Merlot) and beers (by bottle or bucket) including Lone Star, Shiner, and a new Rahr brew called Buffalo Butt -- or, the role one former Cowboy's taken on, now that he's done playing football.