838 NW 23rd Ave, #B

The lunch food at my elementary school was typically one step above pig slop, with barely stomachable chili and mystery dishes like Mexican goulash. Particularly disgusting was the hamburger and fries plate. For years, I have wondered whether the hamburger was actually made of any real meat. Now, unfortunately, I know that it was not. How do I know? Because the soy-based, meatless burger products at Andrew Smash are exactly like the horrific "hamburgers" at Andrew Jessup Elementary School, 1984.

Andrew Smash is an aspiring chain based in Eugene. They serve meatless hamburgers, fake chicken "cutlet" sandwiches, and "smashwraps" with your choice of "bacon-style STRIPS or sausage-style SAUSEEGE." They also have a fairly extensive array of "healthy" fruit "Smashies" and smoothies. I had a Raspberry Roar Smashie ($3.49). It was smoothly blended and thick like soft ice cream. Although there were raspberry seeds and a lingering taste of tangy fruit, there was also an undertone of something syrupy and artificial. After about three sips, the sweetness of the Smashie started to crawl all over my tongue, like I'd been sucking on lollipops all day.

My Andy Burger plate was $4.99 and came with Spuds and a soda. The Andy Burger, a small, joyless patty on a square bun, was so dry that a couple times I had to make sure I wasn't mistakenly eating my napkin. It was bland, making uncooked tempeh taste like a four-course curry meal.

The Spuds, a five-ounce portion of french fry-like triangles, tasted like hardened instant mashed potatoes. The ketchup provided was the inexpensive, vinegary kind--most definitely NOT Heinz--and couldn't mask the Spuds' chewiness, even in large proportions and combined with mayonnaise.

I am a non-cooking vegetarian, and a fan of tofu, tempeh, and all sorts of weird bean pastey foods. That said, I can only recommend Andrew Smash to those who have a rare medical disorder that deadens all the nerves inside their mouths, or seven-year-olds who really like school and won't mind Andrew Smash's "The Disney Store"-like décor.