As a particularly aggressive new kid on the block, Smashburger was founded in 2007 in Denver, Colorado, and only four years later has spread prodigiously across the US with close to 100 locations, mostly focusing around the central area of the county. As part of its latest eastward push, the growing chain has come to south Ohio with several locations in Dayton and Cincinnati. The move caught me by surprise (I’d never heard of the place before three of them sprung up in my area) but now I see why Smashburger is catching on like wildfire all over the country.
Smashburger is sort of an Americana-saturated burger joint serving a menu of burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and salads. The multiplying locations actually have menus slightly localized to each state.
- Classic Smash: The burger, which starts out as a ball of beef, is “smashed” into a thin patty as it is cooked…hence the name of the restaurant. I can understand the businesses’ apparently intended goal; to be the favorite burger place of every city in America when biting into the Angus beef; the burger is outstanding. One of the best I’ve ever had.
- Buckeye Smashburger: Ohio locations have this burger only! Shoestring onions and fried banana peppers over American cheese? Delicious.
- Spicy Jalapeno Baja: Pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, guacamole, and onion highlight this burger which is a little bit spicy. A good core menu burger to be found at all of the Smashburger locations.
- Avocado club: Chicken-bacon-ranch meets a club sandwich. This grilled chicken sandwich topped with smoked bacon, avocado and ranch dressing. Creamy, then salty, then savory. All the wonderful things together.
- Spinach and Goat Cheese Smashburger: A goat cheese, cucumber, spinach and a balsamic vinaigrette top this one, kind of like a salad burger. But the freshness is key with ingredients like that.
- Sweet Potato Fries: The sweet potato fries have a great texture; rarely do I find fries like these done so well. There’s still one misstep, I think, that seriously harms them. If you want the sweet potato fries, order them without rosemary seasoning. After a few fries the flavor becomes overwhelming.
- Oreo milkshake: A creamy milkshake heavy with cookies. Not too sweet though. Perfect!
Smashburger’s weakness will probably be healthy food: It has almost none. The salads, which I’m sure are customizable, still often start topped with bacon, crispy chicken and cheese. They remind me more of a double down than of a salad. Inevitably I have to recommend if you’re on a diet you’ll find very little here that won’t violate it.
While I was first distracted by the slightly elevated prices, I now see why Smashburger is spreading so quickly; the food is just good. Stop in for a bite some time; it will make a regular out of you.
- There is a different Smashburger for each state, only available there. If you’re in another state and come by a Smashburger, give that state’s burger a try.
- There really isn’t a lot here in terms of health food. Avoid if you’re on a diet.
- The atmosphere is definitely casual and caters to the college crowd type, but people of all ages pack the place for lunch.