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Smashburger Opens First Central Ohio Location in Gahanna

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson Smashburger Opens First Central Ohio Location in Gahanna
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In the gourmet burger world, there are only a few names really worth mentioning, and of them, Smashburger is near the top. Dubbed the fastest growing better burger chain in the country, and with branches nationwide, Smashburger has become synonymous with delicious, made-to-order burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and shakes. And they’ve brought that winning formula to Ohio, with one restaurant already open in Dayton and the latest set to open on February 20th in Gahanna at 109 North Hamilton Road.

Drew Hansen, franchise owner, has one simple philosophy: “our goal is to make sure we use the freshest ingredients…in the wide variety of what we make, so everything we send out is going to be good”. And it is. It’s not that hard to make a burger, but the ones at Smashburger are particularly good, not only because they use 100% Certified Angus, and not only because of the patented 10-second smash that every burger is treated to in order to ensure a juicy product. It’s because everything they do there is done with extreme care and attention to detail. No issue is too small to overlook, from the thin slice on their awesome onion straws, to the precise temperature taking they do to make sure that every burger meets a high standard.

From the time you order your meal to the time that it’s prepared and delivered is a guaranteed four and half minutes (three if it’s just a burger) according to AJ Dickerson, long-time employee and corporate trainer. Each Smashburger depends on a skilled team trained in the art of consistency, an ace team if you will, and between them, you get the fast food experience elevated: quick service, quality food.

But quickness is not the only consideration Smashburger makes when it comes to serving their customers. “Service is key to us…our people are trained by a team that goes around the country training Smashburger employees…and not just how to serve food, but how to serve the customer, meet them, greet them…we want to take care of you the minute you walk in the door” says Hansen. He wants to create a place where people feel appreciated, their money goes a long way, and ultimately, their appetites are satisfied.

And many an appetite will be satisfied at Smashburger. Not only are the burgers juicy and well-seasoned, but their chicken is succulent, the salads almost laughingly large, and their shakes are thick and chuck full of whatever add-ins you desire, from Oreo to Butterfinger. The Buckeye Burger, what they expect to be their top seller, is topped with fried onion straws, American cheese, and unexpectedly briny and crunchy deep-fried banana peppers. A bite into it brings a smile to your face. My favorite burger is the Spicy Baja finished with pepper jack cheese, fresh jalapenos, spicy chipotle mayo, and guacamole atop a chipotle bun (yes, a chipotle bun. And yes, it tastes like chipotles). On a cold winter day, it warms you from the inside straight through to the top of your head.

An unexpected star is the Chicago-style hot dog, which carries on the tradition of cased meat topped with relish, peppers, mustard, and tomatoes with unexpected class. The hot dog itself is slightly spicy 100% beef, the toppings are fresh and plentiful, and the bun is poppy seed-studded like it should be. Pair it with a side of flash-fried vegetables zested with a secret salt developed by Smashburger founder Tom Ryan. Green beans never tasted so good! Or you can create your own burger or sandwich from the myriad of proteins they offer (including a very respectable black bean burger patty the size of a tire), cheese, and bright vegetable toppings.

Everything is good at Smashburger. The staff is comprised of some of the most sincere and knowledgeable people in the business, and their dedication to making quality food is evident is every facet. The restaurant is clean and well-lit with separate areas for dine-in and carry-out. Their promise of always-fresh, never frozen product is upheld at every level, as they “know [they] not only have a better product, but better service too. [They’re] not going to give you anything in a greasy brown bag”. With such fierce enthusiasm, it’s only a matter of time before Smashburger smashes the competition here in Ohio.

More information can be found online at www.smashburger.com.

Photos by Craig Ferance.

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  • HogRoaster

    I’ve had a Smashburger in Denver and it was really good. I’m just glad they picked such a visually appealing, walkable location to really make a big splash entrance in Central Ohio.

  • marcusdiddle

    Address? Doesn’t appear their website has been updated with this location just yet.

  • Just added the address to the post: 109 North Hamilton Road.

  • heresthecasey

    To me, this really reads completely like an advertisement. Did you forget to add to the top of the page, “This article has been brought to you by Smashburger?”

    There is absolutely zero critical information here, it sounds like a press release written directly by the company.

    I know Morgan Kelley got a lot of flack on here for her reviews, but at least they were her real opinions, not just quotes and meaningless fluff put out by restaurant management. I mean, come on, I just can’t take this seriously.

    “Everything is good at Smashburger.”

    “It’s only a matter of time before Smashburger smashes the competition here in Ohio.”

    “Each Smashburger depends on a skilled team trained in the art of consistency, an ace team if you will, and between them, you get the fast food experience elevated: quick service, quality food.”

  • billbix

    I don’t think this is a food review, but it was syrupy sweet. I agree that it comes across with an odd ‘ad like’ writing style. It is much better when articles maintain a critical balanced view. If there are Smashburger adverts on the way, it would be better to say that upfront.

    I think addressing its location (strip mall near the airport) and why they chose that, might have been useful.

  • This is not an ad. Ayana is a staff writer. And she was raving about the place in the office yesterday, so I think she just really really really enjoyed it.

  • bucki12

    It does read like an ad or company press release.

  • tolemac5050

    They let her smash her own burger!

  • What I would like to see in a restaurant that prides itself on serving meat is a bit of transparency: 100% Angus just means ‘type of cow’ not where is it raised, what is it fed, how was it cared for, or whether or not the company that’s serving it even cares. They really want to make a local difference…know and care about where the meat comes from and how its raised…otherwise its just another burger joint.

  • All I can think of when I see this is “Hulk Smash BURGER!”

  • Thanks for the feedback. I really enjoyed my visit to Smashburger, and for what it is, essentially fancy fast food, it’s good, and offers something different from the other places in the same niche, like Five Guys. Plus, they let me make my own burger – can’t beat that!

    Try it for yourself. For someone like me who hates Burger King and will never, ever, ever eat at a McDonald’s, a Smashburger fills that fast-food-now craving I sometime get, we all sometimes get, and seeing their operation first-hand, all the fresh ingredients, nothing frozen or stuck in a microwave, it’s the kind of place I’ll visit, and am happy to get others to go to as well.

  • for billbix: I did ask about the location. It’s not in the strip mall, but across from it, next to the new Rusty Bucket. It’s there because Drew Hansen, the franchise owner, owns that property and a few others in and around Columbus’ suburban meccas. He’s already planning a Smashburger for Westerville and Hilliard where he also owns property.

  • tolemac5050

    I thought that the location was a tie in with Wagenbrenner Co and the local school board owns the property….not the Smashburger franchisee….


  • Well tolemac5050, I imagine as with most land ownership deals and restaurant ventures, the story is always a little more involved than thought or expressed. When I asked the question, this was the answer I got. There was the impression that there were more details, but at a press event, I’m not sure how much specificity or revelation you’re going to get. I would contact Drew if you want to know more. He said he would be at the restaurant every day for at least the first couple weeks, and his contact info can be gotten off the website.

  • tolemac5050

    Thanks Ayana, I plan to stop soon, (maybe tomorrow). I look forward to trying the food! Pictures do it justice…too bad I cannot make my own as you did…

  • Went to the Smashburger in Dayton with my folks in 2011, it was very good. I think the wife and I will head over and grab lunch at the Gahanna location tomorrow if they’re not too packed.

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