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The Weekender: Three places to score a smash burger

The Weekender: Three places to score a smash burger

Alyson Strickler-Vazquez

With less than two weeks until the official start of summer, now is the perfect time to embrace the smash burger! If you are unfamiliar with this trendy handheld, let me assure you it’s all about the beef patty. Smash burgers get their no-frills name from how the patty is handled on the griddle. Smashing the beef creates a thin patty that picks up flavorful brown bits and develops a satisfying crust. This type of burger hits the trifecta with its perfect bun-to-topping-to-beef ratio.


Ghostwriter Public House, located in the heart of Johnstown, is slinging one of the best smash burgers you will have the privilege of devouring. This masterpiece (yes, I said masterpiece) is built using rl valley ranch beef, cheddar ale fondue, griddled onions, pickles, and my favorite new condiment, beef fat aioli. The seasoned beef with crispy bits surrounding the edges, ooey-gooey cheddar escaping the bun, and the tangy punch from the beef fat aioli sent my tastebuds over the edge. For a classic pairing, Ghostwriter also has specialty cane-sugar sodas on tap. WARNING: This is not a shareable item because once you give someone a taste, they will inevitably steal your meal.

Ritzy’s provides all the feels of a 60’s diner and transports you with every captivating bite. Ritzy’s “special” smash technique keeps the center of their custom-made fresh patties juicy while still leaving the edges perfectly crispy. The exciting part is getting to take the reins by building your burger from the ground up, choosing from a list of classic toppings, including four different types of cheese. I recommend pairing your meal with one of their thick and creamy milkshakes made in-house with their slow-churned ice cream.

Watershed Kitchen & Bar is focusing on their well-executed crowd favorites that make their kitchen a Columbus foodie destination. Watershed’s gratifying smash burger, composed of two smashed patties dripping in taleggio whiz, topped with caramelized fennel, and finished with chili crisp aioli, packs a flavorful punch. The first bite of oozing cheese, sweet fennel, and tangy aioli is guaranteed to make you a smash burger convert. Watershed’s Backyard Astronomer, made with their in-house gin with notes of guava and passion fruit, is the perfect accompaniment to this savory feast.

Get out and enjoy one of these local favorites this weekend!

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