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This new food truck is slinging mouthwatering, smash burgers & grilled cheeses

This new food truck is slinging mouthwatering, smash burgers & grilled cheeses

Sav McKee

The newest food truck to hit the streets of Columbus believes the simpler, the better. Smash Buddies Food Truck’s no frills smash burgers and grilled cheeses, with just beef, cheese, and sauce will be available this June, and while these burgers may embody simplicity, they’re far from mundane.

Kole and Jared, the dynamic duo behind Smash Buddies, made two huge changes last year – they both relocated to Ohio from the Pacific Northwest, and they both quit their jobs after deciding they wanted to sling burgers to the Columbus community instead. And who can blame them? This city loves their burgers and food trucks.

They served together from 2012-2016 in the US Army 2nd Ranger Battalion, and then went on two deployments to Afghanistan as comrades-in-arms. After parting ways and embarking on separate, professional journeys, fate brought them back together when they both secured jobs at a local-start up asset management firm here in Columbus. “Then, our positions evolved into a political campaign, but this was not the direction we wanted to take our careers and families,” Kole explains.


And that’s when the idea of Smash Buddies was born. After BBQing together and having fun experimenting with their own take on the smash burgers they grew up eating on the West Coast, they realized they had genuine talent. Their families and friends were begging for them at every event. So, they traded in politics for burgers.

The West Coast is notorious for minimalist, yet mouthwatering smash burgers. Smash Buddies is honoring this tradition by offering a straightforward, unpretentious menu of only 4 items: single, double, or triple smash burgers, a grilled cheese, crispy tots, and drinks. Nestled between tender brioche buns, their burgers are smashed paper thin, giving them a delicate, aerated, crispy texture. They’re topped with a slice of melted cheese and a homemade, secret sauce. If you want to add sweet onions for a little flare, they offer that, too.

Photo via Smash Buddies’ Website

Their Smash Burger Grilled Cheese transcends the realm of ordinary food truck grilled cheeses. A symphony of gooey cheese, crispy beef, and that secret sauce all tucked in between buttery Texas Toast – it’s an explosion of flavor.

While Smash Buddies has yet to finalize events or locations, for they’re still building out their food truck, this June, you’ll probably find them in several neighborhoods and businesses, breweries, schools, correctional facilities, and definitely in the Riverpark community of Hilliard where they call home. As you can imagine, they’ve been getting contacted by a plethora of people and businesses who are anticipating their debut, but they want to make sure they’re diversifying their locations and making their burgers accessible. “Our up-bringing and travels around the country has shown us that there is more to a food truck than just fairs and festivals. We think the community should be able to enjoy the experience of food trucks every day, close to home. Our hopes are to bring the West Coast food truck vibes to the Midwest,” says Kole.

Photo via Smash Buddies’ Website

The two pals are already drawn to the engaging nature of Columbus’ community and our profound devotion to all things food. Kole emphasizes the city’s unique charm, mentioning that, “It’s a bigger city, but has small town vibes. It’s a place we’re excited to raise our families. The only thing Columbus is missing is a next level smash burger!” And now, thankfully, we have that.

Stay up to date on their journey through Instagram or their website.

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new May issue here!


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