Thin, crisp and smothered in cheese, smash burgers are making a serious comeback in Cleveland. Chefs all over town are jumping on the fast casual trend, paying homage to the nostalgia of thin, griddled cheeseburgers with a plethora of unique ingredients. “You’re seeing a lot of chefs really get creative with smash burgers,” says Eugene’s chef and owner Michael Schoen. “The smash burger itself [leads] you away from half-inch thick, medium rare, classic style burgers.” Here are three smash burgers making our mouths water right now.
Eugene’s Tinman Burger, $12
Over the last three years, house-made pickles have taken center stage in Eugene’s famous Tinman burger. Not only are they chopped up and mixed into the mayonnaise-based special sauce, but the burger comes with a side of sweet and spicy bread and butter pickle chips. “The pickles set that tone that this is a little bit different than what people are used to,” says chef Michael Schoen. Paired with two thin patties, Great Lakes American cheese, onions, and special seasoning smashed between a Challah bun from On the Rise Artisan Bakery, this burger is a beast. 13368 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-401-9473, eugenecle.com
Heart of Gold’s Smash Burger, $14
Sometimes when you have a perfect thing, it’s best not to mess with it. That’s why Heart of Gold’s smash burger has just four ingredients on its two Montreal-seasoned, certified Angus beef patties: American cheese, sweet onions, dill pickle chips and a tangy-sweet Maggi-seasoned mayo smashed together between a milk bun made by Good Company. “When you’re only putting four ingredients on a burger, everything has to be great,” says chef Adam Bauer. “It’s a burger so simple that the technique has to be there. It has to be executed every time.” 4133 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-938-8711, heartofgoldcle.com
Lindey’s Lake House’s Double Stacked Smash Cheeseburger, $16.50
The special sauce on this burger may be the reason why 500 to 700 smash burgers are made and sold per week at Lindey’s Lake House. The sauce, a New Orleans remoulade, elevates the familiar taste of the American classic when it’s paired with melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato and a caramelized brioche bun. “It’s got a little bit of a sweetness to it,” says owner Rick Doody. “But at the same time, it’s got some tang as well.” 1146 Old River Road, Cleveland, 216-727-0158, lindeyslakehouse.com