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Aug 15, 2011 04:14 PM

[Dayton OH] Smash Burger

Any good?

I saw one along I-75, and had heard a few chirpings about this chain in the past. I'm considering stopping there for lunch on my way back home to Michigan. Is it worthwhile?

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  1. I've been once, and I was far less than impressed. Everything was over seasoned (the veggie fries for instance) and the burger wasn't nearly as good as one from Five Guys.

    I only went the once, but my wife and I both were underwhelmed and for the same price you can get Five Guys, which IMO is considerably better.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Benjamin B

      Okay, I'm only semi-hijacking this, but seriously: what's the big deal about Five Guys? I've been to several different locations (in MI, and in Nashville, as it so happens), and while there's certainly nothing *wrong* with the burger, it honestly doesn't stand out in my mind, it's overpriced, and their fries absolutely *stink*.

      Why is this the place deserving of a high water mark?

      1. re: boagman

        Amen, boagman! I think much of the appeal is the simplicity of the menu--the fact that they only have burgers (no chicken sandwich, no veggie/tofu burger, no onion rings or the typical burger joint extras/sides). That simplicity sort of hearkens to the idea of "they do only one thing and they do it so darn well", or "they have absolutely perfected this one item". Such psychological impressions seem to have more impact on the masses than actual taste/flavor/quality of food does.

        And thanks for the info, Benjamin B. Sounds like I'm going to have to pass on it.

        1. re: boagman

          I'm exactly the opposite. Especially with the fries. Fresh cut and plenty of them. Get them out of the bag quickly so they don't steam.

          There's two in Huntsville, Al. The one we go to usually is very good. The other one we went to once was only okay. The chain has wild inconsistency problems.


      2. I've been to Smash Burger and to Five Guys exactly once each since they came to Dayton. I thought the fries were better at Five Guys and the burger better at Smash Burger, but didn't find either worthy of a return trip. I prefer the burgers at Tanks in Dayton or All Sports in Xenia (both bar and grill places) to either chain.

        14 Replies
        1. re: Niki in Dayton

          The burger at Tanks is quite good, and the beer makes it even better.
          I was only comparing Smash Burger to Five Guys since they are both chains.

          I've never been to All Sports, I'll need to check that out.

          1. re: Benjamin B

            At Tank's, try the fried mushrooms sometime. They batter fresh mushrooms and fry to order and they are really good with the marinara sauce! All Sports (used to be Coach's) in Xenia is across from the Courthouse, and is probably my favorite burger in the area. They also do sliders; small burgers with hot sauce and pepper jack cheese, and those are good, too.

            1. re: Niki in Dayton

              Tank's also serves the best chili in Dayton.

              1. re: Fibber McGee

                I've never tried it but will remember that for the winter.

                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    Tank's Bar and Grill, not too far from UD.

                    2033 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, OH 45410 (between Wilmington and Wyoming)
                    (937) 252-2249

                      1. re: Fibber McGee

                        So... There are basically only about 4 active chowhounds in dayton right?

                        1. re: Benjamin B

                          Not really active on the Dayton stuff. Moved here a few years ago from elsewhere but I like to lurk and what you all say about places.

                          1. re: Benjamin B

                            Plus or minus the occasional Cinci hound who chimes in, or the odd traveler :-) I'm not complaining, though, because even though I've been eating Marion's Pizza for many, many years, I didn't know to order it in the "old" oven until a chowhound mentioned it. I knew sometimes the pizzas were better than other times, but didn't know why. Learn something every day!

                            1. re: Niki in Dayton

                              NikkI - I just had a pizza from Marion's and ordered it to be made in the 'old oven' and I noticed it was printed on the receipt 'old oven'. There must be a few people who order it to be made in the 'old oven'.

                              Another similar tip if you enjoy cheese steaks from the Submarine House is to order it made the 'original way'. They now normally toast the sub bun (like Quizno's) where as they used to place the split bun over the grilling meat and cheese. The new sandwich is a little drier where as the original way made a tastier sub from absorbing some of the steak flavor that is in the steam comming off the grilling meat, it also helped completely melt the cheese.

                              1. re: jackrugby

                                Lots of folks must order it that way, as the folks behind the counter never raise their eyebrows at the request - except a few weeks ago when they had their 46% off coupons for their 46th anniversary, and they told us for that promotion, no old oven because it takes too long! I'll remember the Submarine House tip, too. Jack, are you originally a Daytonian?

                                1. re: Niki in Dayton

                                  Most of my life. Worked at the Sub House on Brown St. along time ago (a year after they first openned) and knew the original owner well. I still think they have the best cheese steak in Dayton.

                                  Brown St Cafe
                                  1090 Brown St, Akron, OH 44301

                            2. re: Benjamin B

                              I've been in Dayton for 21 years--while I know the "foodie-scene" fairly well, most of my posts are on the "Italy" and "wine" boards. Niki, Fibber, et. al. are reliable commentators on Dayton. Like Phaedrus, I lurk & read without always responding--unless I have something to add. I suspect there are more "lurkers & readers" in Dayton.