A Culinary Smash: How Burgers Became America’s Favorite Food
Everyone at our smash burger restaurant is obsessed with our signature dish. We eat, sleep, and breathe burgers – it’s not just food, it’s a passion.
After all, there are many, many reasons to love the humble burger, and pretty much everyone does! It has the unusual status of being a dish with very few haters. You might like it simple and classic or dolled up with all the trendy trimmings, meat or chicken, or even vegetarian, but chances are… you’re a fan!
How did this seemingly simple dish of a meat patty in a bun become one of America’s most iconic foods? Step into our time machine, and let’s take a quick road trip through the history of our beloved burger.
Prequel to Greatness: A Burger Origin Story
The story of our smash burger restaurant starts with the original quintessentially American meal. In the late 1800s, Germans brought the Hamburg steak to the United States. This raw spiced ground beef patty was well received by New Yorkers, who adapted it to their tastes by adding onions and frying or grilling it.
Although it might have started life as a sophisticated dish, like Salisbury steak, soon it was being sold everywhere. It was only a matter of time before someone put it on a sandwich. For the working man on the go, street vendors would put the patties between two slices of bread – and lo, the burger seed was planted.
It kept the association with Hamburg, sometimes called “Hamburger-style,” which eventually became simply “hamburger.”
The Rise of the Fast Food Giants
The burger might have stayed on the margins of American cuisine if it hadn’t been for the rise of the fast food industry. There had been a shocking report on the meatpacking industry that made people suspicious of ground meats.
With the arrival of famous fast food giants, they drove the standardization of the burger, creating the archetypal basic burger that we still know today: a ground beef patty in a bun. It was now accessible to more people than ever, and America loved it.
As cars became more widely available going into the 1930s, drive-in restaurants began to emerge, and the burger was the perfect handheld food to eat in your Oldsmobile. Over the next few decades, drive-ins would spread across the country, becoming a staple of the 1950s. Easy to cook and delicious to eat, the burger became a ubiquitous part of American food culture – eventually sparking the Smash House Burger legacy.
Getting Cheesy: The Burger Evolves
It was inevitable that fast food chains began to get creative with their burger toppings. The classics like pickles and onions were soon joined by a variety of flavors, some of which would go on to become enduring favorites. Cheese was the first special topping to make its way atop the patty, followed by fried eggs in the 1940s. Special sauces abounded.
Now a staple of the backyard BBQ and tailgating parties, the idea of a burger as a blank culinary canvas took it all the way into gourmet kitchens in the 2000s. Specialty house burgers, innovative aiolis, and shaved truffles elevated the burger to an art form. Thankfully, not even this highbrow experimentation could separate the burger from its roots as the food of the everyman.
Bite Into an American Classic at the Smash House
Our Smash House burger comes from a long line of delicious innovations. When we created our menu, we gathered all the best things about burgers and poured them all into our signature Smash Burger. It’s the best of the classic burger experience, the perfect balance of crispy, juicy patty and pillowy toasted bun. Even without all the crazy toppings of the ‘80s, it’s a taste sensation.
Visit our smash burger restaurant or order in (in Miami, Boca Raton, or Queens) and taste it for yourself!