Searching for Smashburgers on the SouthCoast
What's a smashburger and who invented it? Where did they come from and where can we find smashburgers on the SouthCoast? Even its name, is it smashburger or is it smash burger?
Either way, it begins with ground chuck packed into a ball shape so it can flatten evenly when you smash or press it down on a hot, flattop griddle at 385 degrees. With a heavy duty spatula or by using an unopened, weighty No. 10 can, smash the burger meat down to be as flat as a pancake.
The mouthwatering taste is simply irreplaceable because when your ground beef hits the grill. Culinary magic begins as the proteins, amino acids and sugars within it start interacting.
At Freestone's City Grill in New Bedford's Historic District, general manager John Motta said although they don't serve smashburgers anymore, "Our customers liked them, but complained that the size was too small. They wanted a much larger burger, so we went from flattop burgers to prime eight-ounce charbroiled premium burger, served on a lightly grilled brioche bun."
I love the taste of a grilled hamburger bun that's a little greasy. Remember, I'm an old diner guy.
In Mattapoisett, the word is that the best burger around is at Walrus & Captain, in the Ropewalk Shops and Cafe, on Rt. 6. Owner Kate Sudossky and Chef Bill Brandi said while they don't have smashburgers on the menu, "Our Black Angus burgers are the best around, they have to be. I'm old school; started 40 years ago cooking on a fishing boat." Between Sudossky and Brandi, it's clear why they're so successful.
The chain Five Guys is probably as close as you'll get with this difference: their burgers are excellent, but they come in already-formed patties that are smashed on a hot grill with a metal weight or large spatula, which starts the smashburger magic. Recently, I ate delicious burgers at the Dog House on Coggeshall Street, but when I reached out to them to discuss, they were jamming with business. Now that's a sign of a good burger.
If you find a place that makes smashburgers, pass along the word to us on the WBSM app.