What Makes a Smash Burger a Smash Burger?

What Makes a Smash Burger a Smash Burger?

Burgers are craveable. That crispy patty: the perfect canvas for any-and-all toppings imaginable. That nostalgia factor: there’s no food more laden with patriotic nostalgia than a grilled burger.

A burger is a pretty good bite midday anywhere. But if you’re looking not just for a pretty good bite, but a next-level experience, you order a Smash Burger at the Green Mountain Lounge and enjoy it with a cold beer while watching ski racers blaze down Inverness.

Why a smash burger? What makes them so good?

Let’s start with a little kitchen folklore. Word is that the original smash burger hailed from Appalachia, where employees at a little-known place called Dairy Cheer used cans of beans to smash their burgers. They quickly realized how delicious they were and made a habit of it. Side of fries. Pickles on top.

We don’t use #10 cans to smash our burgers. But turns out it’s not the can that matters. It’s the 100% angus beef placed on a smokin’ hot flat top, pressed onto a bed of shaved onion with a cast iron press. The smashing creates more surface area for the crispy, browned goodness that equals maximum flavor. Next level crave-ability.

At the GML you can get yours topped with smoked bacon and pure maple syrup (because, Vermont). Or ask for the Kona and you’ll get (many) a mouthful of sweet pineapple and roasted jalapeno.  If you’re in the mood for something more classic, the Arkansas comes topped with American cheese, griddled onions and homemade bread & butter pickles.

Which brings us to the part where we give up a secret or two. Here’s the recipe for Chef Ronnie’s bread & butter pickles (the origin of which is a kitchen-folktale for another time).

Chef Ronnie’s Bread & Butter Pickles

Serving size: a lot


  • 2 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 ¾ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cups white vinegar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½- ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp celery seed
  • 1 tbsp turmeric

*Everyone has a pickle preference. Salty, sweet, sour, spiced. Make sure to taste your brine and adust according to your preference.

Make it:

  1. Combine vinegars in a stock pot and bring to a boil.
  2. While that’s heating, combine sugars, salt, mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric.
  3. Once vinegars are boiling, add dry ingredients. Whisk continuously while adding.
  4. Bring mixture back to a simmer.
  5. Turn off heat.
  6. Carefully pour over cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate.

Got a hankering for one now?

Order our classic smash burger at Castlerock Pub Tuesday nights for half priced burgers and $5 Sugarbush Light drafts, and on Mondays with an app of $1 Wings plus $5 Sugarbush Light Drafts.

Wash it all down with a cocktail recipe courtesy of the Black Sheep Bar!

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New York, NY 10001

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Saturday & Sunday: 11:00AM–3:00PM