Smashburger isn't just the name?it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Tucked inside the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, Plaza One Grille carves out a dining space replete with eclectic lighting, linen-topped tables, and a menu of dishes carefully selected by executive chef Jamie Campbell?all of which helped earn the eatery a spot as one of the best fine dining restaurants in 2014 in Butler County by the Journal-News. Each dish is made from scratch, and offers diners unique flavor combinations, from grilled pork loins slathered in a harvest cranberry barbecue sauce to grilled salmon topped in a mustard maple sage glaze. In other dishes, Chef Jamie transforms lamb meat and fennel into a sausage and pairs it with an Irish whiskey demi-glace to create bangers and mash, and refashions a grilled cheese sandwich by adding bourbon bacon jam.
Jojo’s Cupcakes’ creative treats aim to expand the bounds of dessert possibility, challenging assumptions about whether pearls are edible and how many times you can fit “chocolate chip cookie” into one sentence. To wit: Florence’s french vanilla cupcake comes piled with vanilla frosting and sprinkled with edible pearl gems; the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake tops chocolate chip cookie dough cake with frosting of the same flavor and a full-size chocolate chip cookie. For weddings and other occasions, the culinary team also arranges their cupcakes—which come in more than 20 flavors—into the shape of a tiered cake or other custom configurations. Jojo’s desserts aren’t only for special events: back in the inviting bake shop, the staff pairs treats with gourmet flavored coffees, tea, and cocoa for guests’ enjoyment at tables or to take home.
Chefs at Dough Boys Pizzeria toss rounds of fresh dough every day to make the crusts of their 6”–16” pies. The kitchen names its specialty pizzas after music of yore, from the Al Green Veggie Lovers, to the Dolly Pardon with double cheese and pepperoni, to the Supremes, which keeps pepperoni, ham, sausage, and vegetables hangin' on. Dough Boys also doles out paninis named for celebrities such as the ham-and-bacon Rocky Balboa and all-beef hot dogs such as the Frank Sinatra with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. To wrap up meals, the chefs fry up orders of cinnabites, deep-fried dough balls tossed in butter, cinnamon, and sugar with a topping of vanilla icing.
If you peek into the kitchen of Jelli's Fudgery, you're likely to see a heaping tray of smashed Butterfinger bars or a vat filled with 8 pounds of peanut butter. These tasty ingredients are just a sampling of what goes into the fudge that the shop's owners make from scratch. In order to satisfy different customers' cravings, they make batches in a wide variety of flavors. While visiting the shop, patrons can also peruse locally made products such as candles and olive oils.
True West Coffee has a drink for every type of café goer, with options ranging from traditional coffee and espresso beverages to frothy lattes flavored with fig, vanilla, and black pepper.
At both its locations, patrons find a variety of snacks to pair with café drinks, including freshly baked goods and loaded salads. At the Main Street location, cooks pile Cuban baguettes with deli-sandwich fixings. At the High Street café, they use a high-powered convection oven to create eight types of melty grilled-cheese sandwiches.