Smitten for Smitty’s

An automotive approach to the classic burger and fries combination

Photo by Noah Sacco

Photo by Noah Sacco

Noah Sacco, Sports Editor

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One day, three men who shared the same idea sat down with each other. They wanted to provide the best tasting hamburgers and fresh cut fries to the public in an innovative way. Through various food experimentation and their vast knowledge of automobiles, the three men created The Garage, later known as Smitty’s Garage.

Mainly based out of Oklahoma, Smitty’s Garage also has locations in Arkansas and, most recently, Nebraska. As of last September, the Smitty’s Garage family has become part of the Omaha community.

Upon entering the restaurant, one is greeted immediately with a garage-style setting. I was surprised at how embellished the walls were with vehicular accents. The floors and upholstery of the booths were also similar to that of a garage and vintage cars. Additionally, the lighting is industrially dark, but surprisingly lively. From the road signage to the diamond tread accents, it completely exudes an automotive ambience.

Along with the automotive atmosphere, flat-screen televisions adorn the restaurant, playing the big game for sports fans or movies for the kids. Though it deviates from the garage aspects of the restaurant, this creates an environment that is suitable for the whole family.

Unlike the complexity of their decorations, the ordering process at Smitty’s was quite simple. One can order and pay at the counter, take a number for their table, find seating, and their food is brought directly to their table.

The Smitty’s Garage menu is quite expansive. It includes sides and appetizers like garlic parmesan fries and chips with guacamole, and entrees such as salads, sandwiches, tacos, fork and knife hot dogs, and of course, a multitude of burgers.

Despite the delicious amenities the other entrees had to offer, I decided to stick with what Smitty’s Garage was best known for, the burgers. One burger in particular caught my eye, as it was labeled a Smitty’s Garage “favorite”.

The Big G certainly didn’t shy away from it’s name. The two-pattied (one cooked fried onion style) angus beef monstrosity was cooked to perfection and packed a wallop of flavor in each morsel. Stuffed with American cheese, pickles, onions, and Smitty’s Special Sauce, this satisfying gutbuster proved why it’s the most expensive item on the menu and widely considered a “favorite” in the Smitty’s Garage community.

The Big G was soon accompanied by a boat of tijuana fries. Served with grilled jalapenos and grilled onions, this peanut-oil seasoned experience provided a hot and salty Mexican getaway that was pleasantly extinguished by an ice-cold bottle of Coca-Cola.

With that being said, the service was quick and impressive. Like an ordinary burger joint, the staff was split into three groups: cashier, cook and server. The cashiers were very attentive to each order, the cooks worked diligently on every meal, and the servers frequently asked if our food was tasting okay.

As far as costs, most of the restaurant’s options are modestly priced. With the Big G priced at $8.50, to the Baja Tacos costing $6.99, nothing was priced over $9 for a single entree. However, an added side may break the $10 limit.

Overall, the concept of serving food in an automotive environment is a diverting and successful one. Smitty’s Garage drives the community towards a retro, yet modern way to enjoy the lovable meal of burgers and fries.

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