The tale of the South Sound Smitty burger, part II

Staff writerApril 11, 2014 

A Smitty burger at Goofy Goose, although today it’s called a Goofy Burger.

SUE KIDD — Staff writer

You always can tell a Smitty burger by its shape. Think of the Smitty, served in these parts for more than 50 years, as something of a burger hoagie – a hamburger patty formed into a stretched-out oval with a hoagie or French roll standing in for a bun. The fillings can fluctuate, depending on who’s assembling it, but a Smitty typically comes dressed with the cool crunch of iceberg lettuce, sliced or diced onions, thick tomato slices, pickle chips and almost always some kind of special sauce. If you’re doing it right, you’ll order it with cheese.

The story and lore of the Smitty burger stretches more than half a century in the South Sound. There’s actually two Smitty burgers – one still served locally, the other a burger an artifact of the Puyallup Fair (more on that in a minute).

Last week, I reported about the new coffee house and cafe Amp replacing Jubilee, one of just a few burger joints in the South Sound that was still serving the oblong Smitty. As a burger community service project, I wanted to make sure readers knew that Don’s Drive-In in Puyallup and Marcia’s Silver Spoon on South Tacoma Way still serve their versions of the Smitty. I asked and readers bit with their own recommendations of where to still find a Smitty, whether or not it’s still called that. What follows is a touch more to the history of the Smitty burger, as told by Tacoma native and second-generation restaurateur Larry Zarelli.


The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service