Michael Symon's
B-Spot
 
Woodmere, Ohio (Cleveland)           Date of Visit: 03/10/10                  http://www.bspotburgers.com/

Just so you know, if Chef Symon opens a restaurant called pig lips and eyelashes, I am going to show up. The sensible refinement of Lola, the flavorful small plates of Lolita, have earned a sense of trust for my precious insides, from tongue on down. The newest location in Woodmere (Cleveland) takes on the American Classics of burger and fries. Now when I say takes on, I mean storms the concept like Patton with a bee in his bonnet.

It just so happens the week before my first trip (there will be others) one of the offerings was crowned Best Burger in the Country at the South Beach Food Festival.

Actually in a mall, a mall for very rich people anyways, the B-Spot reflects the owner with a genuinely friendly but no nonsense feel to both ambiance and menu. Brighter than the other locations, the beer can mural and the motorcycle parts hanging above the bar all feel familiar in a Symony sort of way.
 

 
 
Yeah, you heard right...vanilla bean, apple pie, and bacon shake...and oh yeah it works way better than you think, that's why He's Mikey, and we are us.


 

He again rewards my trusting guts with thoughtful and well executed riffs on the classics. The burgers being produced with meat from a trusted source coupled with familiar and wild combinations, choosing was not an easy task. The milkshake was easy so we started there. When you see a vanilla bean, apple pie, bacon shake, again, you just gotta know. The first sip started disappointingly with a rapid transition from vanilla to the unmistakable rush of hundreds of little bacon particles trampling your taste buds, but whatís with this apple pie stuff?  Well, it follows the intense bacon rush. No matter how many sips you might take three distinct layers continually follow each other in an odd but magical progression.

The burgers we tried are composed as though renaissance painters worked in burgers rather than oils. Each addition tween the bun makes more sense than the last with one disappointing miss, one burger ordered mid-well appeared at the table with a well tag inserted. The major problem being the burger was pink and cold internally nowhere near mid well or well. The quote from our party does sum it up, however, if it didnít taste so good I might send it back.
 

 
 
The Fat Doug

The Lola Burger

Pulled Pork
 
 
  The devil is in the details, and every other detail is meticulously tremendous. The burger, the bun, the slaw, the caramelized onions, the pickled onions, every ingredient is distinct and gets an A+ for "plays well with others" as each blending of components compliments it's counterparts. A quick perusal of the menu tells you the burger is not the only way to go...future trips are necessary for Brats and Bologna (I'm not kidding, Bologna sandwiches are featured on the menu)

We did try some sides and oh dear, how much do you tip the ambulance driver. You can feel your arteries hardening as you chew but you will not stop...the power of grease compels you...the Power of Grease Compels YOU! The tomato blue cheese soup is a beautiful rustic medley coaxing so many flavors out of the tomato it transcends the fruit. Onion rings are perfect and taste of onion rather than batter. Lola fries with rosemary and the delicious but evil Porky Fries guarantee a spate of return trips as crisp fries, salty cheese whiz, pulled pork and pickled chilies continue to call like mythological sirens, drawing you ever nearer the rocks. But who cares, they are awesome, what's a couple of rocks.
 
 
 
Tomato Blue could put Campbells out of business

O-Rings

Lola Fries
 
 
  Employees are casual but uber-attentive, friendly and professional. A familiar balance from other Symon bastions of tastiness. There were some things the staff hadn't completely figured out, but they did just open. Here the place actually comes with a set of written rules which you can see here...http://www.bspotburgers.com/symon-says/.

They include inhibitions against whining, trying to make reservations and general all around snootiness. Even though he takes a shot or two at our vegetarian brethren, he does offer vegetarian options alongside a wide variety of beers. Oh yeah, they even pour liquor in the milk shakes if that's your thing...I guess that's why they're listed as Bad A** Shakes. Chef Symon triumphs again right in his and our own backyards. While other chefs are more prone to try to make their names in New York or LA, Clevelanders can experience delicious and inventive takes on familiar dishes without a road trip or plane ticket. Save me a seat, I gotta try a Brat!


Porky Fries of the Apocalypse
 

 
  A Follow up: Date: 03-12-10

So I did manage to make it back to try some things I just couldnít force down on the initial visit. The brats are spectacular, with a great bite and forward flavors. I tried the Clevelander with slaw, fries and hot sauce an inspired combination. I got to see the Y-burger (vegetarian, with free bacon if you want to add it). The shroomage burger features a portabella cap that outweighs the burger and tastes delicious. The wings were a mild disappointment in the flavor department. We tried the lime cilantro wings and there was little lime and the cilantro didnít accomplish much by itself. The wings themselves are likely the best prepared I have ever had. An outer layer of nearly mahogany brown crunchiness encapsulates perfectly juicy chicken. I will have to return to try the garlic parm offering. I can't believe it but I am going back at least one more time. I am going to try the bologna sandwich. I hate bologna. I haven't even looked at it since I was a kid. If everything else weren't so good I couldn't bring myself to do it, but there you go.
 


There is a brat under there

 
 
Huge Flavorful Salads
 

Serious Shroomage
 

Tommy Likey Wingys
 
 
 


Garlic Parm Wings are Awesome

One More Entry Date: 04-03-10

Got a chance to try that bologna. Again, I don't eat this stuff, just run a whole piece through a slicer some time and I don't think you will either. Interesting mix of flavors in the new school (fried bologna with Russian dressing, pickled onions, sweet hot pickles, and a fried egg). I might have enjoyed it had the slice of bologna not weighed three pounds. I'll stick to the brats and burgers. The garlic and parm wings were as well done as the previous and much more flavorful. Definitely worth a trip!

 


Holy Slice of Processed Something

 
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      Sorta odd looking
out into the mall
Food...period Miscooked burger temp    
 
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