In my previous Cleveland trips, I had managed to find time to eat at both Lola and Lolita. That meant that to finish the Michael Symon trifecta, there was only one place left; B Spot Burgers. Similar to Bobby’s Burger Palace and the Brave Horse Tavern, the idea behind B Spot is to offer a chef’s take othe hamburger. Something delicious, affordable and in a relaxed environment. It’s a trend that I can really get on board with.
I made my way to the B Spot Eton (there are 3 total around Cleveland), and as I got closer, I realized I had been in the area before. A few times in fact. In my first trips to Cleveland I stayed near Chagrin, and ate at the Italian place right next door. But I had never noticed B Spot. I silently cursed myself for this oversight as I parked and walked through the rain to the restaurant. I shook myself off when I got in and made my way to the U-shaped, metal topped bar right in the middle of the restaurant. There was a TV to the left of me above the kitchen, plenty of taps, open seating, and a mall which I was a little surprised to see as I looked straight ahead. With the exception of that, it had the feel of an awesome high-end sports bar that I can see myself revisiting frequently.
I started my meal with a local Great Lakes brew and started looking through the menu. There were a couple of classic burgers, and then things got interesting. Ingredients like cole slaw, pastrami, pulled pork, sauerkraut and even fried egg dotted the page. It was enough to make my head spin, so I asked the bartender what was the most popular and what was her favorite. She said most people went for the Thin Lizzy (onions, cheddar, mayo, pickles), but for her, it was the Yo! Burger. That was the endorsement that I needed is I went with that and the Lola fries.
The Lola fries I was familiar with and excited about because the recipe is in the cookbook I have. I haven’t tried the yet, but definitely will at some point…especially after the first bite of the crispy and salty fries with just that hint of rosemary that takes them from ordinary to excellent. The fries themselves packed such flavor and texture that there was no reason to sully them with the addition of condiments like ketchup (for me, if the food is done right, extra condiments should never be necessary).
But I wasnt there to eat fries…I was there for a burger. A burger, it turns out, that was topped with salami, coppa, provolone, hot peppers and Shasha sauce (a slightly spicy, grandmother inspired, tomato sauce). I cut it in half, picked up a bit, and watched as the juices seeped into the bun as you would expect from a perfectly cooked burger. And despite the cornucopia of ingredients, in each bite the burger stood out. It was full of flavor, juicy, and seasoned just right. The accompanying ingredients added an interesting level of spicy, crunchy, creamy and acidity that made it a well-rounded and interesting burger.
I have to say, I’m totally on board with the chef-inspired burger phenomenon. It really allows me to enjoy one of my favorite foods without feeling guilty about going against my local/sustainable/organic drive that I’m on right now. And while this may not have been the best burger I have ever had, it was pretty damn close. Right up there with the burger at BBP and my nostalgic favorite at Sport in Seattle. I will definitely be making multiple return trips to B Spot to try the other creations and just enjoy an overall good scene for burgers, beers and whatever sport is on TV. Next up on the list is the Lola burger, if only because it’s another recipe that is in my cookbook.