Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Burger, Beer, & Fries at Michael Symon's B Spot

Ok, I am semi-ashamed to admit that despite having an Iron Chef in my backyard, until today I hadn't actually eaten in any of his restaurants. (Hey, I cook, and I don't get out much...).

I needed to go to Trader Joe's to get more Sweet and Spicy Pecans to make more of my prize-winning cheeseballs, and the nearest one to me is on Chagrin Blvd. at Eton Place. Which just happens to be located steps from Michael Symon's newest offering, B Spot.

Eton Place also has a Barnes & Noble, Sur la Table and a Penzeys - a virtual shopping-gasm for me. What it doesn't have is plentiful, or easy to maneuver parking. I was literally screaming and grumpy watching the yuppies trying to back their school bus sized SUVs into spaces recently vacated by Mini Coopers (wth???). But I managed to score a space quickly.

I knew the B Spot space was small, having recently held a Stone Cold Creamery (although to be fair, I have never been in a Stone Cold Creamery, I just assumed...), so I figured I would get my shopping out of the way at the height of lunch hour, then get a burger and beer. Which worked perfectly; shopping successes to be posted separately.

By the time I rolled in, it was probably around 2:00 and there was a thin crowd by then. There were a few folks at the U shaped bar, above which hangs an artful arrangement of motorcycle parts, shown above. There are a few tables in front of the bar, wooden booths flanking the walls, then additional tables in the actual mall portion of Eton, but still open to the restaurant.

It's definitely got a cooler vibe than the average burger bar around town, with the motorcycle parts, cool pendant lights over the booths that look sort of like antique wire whisks encircling the bulbs. There is a large chalkboard message, repeated on small cards on each table, the text of which is worth reading here. No whining, now that's my kind of place.

One large section of the wall is a beer can mosaic with the letter B / sort of looks like 13 (Symon's reported lucky number), in the center.

And you can obviously see into the kitchen, so if Michael Symon is in there, well, you are certainly going to know it. (He wasn't when I was there).

My waitress was very friendly, and promised to watch my new coat while I hit the restroom before settling in. Restroom: Uni-sex, unmarked dark door with a freaky fun-house like mirror, a self flushing toilet that sounds like it could suck you to Parma, and a hand dryer that could blow your shoes off. So that's the only thing I didn't really dig - especially if one of the staff decided to use the hand dryer with the door open which sounds like a small helicopter was landing.

Back to the menu. Despite the late lunch for me, I wasn't starving hungry. Helpful waitress advised that the most popular burgers were the Shroomage (which I was eyeing - portabella, blue cheese, lola steak sauce, and griddled onions), and the Thin Lizzy (griddled onions, cheddar, mayo, pickles).

I really didn't have the appetite for it today, but the Lola Burger with fried egg, bacon, pickled red onions, cheddar and mayo is the burger I would like the next time I have a hangover. With a side of Porky Fries (pulled pork, whiz and pickled chiles).

I settled for the Shroomage with Lola Fries, which are thin matchstick fries with sea salt and rosemary. The burger was a respectable human portion, I think waitress said burgers were 6 ounce portions. The fries were delicious and perfectly seasoned - but they could have been a little hotter.

After battling the parking lot maniacs, I definitely wanted a beer. The problem is I don't really like beer. My waitress came to the rescue. "You want a beer that doesn't taste like beer? How about one that tastes like cream soda?" You betcha. So I had a glass of Lexington Brewing Company, Bourbon Barrel American Strong Ale, Kentucky, Draft ($5). And it did taste like cream soda. It was also very filling (and 7% alcohol), so I sipped it slowly.

Every table gets its own industrial roll of paper towels, which you will need after picking up the burgers, and your own cadre of sauces ranging from basic ketchup, to Lola ketchup, to Lola Balsamic BBQ.
I had beer for dessert, lol, but had I noticed the Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Bacon Shake, I may have skipped lunch altogether.

I also want to try the chips with parmesan fondue and rosemary when I have someone to help me eat them. A half a dozen 'Big Salads' are options for those who are not in a burger mood, plus some tasty Bratwurst and Bologna Combos.

Vegetarian? There's the "Why??" Burger for you - veggie burger, blue cheese, pickled onion, and arugula. They'll even throw in bacon - free of charge!

Can't get enough Michael Symon? He is also teaching a series of private classes in 2010 at Lolita. A relative bargain at $160 - you get a Symon led class, the meal paired with wine, and an autographed book. So I bought myself an April class for my birthday. Be patient if you call, it may take a few tries to get through.

1 comment:

  1. I totally loved his description of the well done burger. Your writing is great! I felt like I was there with you and dreaming I was. Fun!


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