Michael Symon’s B-Spot Burgers – Cleveland, Ohio

Posted: September 2, 2012 in Burgers
Tags: , , ,

Aug. 29, 2012

An Iron Chef located in Cleveland!? When I first discovered this, I actually was not surprised because the city by the lake called Erie boasts the best food establishments throughout this middling landscape. So in Cleveland, this Iron Chef not only operates an upscale restaurant not suited for the likes of my sorry ass, but he owns a burger place as well.

Michael Symon’s B-Spot Burgers. The name? I was already hooked. The fact that it has received awards for the best burgers in America? I needed to research this first hand.

My opportunity occurred Aug. 29 after attending another Cleveland Indians loss at “Jacobs Field” downtown. Symon’s Lola Bistro was within walking distance, however paying $30 for an entrée was not enticing. Luckily a small-version of B-Spot Burgers popped up in the new Horseshoe Casino near the Hard Rock Café.

Although I studied casino management in college, I certainly frowned upon the opening of this casino in the heart of Cleveland. And when I pranced inside the door, I immediately was hit by a wave of depression. So many sour faces sat at blackjack tables and slot machines, as I watched Midwesterners who struggle for every dime throwing their paychecks away. Some casinos may have positive vibes coming from its players, but this one definitely did not.

Having to locate the escalator to the second floor in the middle of the casino, we eventually spotted the small, dark food court and B-Spot Burgers.

A few minutes went by before settling on the burger of choice: the Fat Doug. It contained coleslaw, pastrami, Swiss and Cleveland’s spicy Bertman Ballpark Mustard. I ordered this without the coleslaw of course but least I did not purchase one of B-Spot’s fried bologna. A basket of rosemary French fries were on the docket as well, and I really craved a $5 Bad **S Shake but decided to save that for another time. But a $5 shake? I thought I was on the set of Pulp Fiction.

Made to order, the burger finally presented itself to my eyes (for some reason a slice of bacon was on the side. OK!). The aroma of my meal alone made me need to sit down and contemplate how to engulf this project. Fortunately a table by the window was open and allowed me to look over downtown Cleveland at nighttime. The first thing I noticed was that there was a fancy steakhouse right across the street, and another steakhouse on the very same corner. Yeah, this city needs some work.

The burger hit my mouth. I was afraid the mustard would be too strong, yet that never happened. Add the rich, highly flavorful pastrami and I almost fell off my chair. I never thought I would say that something called a Fat Doug would make my heart race. But then again Cleveland always offers up some disturbing titles for its food.

My rule is I will not rank a burger (or ribs, pasta, etc.) unless I have it at least two times. I will need to visit B-Spot Burgers as soon as physically possible to test this place again. But I have a feeling this will move into the No. 2 spot behind The Melt in Cleveland and in front of Mugshots in Hattiesburg, Miss. Thankfully, there is one in a suburb I always drive through, Westlake, and that location serves up craft beer. Please feed me again now!

  1. Great review and I like your ranking rule.

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