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As has been the custom in the past, I called Cheesecake to go out and try a place my wife doesn’t typically like to go – a burger place. On this occasion we decided on Michael Symon’s B Spot.
If there’s a restaurant interior that seems to really fit Symon’s persona, at least from an aesthetic standpoint, it’s this place. Decked out in a range of black, chrome, and shiny, the décor seems to be inspired by the opening credits in his Dinner Impossible days – complete with faux stamped motorcycle parts hanging above the bar and a studded bathroom door. The U-shaped bar sits in the middle-rear of the room, while being surrounded by an assortment of free standing tables, booths, and high boys.
Our server Amy, who was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, took our orders on a pda type device. When I tried to order a Bear Republic Hop Rod she was able to see that they were all out of it. It was then that I opted for the $1 PBR (vast departure I know). Cheesecake went with his usual Bacon Cheeseburger. Being a creature of habit myself, I opted for whatever appeared to be the hottest thing on the menu in this case the Red Hot Burger (with pulled pork, pickled tomato, hot peppers, pepperjack cheese, siracha mayo.) We decided to share an order of the Lola fries.
The place was packed; it was prime dinner time so I expected things would take a while. Surprisingly the food came out in no time at all.
I would estimate that the burgers were slightly taller than they were wide. As I bit into my burger I noticed to things: 1) The meat was juicy as hell 2) There was nothing hot about this thing.
I’m not as “in the know” as some people are, so I wasn't sure who the hell Pat La Frieda was (or maybe I knew, but I don’t know it). It turns out this meat company from NYC cranks out top notch product.
When I bit into the burger juice spewed from the patty. High marks for the burger patty itself.
Some people have complained about the bun. Is it my style? No. I’m partial to the softer more generic type bun like they have at Buckeye Beer Engine (which is Shake Shack-esque but a little more substantial.) The Shake Shack bun is my favorite of all time; but it wouldn’t work with the burgers here at B Spot; the patties are too thick for that type of bun. I think they DO call for a thick bun like they’ve got. I just wasn’t all that crazy about it. I think it was a little crumbly in the top part of the bun?
Whenever I order something hot, my nose is the gauge for just how spicy a dish really is. This burger didn’t register a single nose wipe - not even twinge. Perhaps the spicy stuff was cut by the beef and pulled pork. I don’t know, but hot it wasn’t.
The Lola fries were good but a little shy of what I would pay $3 for.
In the end I’m not as high on it as some (here, here and especially here, and I’m not as down on it as here), but I don’t know that I’ll be rushing back. Symon has obviously done his homework and positioned himself in an area that is absolutely starved for this type of dining option. My guess is that he will never be short on customers at this location. I can’t speak for lunch, but dinner can have a half hour to hour wait. Thankfully they are pretty good with their time estimates, so Barnes & Noble, Trader Joe’s, etc. are the perfect place to spend that time.
I hear that the bun has been altered so as to not get as soggy from the juices emanating from the burger patty. I cannot personally attest to the new version, since I haven't eaten it, but apparently the kitchen has responded to this situation.
Michael Symon's B Spot
28699 Chagrin Boulevard
Woodmere, OH 44122