Monday, January 17, 2011

B Spot

This might be of interest only to my faithful readers who live in Cleveland, Ohio. I don't live in Cleveland, but my mother does, and when I visited her over this past weekend we went to B Spot, a new burger joint owned by celebrity chef Michael Symon. Symon is a Cleveland native, an Iron Chef, and now world famous chef and restaurateur. I've always liked the guy as a TV personality, and now I can say I like him as a creator of restaurants as well. Damn good burger, even if some things about his restaurant were a little less than perfect.

To begin with, it's one of those restaurants with lots of rules. Anybody who knows me should be well aware that I love rules and always do my best to abide by them, but I also never hesitate to complain about rules that make no sense and serve no purpose. Not allowing reservations is one of those restaurant rules that I find annoying, doubly so when the establishment is like the B Spot and offers nowhere to congregate comfortably while you spend your inevitable wait for your table. Also, they won't seat you until your entire party is there -- which is absolutely logical and reasonable and more than fine, except for when they went ahead and sat us before our fourth party member arrived, and then complained about how we were given a table even though our party wasn't complete.

This is Michael Symon, not me.
We attempted to order appetizers, but were told that the restaurant served no appetizers, just sides, and that all the stuff on the menu that looked like appetizers (like salads, chicken wings, etc) came along with the food. It is the policy of the restaurant that all menu items arrive at the same time. Huh? Who would want chicken wings, a salad, and a burger to arrive in front of them at once? That makes no sense. So we waited to order food until our fourth party member arrived, which clearly annoyed our server, even though it had taken him about ten or fifteen minutes before he even came over to say hello. It's not like we slowed them down, since the service was just slow in general.

However, once the food came, the awkward service and silly rules were forgotten because I proceeded to eat the best burger I've ever had in my life. No joke. I got the Lola, which came topped with bacon, onions, and a fried egg. It was divine. My mother got the Plain Jane, which is just as it sounds, but the couple bites I had showed off how amazing the actual burger was. The meat was fresh and perfectly cooked. Also, I ordered mine rare while she ordered hers medium rare, and mine came rare and hers came medium rare. This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but as a burger lover, I'm always disappointed by how rarely my burgers are actually cooked correctly to order. The guy's at B Spot are doing it right.

So while the ambiance is a little off, the service was a little wacky, and the rules were a little obtuse, B Spot delivered where it mattered: By serving just about the best burgers you'll ever eat. If I lived in Cleveland, I would be there all the time, but I'd get there early and go with my entire party in the same car.

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