Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It Did Not Hit The "Spot"

So anyone that pays attention to the restaurant scene in Cleveland knew when Michael Symon opened his burger joint, B-Spot. It's been open for quite some time now. I know, I know- I'm a slacker. We just don't make it over to the east side that often, and for some reason I did not think that it was worth driving over just to dine there. Before you gasp in horror (all you loyal Symon fans out there), I certainly wanted to try it. However, I was hoping that we'd end up in that area for other reasons and then we could just pop in. It finally happened on Sunday.

"R" and I spent a glorious day playing at the Akron Zoo and exploring Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (beautiful and historic, by the way). We headed back towards Cleveland around 3:00 with our tummies rumbling. Unbeknown to me, "R" headed in the direction of Eton. It was calling his name. We rolled up just after 4:00 and were seated immediately. Which I hear is rare at B-Spot.

We excitedly opened our menus and immediately honed in on an order of the Lime & Cilantro Wings ($7). Scolded by our server that we couldn't order until we were ready with our entrees (Symon rule, folks- it keeps you from lingering) we hurried to make a decision. I settled on the Shroomage burger with portabella, blue cheese, Lola steak sauce, and caramelized onions ($9). "R" got the "Chef's Choice" burger of the day, which happened to be a Thai burger with a peanut and coconut sauce, Asian slaw, and a fried egg. His burger was FAN-TAS-TIC. I was so jealous. It was insanely messy and dribbled down his hands, but the combination of flavors was spot on. Although I don't think the fried egg did a whole lot for the dish in this case. And that takes a lot for me to admit, because I truly love a fried egg on a burger. I however, did not love my burger. While it was a decent burger, I think I was expecting more. The portabella mushroom was tough to chew through, and the steak sauce was almost non-existent. The dominating flavor was just blue cheese. Luckily, the order of wings saved the day. I will award these wings the #2 spot in my heart, only behind The Greenhouse Tavern's. Which says a lot. They were crispy and meaty, and the lime/cilantro rub was bursting with flavor. Especially when paired with the small portion of pickled hot pepper salsa-ish stuff that was hiding at the bottom of the basket. These wings were a home run in my book.

Now on to the atmosphere. Here is where I may upset some people- I was not a fan. It felt so commercial to me. And I know that is the direction that Symon is headed (more power to him for being at that point in his career), but it just isn't what I am looking for when dining. Everything felt plastic. The only authentic thing in there was the gorgeous beer can wall. I know the intention behind B-Spot is for him to open others, but you just felt that sitting there and it kind of ruined my excitement over trying the place. Also, the glass wall that faces the mall allows you to watch shoppers stroll by and sitting next to diners with their booth piled high with packages just felt odd.

At the end of the day the question is: will we be back? I can honestly say that I would dine there again if we are in the area, but I will not be making the trip over to Eton just for a burger. Even if it is a good burger. Hmmm, maybe for those wings though!

28699 Chagrin Boulevard
Woodmere, OH 44122
(216) 292-5567

B Spot Burgers on Urbanspoon


Nancy said...

Did you try the Ohio Honey Fresh Squeezed Lemonade? It's fantastic.

Can't comment on the Shroomage - the one burger I would only photograph but never order (I don't do mushrooms).

Just had the Thai burger for lunch today and loved it. Sorry you didn't enjoy your experience as much. I admit, I liked the room better without the TV, but otherwise it is what it is. They were constructing the outside patio today, though. That should be nice.

Bite Buff said...

Nancy- No, I didn't. I forgot about it until you just mentioned it, but I had read about it on your blog. Next time. Because I am sure that there will be a next time. I was just a little disappointed in the experience overall. It's not like Symon can produce terrible food. And an outdoor patio is always wonderful. I'm glad to hear of that addition.

P.S. I think that Thai burger should be on the menu!

Cara -iCarabout.com said...

I really enjoyed the burgers at the new Metro Bar + Kitchen. They chefs can tell you EVERYTHING about the beef they use and they hand grind it in house! SO YUMMY!