My quest for the best burger is never-ending, so when given the choice to end my trip home to Cleveland with the Italian offerings of the chain Brio Tuscan Grille, at Crocker Park in Westlake, or a hamburger creation at the B Spot, down the street, I went for the American staple. Medium rare.
The B Spot is part of Food Network celebrity chef Michael Symon's Cleveland food juggernaut. He's the guy behind one of the city's most popular restaurants, Lola Bistro, as well as Lolita.
At B Spot, he piles meat onto meat. Think of Symon's burgers as the love children of hamburgers and deli sandwiches. There's a hamburger with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing (the Brueben). Another gets cozy with Philadelphia cheesesteak and CheezWhiz. He also puts fried egg, bacon, pickled red onions, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise on burgers, and pairs burgers with fried salami and with bologna.
I wish I had the stomach to try them all. I ordered the Fat Doug, a hamburger with slices of pastrami, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and stadium mustard. I loved the extra, briny bite that the pastrami brought to the hamburger, which was a bit bland.
The shoestring fries with rosemary and sea salt were okay, not as exciting as I had hoped. (I am smiling now at the thought of wanting excitement from a paper cup full of deep-fried potato strips. Maybe I should get out more.)
The best thing I ate? The pumpkin milkshake, with loads of whipped cream and toasted nuts (walnuts? pecans? I can't remember). I envisioned something sickly-sweet, as pumpkin treats can often be, loaded down with sugar to get rid of that bass note of squash that pumpkin sings. But the pumpkin flavor was mellow and rich, warmed by cinnamon and the crunchy, toasted nuts.
I wouldn't say my favorite burger is the Fat Doug at the B Spot. I'm still on the hunt for it.
Got any recommendations? Let me know where to get the best burger in the comments section below.