Michael Symon may have earned his reputation crafting slash-and-burn grouper and beef-cheek pierogies. But his latest endeavor likely will appeal to his broadest audience yet. Opening last week at Eton Chagrin, B Spot (28699 Chagrin Blvd., 216.292.5567, bspotburgers.com) is designed less to impress than it is simply to please.
Specializing in gourmet burgers, brats and bologna sandwiches, B Spot is Symon's most happy-go-lucky restaurant to date. To craft the best burgers, you gotta start with the best beef, and Symon has come up with what he believes is the ideal formula: two parts chuck, two parts sirloin, one part brisket. The meat is imported from legendary New York meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda, who supplies bespoke blends to the likes of Danny Meyer and Mario Batali. Seared on a flat top, the six-ounce patties are tucked into either a brioche bun or a soft English muffin. There are 15 different iterations, featuring everything from coleslaw, pastrami and Swiss to corned beef and 'kraut. Fans of the pitch-perfect Lola burger, with fried egg, bacon, aged cheddar and onions, will find it here. Prices range from $5.50 for a "Plain Jane" to $11 for a double with cheese. Burgers are cooked to the customer's specification, meaning those who order a medium-rare burger will get a patty that is red — not pink — and cool in the center. Diners can customize their sandwiches by visiting a small condiment station containing various relishes, pickles and peppers. On every table is caddy of six sauces that includes Lola ketchup, Stadium Mustard and a delicious brew called coffee bbq.
Other main dishes include a half-dozen bratwurst combos and an equal number of fried bologna and miscellaneous sandwiches. It's strange to see Lola's svelte and dainty french fries beneath a landslide of meaty bean-free chili, but damned if the chili-cheese fries aren't fun to eat. The fries share the "bar snack" portion of the menu with tomato-blue cheese soup, three styles of wings and golden-brown onion rings. Rounding out the menu are six different salads and ridiculously thick milkshakes made with Mitchell's ice cream. Adults can choose from an exceptional listing of beers, with approximately 50 selections, half of which are served on draft. There is also a limited selection of wine. The small, edgy and comfortable space can handle about 120 diners, thanks in part to mall seating. Come springtime, a garage door will rise and give way to a street-side patio.