Technically, it was Westlake. But, when I talked to my wife that night, all I really knew is that it was somewhere around Cleveland. Thus, Westlake will always be “somewhere west of Cleveland”.
But somewhere west of Cleveland was nicer than I expected. I have come to change my opinion of the area. When I used to hear Cleveland, I would think industrial wasteland and burning rivers. (Yes, I know that second one was a long time ago.) But a few trips to the area have given me an appreciation that there are some really nice spots in northeast Ohio. I’m an especially fond of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
B Spot was located in one of those nice spots, in an outdoor mall called Crocker Park. But it was more than just a mall. In addition to nice shops and restaurants, there were apartments above those, and it felt like a bigger version of a small town. I even relaxed next to a fountain while listening to a band.
I was the first one of our group at the restaurant, and I had the important job of getting a table, which I did with extreme prejudice. Whatever that means. During my wait, I enjoyed a beer from New Holland – even though I was in Ohio, I still wanted a taste from faraway Michigan. Their beer menu was solid, including a description of the beer, and the price, which I appreciate.
Many good burger choices awaited me, but the Fat Doug called me, a burger topped with coleslaw, Swiss and pastrami. It had two meats, which on a burger is better than only one meat. I really couldn’t taste the pastrami – I could visibly confirm that it was in there, it simply had a mild flavor. The coleslaw made a nice showing, though. The burger itself was perfectly cooked, and when they said a little bit on pink, they were right-on.
As an aside, I kept calling the “Fat Doug” a “Hot Doug”, probably because I’m still grieving at the closing Hot Doug’s near Chicago. I believe this is the “denial” phase.
Back to the food. The burger didn’t come with any sides, but our table ordered fries and onion rings, and both were excellent, with my slight preference being the fries. Perhaps I just like rosemary, or maybe it was the superior crispiness of the fries. Either way you choose (I’m not judging here), you’ll be happy. Onions and potatoes can live happily together. And I have to give a special shout-out to the pickle bar. It’s like a salad bar, but with pickles. I didn’t make that up, either.
The burger at B Spot was be-licious (you’re welcome for that). This was my second experience with a Michael Symon restaurant, the first being the incredibly good Roast in Detroit. We have a nice outdoor mall in Lansing – perhaps Mr. Symon wants to delve a little farther into Michigan?