Cleveland Rocks!

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This is my third visit to Cleveland since my brother, Warren, moved there from Detroit. I don’t bother doing research on what to do whenever I visit because he knows of all the great places to eat and visit — both little hideaways as well as fancy places. The last visit to Cleveland was two years ago when Paul and I got engaged in Michigan and we met up with him to officially announce our impending plans. Anyway, it was nice to see my brother again and officially end our vacation with him and his newly engaged fiancee. Another sister-in-law to add to my fray!

As for food, this was truly an eating vacation.

Paul's birthday donuts

First off, donuts for Paul’s birthday from Dunkin’ Donuts. Say what you will about the Double D but we do not have Dunkin’ Donuts in Southern California. So it was a real treat to wake up and find them waiting in the kitchen for us to devour. While I think Tim Horton’s is far superior, Dunkin’ Donuts comes in as a close second when it comes to chain donut stores.

But it doesn’t stop at donuts, we also had fried perch, a lake fish, several times that week. Aside from eating perch at restaurants, it was also sold alongside fried chicken in some supermarkets. Of course, we made a pilgrimage to West Side Market where we checked out local produce and compared prices on fresh perch. Oh, if we could only transport the fish safely from Cleveland to San Diego!

B Spot cans

B Spot Menu

The one place I requested was to check out was Iron Chef and Dinner Impossible host, Michael Symon’s burger place, B Spot, a fancy burger place with some unique sandwiches ranging from $6-11.

B Spot is attached to a shopping center with indoor and outdoor seating. It was an unusually nice day so we opted to eat outside.

Besides burgers, B Spot also serves bratwursts, salads and other sandwiches. Everyone in our party opted for some burger of one kind or another.

Fried bologna burger

My burger — the Symon Says — was a thick beef patty topped with coleslaw, whipsauce (a mix of mayonnaise and mustard), American cheese and fried bologna. Other burger combinations include the Philly Wit (a burger with flipsteak, cheese whiz and onions) and Red Hot (burger topped with pulled pork, pickled tomato, hot peppers, pepperjack cheese and a siracha mayo).

My biggest guff about burger places is that the never ask how you want your burger. It’s especially important when dealing with a thick patty like the ones served at B Spot. For me, medium is the perfect temperature — not too dry but cooked enough that I can still taste the patty. B Spot cooks the burger a perfect medium.

Burger slippage

The Symon Says is a messy burger due to all the different components. It’s the type of burger you can’t put down or slippage will occur — the patty shifts between the buns and it throws off the whole meat:bun bite ratio. In my case, a bit of the top bun was left over after I finished the rest of the sandwich. I’m sure this, depending on who you ask, is not a good thing. But I blame it on burger eating capability — something I have been unable to master in all my years of eating.

It was a delicious, tender burger not needing any other condiments. The fried bologna added some salty tang to the burger. I wish I had known about the wonders of fried bologna sooner. It’s a nice, softer alternative to bacon.

B Spot Sauces

Pickled things

But condiments were aplenty. A six-pack of sauces came to our table, including a balsamic steak sauce, Lola ketchup, coffee BBQ and stadium mustard. Inside the restaurant was a slew of pickled veggies: green tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos and several types of pickles. I’m sure you can create a makeshift salad with the variety available.

B Spot Chips

As for sides, the onion rings were standard, freshly made from sweet onions but the stand out was the fresh-made chips served with a creamy parmesan dip. Thick-cut russet potatoes with a simple sea salt garnish are the way to my heart.

B Spot was only a single note from our vacation. Between the visiting and the eating (including a great dinner involving slow-cooked, bbq pork), we had a restful, memorable vacation.

As for exercise, that was included in our schedule. And he went by the name of Honda — the sweetest Jack Russell Terrier mix in the world. He’s a big fan of eating too.

Closeup

(Dear Warren. Here is the picture of Honda on my blog as you requested. Love, Darlene.)

10 thoughts on “Cleveland Rocks!

  1. Your vacation sounds amazing. So much food! I miss Dunkin Donuts. I get really annoyed when I see a commercial here or see the coffee being sold. It’s such a tease since we don’t have anyhere.

  2. I like how the guy in the background of the photo of the pickled condiment bar is giving you the eye. As in “Why is that person taking a photo of that?”. Classic. I got Dunkin Donuts when I went to Vegas this summer and I relished in them. Though we have good donut shops here, there’s just something comforting about Dunkin Donuts. Also, love the puppy!

  3. All of us in Cleveland miss you and Paul! Especially Honda because there’s nobody to give him his extra three walks per day! Also, I’m already thinking about the places we DIDN’T get to. “Next time” – I tell myself.

  4. Love the photos! Those were some really fantastic shots. So glad that Cleveland rocks, b/c I’m hoping for some love from Case Western. And Honda… a natural for the camera, that one.

  5. hi darlene – glad to hear that you totally enjoyed your vacation! how fun!!! and fried bologna in a hamburger, now that’s something that i’ll try!

    great food shots and cute dog too! your food pix are magazine worthy!

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