Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spot On

"For two, please."
"The wait is 45 minutes to 1 hour."

The woman quickly scribbled my name and the time in her book, and then directed us to wait at the bar or at the mall hallway where they would be calling out names.

B Spot's location is incorporated into a mall, so wait time isn't very painful. Barnes & Noble is the lucky neighbor.

BSpot Mall Interior
Waiting in the mall hallway

After we spent 20 minutes roaming around, we sat outside of B Spot for 15 minutes when my name was called out.

It was interesting staring at people eating. I initially wanted to sit along the mall hallway because of the lighting, never really considering how uncomfortable I might have made those diners feel by staring at and commenting about their dishes. At least I didn't take close-up shots of their food and strike up a conversation.

BSpot Bar and Kitchen
View from our table

We were seated at the front of the house. Behind me was the B Spot beer can mural. To the left was a glass roll-up garage door that I presume will be open once warmer weather hits.

The antler chandelier was a reminder that I was here to consume meat. (There are non-meat options like the Why??, a veggie burger with bleu cheese, pickled onions, and arugula, and Shroomage, portobello mushroom, bleu cheese, caramelized onions, with Lola steak sauce.)

The mood was lively and the music festive. It had a Saturday night vibe. Well, I suppose being a Saturday evening may have contributed to this. We were seated on high chairs, so I was able to see beyond the tables and out to the mall hallway. The entire time we were there, the mingling crowd did not thin out.

BSpot Beer Can Mural
View from our table

Order taking was efficient and cordial. Our waiter came by with a small hand held device, stylus in hand, and took our order.

Since I glossed over the menu online, there was one thing I HAD to try: the vanilla apple pie bacon shake ($5.00). Would it have been enough for me to walk out if it was not available? Tough call.

BSpot Vanilla Apple Pie Bacon
Amazing vanilla apple pie bacon shake

The thick, spiced vanilla shake arrived in a silver container, with an empty glass and a bubble tea straw. The pulverized smoky specks reminded me of Bac-Os because of its super crunchy texture. For an additional $3, bourbon can be added.

For $3 and $5, the Lola fries and onion rings were a natural addition to the meal.

BSpot Lola Fries
Lola fries

The crisp shoestring fries were sprinkled with rosemary. I prefer thin fries over steak fries, so I was pleased. Of course, they tasted best the moment they arrived at the table.

Yes, I actually ate onion rings! The batter was well seasoned and the thick-cut onions were fresh, not stringy. I could be wrong, but it tasted like beer batter was used. I was told by our waiter that lard was used. Something I don't hear very often.

BSpot Onion Rings
Really good onion rings

At each table, there is a basket with 6 bottles of sauces:
- balsamic steak sauce
- Lola ketchup
- shasha sauce
- coffee BBQ
- ketchup
- stadium mustard

BSpot Sauces
Sauces at each table

Coffee BBQ had a sweet, smoky, and slightly bitter flavor. The balsamic steak sauce was reminiscent of tonkatsu sauce, but not as sweet. Lola ketchup tasted like pureed canned tomatoes with light seasoning. According to Bug, the shasha sauce tasted like it had horseradish. We both liked the coffee BBQ the most for dipping.

BSpot SymonSays
Symon says...

My Symon Says burger ($8.00) included bologna, cole slaw, American cheese, and whip sauce with a hefty burger cooked to a prefect medium, as requested. The bun was exceptional. Firm, but not dry. It easily held together and soaked up the juices without becoming soggy. I reluctantly surrendered one bite to Bug.

Bug ordered the Smasher's Special ($9.00), which is akin to ordering an omakase special at a Japanese restaurant. He didn't even ask for a description of the burger.

The special was the pizza burger, which included pepperoni, banana peppers, mozzarella, and marinara. Bug enjoyed the pepperoni in his burger.

BSpot Smashers Special Pizza
Smasher's Special this week

We inquired with our waiter what the previous mystery burgers had been. He responded that the Smasher's Special as a menu selection is only in its 3rd week. Last week, the special included chorizo. I don't recall what was served the first week, but I remember that it was served with tzatziki.

Bug hopped over to the pickle bar. He looked like a kid in a candy store.

BSpot Pickle Bar
Lots of pickled stuff at the pickle bar

There were several pickled cucumbers, pickled onions, jalapeno peppers, and pickled green tomatoes in buckets. The onions were sweet and tart, jalapanos were hot, and the green tomatoes were crunchy, tart and had an onion essence.

BSpot Pickles
Pickled onions, kosher dill pickles, and pickled green tomatoes

BSpot Smashers Pizza
Munched pizza burger

Just for fun, Bug also ordered a New School bologna sandwich ($6.00), which consisted of an egg fried over-easy, pickled onions, sweet hot pickles, and a very thick slice of fried bologna with Russian dressing.

BSpot New School Bologna
New School bologna sandwich

Bug came away inspired from this sandwich, professing that he will be purchasing more bologna and frying it, as well as adding fried eggs to his sandwiches. I'll take that as a thumbs up on the New School.

BSpot New School Bologna half
New School cut open

Paying for the meal was painless. The same device used to take orders also swipes credit cards so our card never left our sight.

BSpot Wrapper

We're not fan boys or girls of Michael Symon, but his name did lure us into giving the place a try. We were not disappointed. The service was always cordial and prompt; something that is lost at some restaurants that are half or a quarter as busy.

We look forward to paying B Spot another visit as we're in this area a few times per month to shop at Trader Joe's, Sur La Table, Anthropologie, and Penzey's. It's a comfortable restaurant. Perhaps I'll try the Breuben, a burger with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.

- Cassaendra

B Spot
28699 Chagrin Blvd
Woodmere, OH 44122
Tel: (216) 292-5567

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