My friend Edsel remarked to me that since we had tried the burgers at Bspot on Monday, we needed to return later this week to try the brats! (Remember, the "B" stands for Bar Snacks & Sides, Big Salads, Bad **s Shakes, Burgers, Bratwurst, Bologna (& Other), Beer and Bourbon.) I can never argue with logic like that, so today, three of us returned to Michael Symon's new restaurant in Woodmere Ohio to sample the brats (the third person hadn't been there yet).
While waiting for everyone to arrive, I got another perspective on the shiny motorcycle remnants hanging over the bar area:
I also checked out the pickle bar - something new (and cucumbery) had been added, and I felt obligated to get a blur-free shot of the other cucumber-based pickle, which hadn't come out well my first visit:
Pickle I blurred on Monday.
All three of us opted for brats:
Clevelander brat with coleslaw, hot sauce, fries
Edsel enjoyed his choice.
Stadium Style brat with caramelized onions, stadium mustard
Both Kay and I selected this combination. The caramelized onions were perfect, and the veal and pork based-brat was very tasty. The only weak link in the sandwich (indeed, the only weak link I've yet discovered at Bspot) was the bratwurst's bun. There was nothing wrong with it - but it was nothing special. And it really didn't hold together well enough to eat the sandwich as a sandwich.
Any shortcomings in the bun were more than amply compensated for by the amazing onion rings:
Michael Symon has said that with Bspot he was shooting to produce the best burger in America (which he may well have achieved; see my last post). I don't know if he realizes it, but he may have also created the best onion ring in the land! The tasty breading actually stays connected to the onions inside (how many times have you bit into an onion ring and the onion came out in a big hunk, leaving an empty ring of greasy breading?). Speaking of grease - I know there must be some on these onion rings, because my fingers left grease stains on my napkin - but darned if I tasted any grease or felt it in my mouth while munching these. Amazingly - the smaller rings were actually the best ones!
Think the fact that they are fried in pork fat has anything to do with how luscious they are?
Chips parmesan fondue, rosemary
I don't think I'll ever tire of this re-run.
Simply marvelous - cheesy, creamy goodness against perfectly crispy chips.
One reason for selecting the less-intense brat (as opposed to the massive burger) was to ensure I'd have the space on my plate and in my tummy for some of those fabulous pickle-bar goodies!
Sweet Pickled Green Tomatoes, Hot Pepper Relish, Hot Pepper Ring, Jalapeno Relish
Uh, Mr. Symon - I'll have a gallon of those pickled green tomatoes to go . . . they are THAT good. In fact, those tomatoes, and the onion rings (and the re-run of the chips and cheese fondue), were the most amazing things I tasted today. Sorry that the brats were "only" delicious; not everything can realistically rate an "amazing."
I got these after I finished the caramelized ones on my brat. While nothing could touch the flavor and crunch of those green tomatoes - these pickled onions will definitely satisfy an onion craving!
And so, having played with two lunches at Bspot, I can only say that I expect to spend wayyyy too much time there in future weeks and months. While the brats will not dazzle you the way the burgers will, they are solidly tasty and expertly cooked, and a more than ample portion at $5-6 each.
Oh - and I tasted the Lexington Brewing Co., Bourbon Barrel American Strong Ale, Kentucky on draft- it was pretty darn amazing, rich and malty, with a few banana notes even though it isn't a wheat beer. I neglected to mention on Monday that I tasted two of Bob's beers - the Bells, Best Brown, English Brown, Kalamazoo, Michigan, on draft, and it was terrific, and the Great Divide, Hibernation, Old Ale, Colorado, also on draft, which was even tastier for a malt-head, but very strong for someone who had to drive back to work and then actually work (hence, I enjoyed but a taste).
BSpot is turning out to be everything we'd hoped it would be and more - meticulously crafted comfort food at a comfortable price, with beverages matched to the menu. One can indulge the food funny bone in burgers, brats, and other delights without breaking the bank - can't wait for my next visit!