This past week work travels took me to suburban Cleveland. Like a lot of American cities, Cleveland is experiencing a food renaissance (coincidentally highlighted in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer). The contact for the company we were working for offered lots of great tips for restaurants, and reminded me that I was in Michael Symon country. My days were spent teaching, and evenings were spent prepping for teaching the next day; given my location and the work load, unfortunately I did not have a chance to get out and explore. Meals were in the client's cafeteria or my business-class hotel for the most part. They were serviceable, and one hotel dinner was actually quite good, but I was disappointed that I didn't have time to check out the scene.
Class was finished Thursday afternoon, though, and I wasn't due to fly back to Nashville until today. So, co-instructor Robert and I headed down the Interstate a few exits to check out an outpost of B Spot Burgers, Symon's casual pub. Symon was a key instigator in the Cleveland restaurant renaissance with Lolita, and has since gone on to open several other restaurants and to star in books (Michael Ruhlman's "... of a Chef" series) and various food-centric TV shows. I don't know if/when I'll ever make it back to Cleveland, so I leapt at the opportunity to check this chef off my list AND to continue the burger theme of the blog.