B-spot at Eton Place is the newest local Michael Symon endeavor, specializing in burgers and beer at very reasonable prices. Sarah and I had been eagerly awaiting its opening for months. Not only were we excited about the concept, but it’s the closest Michael Symon restaurant to our house.
Hoping to take advantage of smaller crowds for their soft opening (which we learned about from Nancy at Fun Playing With Food), we arrived at 5:55pm on Saturday. The wait was a little over an hour for a table for three, but the time went by quickly between a long visit to Barnes and Noble and a quick trip to Trader Joe’s.
The décor gives off a very good casual bar vibe, dimly lit and friendly. Despite the crowd, our drink order was taken within a minute or two of our being seated. I started with a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. I love rye beers, and this is one of my favorites. The B-spot’s beer selection (especially on draft) is outstanding with a helpful listing of lighter to medium to fruity / funky to hoppy and finally to darker beers.
We ordered a variety of dishes as so many of them looked good. Everything comes out at once at the B-spot, which was fine as everything was hot and fresh when brought to the table.
The cilantro lime wings were unlike any wings we’ve had. Floral lime thoroughly penetrated the very tender wing meat. Some places deep fry their wings to a char; B-spot isn’t one of them.
The chips with parmesan rosemary fondue added a whole new dimension to “can’t stop eating them.” The buttery rosemary dip infused every crunchy bite of fresh-fried potatoes.
(Beer intermission: I got an Ommegang right after the food showed up, which was brought to the table within about a minute. Yet another outsanding draft beer, with subtle wheat and Beligan complexity)
I had the Red Hot burger as an entrée, stuffed with pulled pork and topped with pickled green tomato, pepperjack cheese, sriracha mayo and pickled hot peppers. The burger was perfectly cooked to medium rare, wonderfully juicy and pleasantly (but not obnoxiously) spicy.
Sarah’s Stripper salad (a burger on romaine with blue cheese, bacon, and avocado) was the only disappointment of the evening. While the burger was excellent, the avocado was somewhat underripe, and the blue cheese dresssing was a bit generic and on the sour side.
Jonathan had the Old School, a bologna sandwich with pickles and american cheese. We held the mustard but probably shouldn’t have; he just told me today that he likes mustard, and it would have cut through the richness of the sandwich. The bologna portion is very generous, about an inch thick. The flavors were very good, especially when I added mustard at home to the leftovers.
B-spot prices are super-reasonable. Premium draft beers are $5 / pint, generously portioned appetizers are $3-$7, and big burgers & sandwiches are $5 — $9. The only downside is the wait, which rose to 2+ hours for people who arrived at 6:30. And this was without any announcement of the restaurant’s opening.
The B-spot is probably my favorite Symon restaurant–burgers, beer and brats fit his sensibilities. The burgers are from Pat La Frieda in New York, known as one of the best suppliers in the country (see also this Nightline Episode that features them at –2:30). Despite the flawless burgers, part of me wishes they’d used local grassfed beef; but I’m being really nit-picky here, and I don’t even know the practicality of that kind of supply chain.
Eton Place should pay the B-spot rather than vice versa. Food this good will draw loads of people, and we’ll endure the wait. In the meantime, though, it’s really easy to spend money at the mall.