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Big Maxie’s Bites

Read Editor Max Alter’s conquest to find the best food in Northeast Ohio.

The Best Burger in Cleveland: Installment One

The Yo! Burger complemented with a side of fries and an Apple Pie Bacon milkshake at The B Spot

When you read the word “hamburger,” what comes to mind? Do you think of a Big Mac? Or a Whopper?

If you answered yes to either of those two questions, you should probably find another article to read.

This isn’t about fast food. That isn’t what Cleveland is about. The 216 is essentially a fast food black hole. We don’t have the world-renounced In-N-Out Burger, or the Texas staple Whataburger, or even the Midwestern-based Culver’s. Cleveland is about the gourmet burger. Or the dive burger. Or, just simply, the burger that you can’t find anywhere else except Cleveland.

Cleveland is a burger oasis waiting to be discovered. And, in this installment, we’re zooming in on one of the most well-known and unique names in Cleveland burgers.



When you walk into the B-Spot in Woodmere, you know you’re at a burger joint.

As I walked in with my father and younger sister on March 8, the rustic glare of the silver-colored bar stools and kitchen immediately hit me along with a scent of the restaurant’s signature Lola Ketchup, which provides even the most dedicated burger fanatic with a unique twist on ketchup that you can not find anywhere else.

This atmosphere is a lot less of a dive bar and much more like a gourmet burger restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, this is nothing like a steakhouse. There’s still draft alcoholic drinks served and televisions showing SportsCenter at every hour of the day, but it’s a lot more like a place to take your family than a place to go with your work buddies.

Immediately after sitting down, a few things pop off the menu right away. Specifically, I found my eyes wandering directly to two sub-sections: “Burgers” and “Bad A** Shakes”. Yes, every restaurant has a fair share of their signature burgers, and, honestly, I wouldn’t go as far to say that Symon’s menu has significantly more signature burgers than other rivaling burger joints.

However, the unique sandwiches offered at the B-Spot help the restaurant stand apart from its competitors. For example, the “Fat Doug” burger comes equipped with coleslaw, pastrami, stadium mustard and swiss cheese all piled on top of a patty served between two buns. Another Symon original: the “Porky” burger: pulled pork, coleslaw, and the restaurant’s own “Cleveland BBQ sauce.”

Yet, those two paled in comparison to the make-up of the “Yo!” burger, which includes fried salami, capicola, hot peppers, shasha sauce (a tangy sauce popularized by Symon) and a melted slice of provolone cheese. To say the least, it sounded like Big Maxie in a sandwich.

As for the milkshakes, the restaurant has the classic chocolate and vanilla, but really took them to the next level with variants. The menu offers a chocolate banana marshmallow shake as well as a vanilla bean apple pie and bacon shake, which would be my eventual selection to pair with the Yo!.

I placed my order, and my dad paired it with an order of fries (“Who goes to a burger restaurant without getting fries?”) and onion rings (“Might as well throw some onion rings in there, too.”)

The milkshake came out about three minutes before the burger and sides. I spent that three minutes looking up the milkshake. It was colossal. The silver glass towered over the water glasses on the table and was twice the size of the soon-to-have-been-arrived fries. The top of the shake was lathered with bacon bits, and the wordy name of the shake was truly necessary to describe its full effects.

I took my first sip, and the blend of three items which are rarely spotted together worked superbly. The crunch of the bacon along with the mixed pie and ice cream flavor provided a satisfaction that isn’t reached through just a normal milkshake.

This cool flavor eventually provided a nice break from the Yo!. When the burger arrived, I was slightly underwhelmed. The burger was not mountainous by any means. It looked like a nice burger, but definitely nothing more than the average dive bar burger.

Thankfully, the flavor made up for it.

The spice from the shasha sauce and hot peppers provided a kick, and the fried salami was not overwhelming nor underwhelming. Arguably, the best part of the sandwich was the provolone cheese. There was a sharp flavor that complimented the patty perfectly, and, if that wasn’t enough to calm down the picante flavors, the milkshake was.

Also, in case you were wondering, the fries were pretty crispy.

While the Yo! Burger wasn’t the greatest burger I’ve ever had, as I believed the juiciness area was slightly lacking , the affordable $10.49 burger is definitely a great eat for the price, and I can see why the B-Spot is so heavily praised.

We paid our bill and began to leave, with stomachs full and our belts a little bit tighter.

The aura of fresh air hit us almost instantly, yet we left longing for another bite.

Thank goodness we live in Cleveland.

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Big Maxie’s Bites