Saturday, February 6, 2016

Restaurant Review: The B Spot

Bologna Burger

B Stands for "Burgers Brats and Beer",
but they should add "Bologna" too!

In the last few years I have really grown to love burgers. I know many of you have probably appreciated these little gems (or sometimes oversized patties) for years, beginning in childhood, but I didn't. It was probably because I did not have the experience of a delicious perfectly cooked patty on the grill but had countless opportunities to eat dry disks that were broiled in our oven, or the frozen kinds that were reheated for school hot lunches.

I love a good burger. Some of my favorites are Green Dot and Field of Dreams (which I just realized I have never posted about!). B Spot was a different joint than the two of these although of course there is only so much you can do to make your burger restaurant stand out. We went yesterday after a move and it was a Friday night but the place was close to empty. As we walked over there we realized that most of downtown Royal Oak was close to empty; there was an abundance of good parking spaces and not a lot of people walking around. . . After seeing a movie with zombies, I had to wonder if something has happened in real life or if I was wrong that it was Friday night?

In any event, the decor itself is pretty cool in B Spot. Of course there is the obligatory homage to Michael Symon (Iron Chef) who owns this restaurant with a little niche (shrine?) with his books and photos. The rest has an urban feel with a large piece of graffiti art, steel tables that look to be decorated with spray paint that have an automotive feel, and booths that kind of feel like church pews.  In the center of the room is a pickle bar so you can grab your own accompaniments that include additional offerings of kimchi (spicy!), fried green tomatoes, and jalapeños.

We started out with milkshakes. These are some very huge offerings, coming in a metal cup that is reminiscent of the 1950's but there are definitely updated. My daughter ordered a Chocolate-Banana-Marshmallow one that had toasted marshmallows on top. You can add dark rum to this one and I would definitely do that for myself when I go back. . . My friend and I each ordered the special shake of the month which was Mocha flavored with liberal amounts of Jameson whisky and Bailey's. Remember I said it was huge? Do yourself a favor and ask for an extra straw and split it. It was over ten dollars and because it contained alcohol we couldn't take them with us.

So burgers, without further ado, there are a ton of options. The fine folks at this establishment have created some mash ups already for you to pick from. The catch is you can remove any items from their predetermined combinations but you can’t add or substitute. That is hard for me so I prefer a build your own. There are all kinds of choices, from the kind of patty you build upon including beef, turkey, and bologna (more about that later), to items like griddled mushrooms, slice avocado, pickled red onions, and sauces that include signature BBQ offerings, spicy Lola ketchup and a shasha sauce which has quite a bit of horseradish in it.

My daughter built her own quite naturally, including a beef burger medium, with a sunny side fried egg, bacon, griddled mushrooms and cheddar. It was good but the burger itself wasn’t all that in my opinion. It was the topping that made it. Adding a couple of garlic dills was also appreciated.

My friend had a grilled cheese that she said was very good. The grilled cheese included roasted red peppers and arugula. She also ordered rosemary French fries that we all shared. These were really thin, shoestring style, and very very good.

I didn’t order a conventional burger. The patty of bologna really intrigued me. You can order bologna by the way as a topping but that’s a thin little piece. When it’s a patty it’s a thick wedge and it was quite good. I ordered it with a fried egg, white cheddar, coleslaw and Russian dressing. I was actually glad the Russian dressing came on the side because it was not what I was used to and had a fair amount of horseradish or spice in it that would have tasted a bit odd on the actual burger. This was a good “burger” but I would have preferred if the bologna had been fried up a little longer to have those crisp edges. It tasted more like a thick wedge of uncooked bologna.

No room for dessert. The milkshakes really made sure that we had no room. I have a ¼ of a burger for breakfast today and my daughter had at least half left over so that’s something. That makes me a little happier about the final bill. This place is not cheap, two burgers and milkshakes totaled $50 dollars and while it was delicious I’m not sure it was worth all that. Once you add a tip. . . I will have to review Field of Dreams soon because that burger is about a third of the price and really really good if you just want a bar burger. No fancy toppings but good food.

Of course the milkshakes make this a fun place, along with the décor and the bustle of downtown Royal Oak. This is going to be a “special” place to go to, probably not with the whole family. The idea of spending $100 for the four of us doesn’t really seem like a good use of a night out. For that kind of money there are a lot of options.

Verdict? Definitely a fun spot and something to experience but not a whole family adventure if you have any semblance of a budget in mind!

Updated February 21 2016: I now have reviewed my fave burger place, Field of Dreams.

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