Chef-Owner Jimmy Gibson describes his restaurant as a “house of carnivores,” so meat lover Michael Symon just had to try the Barge Bash Burger here. For the burger’s 8-ounce patty, Jimmy mixes a ground beef blend with plenty of butter (yes, butter) for added richness. The patty comes loaded with blue cheese and a spicy bacon-tomato jam that puts the burger “over the top,” according to Michael.
Past meets present at Moonshine, which serves updated comfort food classics in a 19th-century space. Executive Chef Danny Kievit’s culinary passion shines through in creative offerings like the Peach Glazed Pork Chop. A center-cut chop is cooked sous-vide style in a brown-sugar-and-chile-laced brine, resulting in a flavorful dish that’s finished with a sweet-and-tart topping of peach chutney.
This joint brings the enticing taste of Southern eats to New York City. The Carolina Naptime sandwich starts with tender strands of pork that are pulled from a whole hog cooked right on the premises. This meaty goodness is then topped with a vinegar pepper sauce, housemade coleslaw and a fried egg.
Michael Symon stops by to visit his friend Chef Jonathan Waxman and learn the secret behind his showstopping burgers. A wood-fired cooking technique locks in the juices and adds smokiness, while a layer of onion marmalade hidden beneath a blanket of melty cheese gives a hint of sweet flavor.
Food is a family business at Taco Flats, as the owner’s mother churns out the fresh tortillas that Michael Symon says put this spot “over the top.” They serve as the base for tacos like the Gringa: a cheese-covered tortilla piled with spicy morsels of marinated pork shoulder and fresh pineapple.
Bite into a one-of-a-kind burger at this joint that lets you make your own creation. Michael Symon invented the 50/50, which stars a cheese-covered meat patty stacked on a spicy veggie one (with crispy bacon and hot peppers to boot). This combo makes for a tasty blend of beef and barbecue flavors.
This brewery pairs craft beers with classic Cleveland dishes. Indulge in deliciously charred bratwursts steamed in Great Lakes’ own lager. They’re paired with pierogi, whose creamy insides and crunchy outsides make for little pillows of lusciousness. Sweet-and-sour red cabbage completes the dish.
This spot elevates the classic burger with creative riffs that deliver big on decadence. Follow Michael Symon’s lead and try the Market Burger (it’s topped with tender short ribs and a buttery bearnaise sauce). Then indulge in the Sweet Burger, made with a super-fudgy brownie, funnel fries and more.
Burgers are the name of the game at this restaurant, which features innovative between-the-bun creations. A standout is the Ghostface Burger: A brisket-short rib patty comes smothered with smoked Gouda cheese, topped with sweet potato-bacon tots and finished with ghost chile jam for a fiery kick.
Dig into creative dishes here like the Smoked Chorizo Meatloaf. This new take on a classic starts with a blend of spicy Mexican sausage, beef and pork. A bourbon-based barbecue sauce is added to the mix, which is baked, smoked and seared in bacon fat, then topped with melty cheese and onion straws.
Locals flock to this San Antonio fixture for the menu of reimagined comfort-food classics. Michael Symon’s favorite sandwich here features a slab of meatloaf that’s made from a pork and beef blend to ensure maximum juiciness and seasoned with a spicy dry rub for kick. The meatloaf comes wrapped in strips of applewood bacon and topped with a fried egg that “adds another layer of richness,” Michael says.
The Caribbean flavors that have influenced Louisiana cooking take center stage at this laid-back, open-air restaurant. A must-try is the Brisket Melt: The beef is rubbed with a chipotle pepper-studded marinade, smoked for 16 hours, then piled on a toasted roll. Ancho chile chutney, fried shallots and melted Jack cheese round out the sandwich.
When Michael Symon is craving barbecue in Los Angeles, he heads to this spot tucked away in a Koreatown strip mall, where platters of meats are grilled tableside and served with a dizzying array of sides (spicy cucumbers, marinated clams, kimchi and more). He stopped by to dine with Chef-Owner Jenee Kim, who recommended the short rib prepared two different ways: long slabs of a bone-in cut marinated in sesame oil and soy sauce, as well as thin strips of a boneless cut that sizzle on the grill.
The crowds flock here for comforting Southern eats with an international flair. Michael Symon enjoys the Beer Belly Taco, which stars hickory-smoked pork piled onto a corn tortilla and finished with Asian-inspired toppings like pickled carrots. Classic dishes like chicken-fried steak are also a hit.
Michael Symon headed to his hometown’s rival city to check out this hot spot that offers homemade comfort food dishes, local craft beers and panoramic views of Cincinnati. Even a classic like chicken and waffles gets kicked up a notch: The combination of serrano chile-laced waffles, Cajun-spiced fried chicken and maple-bacon butter had Michael declaring this dish “the breakfast of champions.”