The Restaurants Featured in Burgers, Brew & 'Que, Season 3

Discover the eateries that Michael Symon visited on his quest for the best burgers, brews and barbecue.
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Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Ben Leuner ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Ben Leuner ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Costas Inn — Baltimore

Michael heads to the Charm City, where he meets up with his pal, actor Josh Charles, who grew up in Baltimore. Their first stop, the Costas Inn, is what Michael calls a "shrine to seafood." This is where Maryland crab shines. They try the 8-ounce crab cake, made with jumbo lump crabmeat, imperial sauce and just enough breadcrumbs to hold it together. Also worth having are the pan-fried soft-shell crabs. And to wash it all down, there's a malty Raven Special Lager, which pays tribute to author Edgar Allen Poe.

Find the Restaurant: Costas Inn

Dooby's — Baltimore

It's been around for only a couple of years, but Dooby's has become known for its Korean-fusion dishes. Michael and Josh tried the Dooby's Burger, which features a 6-ounce Black Angus beef patty with housemade brioche bun and housemade kimchi, which Michael says is what puts it over the top. They also try the pork buns, served with gochujang aioli and sweet soy-ginger sauce. For dessert there's the Damn Good Pie, a buttermilk custard pie.

Find the Restaurant: Dooby's

Le Garage — Baltimore

Located in a subterranean space that used to be a movie theater in the 1930s, Le Garage has the vibe of a French brasserie but without the pretentiousness. With 14 rotating beer taps, the staff can pair a beer with any dish. Michael and Josh both enjoy the Bon Burger, made with dry-aged beef and topped with Jarlsberg cheese and au poivre sauce. With twice-fried Belgian frites on the side, it's a must, as are the Brussels sprouts with chile, bacon and blue cheese. 

Find the Restaurant: Le Garage

Heavy Seas Alehouse — Baltimore

At brewery Heavy Seas, the largest producer of cask beer in the States, Michael gets the chance to open up a special 20th anniversary cask of bourbon-barrel-aged beer, which turns out to be the perfect pairing with dessert: an eclair made with two different beers, a golden ale in the custard and a stout in the chocolate sauce. "There's always room in the sweet pocket," says Michael after a day of heavy eating.

Find the Brewery: Heavy Seas Alehouse

Good Stuff Eatery — Washington, D.C.

I started the slide like this: Taking along Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Michael's first stop in D.C. is Good Stuff Eatery, fellow Burger Bash winner Spike Mendelsohn's restaurant. After making some burgers in the back, Michael sits down to try the Smokehouse Burger and the Prez Obama Burger (pictured above), which features applewood-smoked bacon, red onion marmalade, blue cheese and horseradish mayo. "It sounds like a lot of things, but the burger is incredibly balanced," says Michael. Another must-have is the Toasted Marshmallow, a milkshake that Spike calls "a campfire in your mouth."

Find the Restaurant: Good Stuff Eatery

Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company — Washington, D.C.

Rocklands Barbeque has been around for the past 25 years, and there's good reason for it: This restaurant has some of the best barbecue in the area. After owner John Snedden shows Michael their process, from the chopping of the wood to the seasoning and smoking, they all sit down to a sampling of spare ribs (pictured above), chicken and a unique invention John's wife came up with. The Pearl is a bowl with layers of mac and cheese, baked beans, chopped pork, and barbecue sauce. "This is a bowl I can get behind," says Michael. To wash it all down, Michael enjoys a Right Proper stout that he likens to a milkshake.

Find the Restaurant: Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company

ChurchKey — Washington, D.C.

If you're into beer, there's no better place than ChurchKey. Owner Greg Engert offers at least 50 on draft and over 700 by the bottle. And every dish on the menu can be paired with a brew. Michael tries a bowl of gigantes beans (pictured above) that reminds him of his childhood. Simmered in a tomato sauce, the beans are topped with feta. Also on the menu is a summer vegetable ragu and a pig's head Monte Cristo. For some summery sipping, Michael tries the citrusy Suburban Beverage from Perennial. "This is my kind of joint," he says of the restaurant.

Find the Restaurant: ChurchKey

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar — Los Angeles

You'll never have a soggy burger bun at Plan Check. That's because the ketchup has been dehydrated and made into leather. "It preserves the integrity of the bun," says owner Terry Heller. Chef Sean Yontz makes the ketchup fresh every morning. Each burger is made with a 50-50 mix of chuck and short rib, but the best-selling Plan Check Burger gets topped with cheese, brown sugar bacon slices, lots of pickles and, of course, ketchup leather. "The burger is among the best I've ever had," says Michael.

Find the Restaurant: Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Original Tommy's — Los Angeles

Having been around for over 70 years, family-owned and -operated Tommy's now has over 30 locations, including the original shack on the corner of Beverly and Rampart. The feature on the menu is the double cheeseburger topped with chili. Since there aren't any tables or benches, Michael shows his pal Billy Gardell how to eat the burger without getting any of it on him. The secret is all in the stance. Michael also tries the tamale, which he calls "as great as the burger is."

Find the Restaurant: Original Tommy's

BrewWings — Los Angeles

Stopping by Angel City Brewery, which makes more than 20 beers on-site and even grows hops on the roof, Michael gets a tour from brewmaster Jonathan Carpenter. Next the guys head outside to food truck BrewWings. Stefano Enjem started the mobile business specifically to pair dishes for local craft breweries like Angel City. The chicken wings and fried waffles dish features the truck's signature spicy wings. Don't leave without trying the chicken potato tots topped with pulled chicken and three different cheeses.

Find the Restaurant: BrewWings

Park's BBQ — Los Angeles

For a different kind of barbecue, Michael stops by Park BBQ where owner Jenee Kim explains what makes Korean barbecue unique, which is quick marinades and quick cook times. Both Michael and Jenee agree that "the good thing about Korean barbecue is all the side dishes," which include spicy cucumber, hot chiles and kimchi. "I love when you eat and its part of a process," says Michael, enjoying the melt-in-the-mouth tenderness of the beef straight from the tabletop grill.

Find the Restaurant: Park's BBQ

Spring St. Bar & Sandwich Shoppe — Los Angeles

Before leaving LA, Michael stops by Spring St. Bar and Sandwich Shoppe, which owner Jonny Valenti says started out as an experiment about six years ago. Now they have a small deli and 26 beers on tap. Michael tries the Italiana, which starts with a layer of giardiniera, provolone cheese and five different cured Italian meats. "If I was in LA, I'd eat this sandwich every day," says Michael. To enjoy with his sandwich, Michael samples a few different beers, including an Angel City salted caramel gose.

Find the Restaurant: Spring Street Bar

Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery — Detroit

After heading to the Jolly Pumpkin for some requisite beer, Michael sits down for some pizza. What makes these pies so special is that the dough includes the brews. The spinach and artichoke pizza starts with a Parmesan cream base and is finished with lemon zest while still hot from the oven. The sweet potato and kale pizza (pictured above) has a sweet potato cream base that's topped with feta, red onion and pepperoncini. "Delicious food [and] the best beers I've ever tasted," Michael tells brewmaster Ron Jeffries.

Find the Restaurant: Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery

Green Dot Stables — Detroit

At Green Dot Stables, owner Jacques Driscoll and Chef Les Molnar have taken the slider concept and run with it, offering 20 variations on the menu. Everything's served on a small, soft bun, but the fillings vary. Michael tries the classic cheeseburger, the Philly cheesesteak with onions, peppers and cheese sauce, and the Korean beef patty with peanut butter and kimchi. "This is my favorite one," says Michael of the Korean slider.

Find the Restaurant: Green Dot Stables

Paulina Meat Market — Chicago

In Chicago, Michael meets up with his pal Chef Paul Kahan. Along with Anthony Anderson the guys visit Paul's favorite butcher, Bill Begale, the owner of Paulina Meat Market, which has been open since 1949. The guys try some of the market's jerky, kielbasa, mortadella and bologna loaf. There's no better place to get meat — whether it's fresh, cured or smoked — than at Paulina.

Find the Market: Paulina Meat Market

Diner Grill — Chicago

Ever since he lived around the corner, Paul has been a dedicated Diner Grill customer, always enjoying a double cheeseburger. He talks Michael into eating The Slinger, a layering of hash browns, two hamburger patties with cheese, two sunny-side-up eggs, onions and chili. Whoever can finish it gets a certificate to prove it, and Michael does just that — sober, he might add.

Find the Restaurant: Diner Grill

The Publican — Chicago

Michael finishes off his time in the Windy City with a stop at Paul's restaurant The Publican. It was the first of its kind in Chicago to have communal seating. As Paul explains, he wanted to "hark back to the way people ate in old-time England," with a focus on oysters, pork and beer. The menu has changed many times since, but it still includes pork, like this braised pork belly with corn and cherry tomatoes. The restaurant also features a great beer program, led by Adam Vavrick.

Find the Restaurant: The Publican

Village Cheese Shanty — Leland, Mich.

After getting a lesson in smoking fish at Carlson's Fisheries, Michael stops by the Village Cheese Shanty for a fish sandwich prepared with the smoked fillets made next door. Michael and his travel buddy Mario Batali assemble their own sandwiches. Michael makes his on the pretzel rolls with some mustard, avocado, pepperoncini, smoked lake trout with a squeeze of lemon and fresh herb aioli. "It's literally all happening within 10 feet of where you're eating it," Michael says of the locally caught and smoked fish.

Find the Restaurant: Village Cheese Shanty

Barrio Feedwagon — Northport, Mich.

After stopping at The Mitten Brewing Co. to sample a flight of the nine beers on tap, Michael heads just outside to food truck Barrio Feedwagon, where co-owners Kevin Murphy and John Snyder feature international tacos. "The taco is the universal [recipient] of the food world — it can accept anything," says Murphy. Michael has the Peruvian ceviche taco, the Vietnamese pho taco (pictured) and a duck bacon taco. "They're all so different," says Michael, appreciating the "great local flair."

Little Bohemia — Traverse City, Mich.

Little Bohemia offers an olive burger that Michael can't wrap his mind around. Owner Nancy Freund's mom came up with the concoction of sliced green olives, mayonnaise and Swiss cheese. That mixture goes onto an unseasoned patty while it's grilling. "Why haven't I been putting olives on burgers?" Michael asks after trying it. To wash it down, he samples a Terra Firma amber ale and a Stormcloud Rainmaker pale ale. To cap off the meal, he ends with the cherry bread pudding.

Find the Restaurant: Little Bohemia

Blue Tractor Barbeque — Traverse City, Mich.

Michael can't leave Michigan without making one more stop: Blue Tractor Barbeque, where he cools off with a North Peak Diabolical IPA. He also digs into Chef Adam Raupp's smoked half chicken. "The breast is incredibly juicy," says Michael, pointing out that tasting the white meat is the way he tests whether a chicken is good or not. And for dessert, it's a tart cherry cobbler with a hint of cardamom and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. "It's really all about the cherries," says Michael about the famous local fruit.

Find the Restaurant: Blue Tractor Barbeque

Monk's Cafe — Philadelphia

With 300 mostly Belgian brews available, Monk's Cafe has a beer for almost every taste and one to match almost any dish. It's all because of owner Tom Peters, who's even been knighted in Brussels for spearheading Belgian beers in America. The Mussels Mexicano is made with beer, along with cilantro, jalapeno and lime for freshness. It's best paired with a sour beer to cleanse the palate.

Find the Restaurant: Monk's Cafe

Brauhaus Schmitz — Philadelphia

At the legendary Brauhaus Schmitz, Michael stops by to see how they make their famous sausages and cured meats. Chef Jeremy Nolen makes mortadella in-house, but every year his team tries to go bigger. Last year the mortadella weighed in at 400 pounds, and next year they will try for a Guinness Record. The biggest sellers, though, are the six different sausages, of which they sell 500 to 600 pounds per week. Enjoy your meal with an Andechser doppelbock beer, and finish it with a caraway schnapps for digestion.

Find the Restaurant: Brauhaus Schmitz

Village Whiskey — Philadelphia

At Jose Garces' restaurant, Michael stops by to try one of the most-decadent burgers, topped with Bourbon-glazed cipollini onions, blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon and foie gras. And if that's not enough richness, pair it with twice-fried duck fat fries, topped with beer cheddar sauce. And to wash it all down, a Dock Street Pilsner-style beer. "That's what you want with a burger," says Michael.

Find the Restaurant: Village Whiskey

Pizzeria Vetri — Philadelphia

At Mark Vetri's restaurant, the chef shows Michael how to create the classic Italian pizza, the margherita, which is simply made with tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella, and finished with a drizzle of olive oil. Michael also tries his hand at making a simple corn, mushroom and Gorgonzola pizza. "It is truly 'less is more,'" says Michael of what makes pizza a perennial favorite. "There's nothing to hide behind," says Michael, explaining that the ingredients speak for themselves.

Find the Restaurant: Pizzeria Vetri

The Little Owl — New York

When Michael first met Joey Campanaro, the chef and owner of The Little Owl, Michael was just a customer; now the two are good friends. And when Michael needs a good brunch spot, he visits the popular West Village restaurant. "This is kind of what people wish hamburgers tasted like," says Michael of the Meatball Sliders, made with pork, veal and beef, and served on a pizza dough bun. Michael also tried the breakfast chilaquiles: fried tortillas topped with sauce, avocado and a fried egg.

Find the Restaurant: The Little Owl

Hill Country — New York

It's barbecue that feels just likes it's been made in the deep heart of Texas at Hill Country. Owner Marc Glosserman brought a bit of his hometown to the middle of the city, and people can't get enough. Michael tries moist and lean brisket, short rib, turkey breast, and sides of mac and cheese, green beans, collard greens, cucumber salad and black-eyed pea salad. Before heading out, Michael gets a dance lesson in Texas two-step.

Find the Restaurant: Hill Country BBQ

Burger & Barrel — New York

There's always room for a burger, but not just any one. Michael stops by six-time Burger Bash award-winner Josh Capon's Burger & Barrel to learn the secrets to Josh's prizewinner. Josh's secret is mustard swiped on one side of the patty before it is griddled. It's topped with caramelized onion-and-bacon jam, which is key, because the one year Josh misplaced the jam, he lost the contest. Also worth trying are the chicken lollipops and the corn.

Find the Restaurant: Burger and Barrel

Speedy Romeo — New York

At Speedy Romeo in the Lower East Side, Chef-Owner Justin Bazdarich uses a wood-fired oven to make his pizzas, and it's not just any kind of oven but one painted like Eddie Van Halen's guitar, as Michael remarks. Justin's specialty pizza, called Paul's Boutique, includes Dijon bechamel, Katz's pastrami, smoked red cabbage kraut, fontina, everything bagel spice and a finish of Thousand Island dressing. Justin calls it "Lower East Side in a nutshell." Upon tasting it, Michael's left nearly speechless.

Find the Restaurant: Speedy Romeo

More Burgers, Brew & 'Que

Learn more about the show, watch video extras from the locations and hear from Michael.

Burgers, Brew & 'Que