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.
For Kansas City-style cue with a creative twist, Michael Symon headed here to chow down on the Burnt Heaven sandwich. A chipotle mayo-slathered bun is piled high with layers of smoked kielbasa and succulent burnt ends, then topped with a mound of creamy coleslaw and fried jalapenos for extra kick.
In a city known for its burgeoning craft-beer scene, this pub has made its mark by pairing its brews with comforting bites that stand out for their creative flavors. One such menu item is the Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich, which stars a fried chicken breast slathered in sweet-and-spicy gochujang sauce. Pickled vegetables add extra bite and crunch to this on-a-bun creation.
Craft beers get star billing at this brewery housed in a cavernous, century-old building in downtown Los Angeles. All the brews served here are made on-site, down to the hops grown on the rooftop, as Michael Symon found out when he stopped by for a visit. He couldn’t leave without trying the top-selling Angel City IPA, which he described as having “good hops and a little bit of citrus.”
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.
Go beyond brews at this bar that is also a sandwich shop. Grab a beer (or cocktail), then bite into a beautiful and tasty creation such as the Italiana. This sandwich comes stacked with layers of cured meats, including salami, capicola and soppressata, which are piled onto a sturdy roll, along with provolone cheese, shredded lettuce and generous spoonfuls of that spicy condiment known as giardiniera for some kick. It’s finished with a drizzle of housemade vinaigrette.
This spacious spot can fill up fast, particularly on the weekend, so snagging a table often means arriving on the early side. Patrons without a seat can mingle by the rustic-chic bar that stretches along one wall. Head here to order wine, cocktails and beer, including suds from local brewers like Long Island-based Montauk Brewing Co.
Michael Symon and Rahm Fama both head here when craving a taste of Montreal. Michael indulges in the Smoked Meat Poutine, whose crispy fries are blanketed with smoked brisket, cheese curds and gravy. Rahm loves the Smoked Meat Sandwich, which he says is so tender that it “falls apart in your mouth.”
You can stock up on lotto tickets at this old-school diner, but for a sure win, order the double cheeseburger. Fans include Paul Kahan, who told Michael Symon he’s struck by “the balance of bun to meat to griddled onions” achieved in this simple yet satisfying dish. Michael opted for the Slinger: an over-the-top spin on a double cheeseburger. Two cheese-covered patties are nestled on a thatch of hash browns, then topped with a pair of sunnyside up eggs and completely smothered in spicy chili.
As one of Iron Chef Michael Symon's cornerstone restaurants, Roast brings meat-centric cooking to the Motor City. One standout is the Beast of the Day — a delectable meat dish paired with autumn mostarda, an Italian condiment of candied fruits and mustard flavored syrup.
Owner Ladi Sebestyan brings the traditional tastes of his native Europe to the Pilsener Haus beer hall by serving hearty classics like sauerbraten. For this labor-intensive dish, a flat-iron cut of beef is braised in a vinegar-based marinade for five days, resulting in an “incredibly tender” steak, Michael Symon says.
A mecca for beer mavens, ChurchKey offers 50 drafts and close to 700 bottled selections. There’s also an extensive food menu that stretches well beyond your average bar bites, with fresh dishes that are seasonally driven. The menu changes regularly, but keep an eye out for the Greek-inspired Gigante Beans dish studded with tangy feta cheese, and the Monte Cristo sandwich stuffed with pig’s head terrine and doused with powdered sugar.
At this barbecue spot, fine-dining-chef-turned-pitmaster Tom Schmidt elevates his hometown’s comfort food classics by adding innovative tweaks to traditional recipes. Michael Symon feasts on Schmidt’s addictive toasted ravioli, which come stuffed with a mixture of burnt ends, mirepoix and cheddar cheese. This combo proves to be irresistible to Michael, who describes the filling as “smoky and rich.”
The Huron Room plays things a bit differently than your standard fish ‘n’ chips joint. Instead of making the dish with seafood options, this spot sticks with freshwater fish sourced from local lakes. Michael Symon opts for a fish-and-chips plate made with lake perch that’s dipped in a beer batter before being fried. The menu is rife with dishes made from local ingredients, including an indulgent panna cotta topped with Saskatoon berries from northern Michigan.
The Heavy Seas Brewery is the largest producer of cask beer in the United States, as Michael Symon found out on a visit to the company’s Baltimore alehouse. He had the honor of driving the tap into a cask of Heavy Seas 20th Anniversary Beer, an unfiltered ESB brew that’s bourbon-barrel-aged. Michael paired the drink with a beer-infused eclair. “Wow, I love this,” Michael said of the “beer-clair,” which features an ale-laced custard and a stout-spiked chocolate sauce.