The Restaurants Featured in Burgers, Brew & 'Que

Explore all the eateries that Michael Symon visited in Cleveland, Nashville and New York City.

Photo By: Matt Blair ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Blair ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Blair ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Blair ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Island Burgers & Shakes

Heat seekers, be forewarned: Island Burgers & Shakes in New York City gives spice a whole new meaning. Michael stopped by to visit Chef-Owner Mark Calvino and check out his Napalm Burger, which layers four outrageously spicy ingredients like housemade habanero hot sauce atop a chuck and brisket patty. “It is delicious, but it has earned its name,” Michael said. “It is hot!” To cool down the heat, Michael sipped on a sweet, chocolatey and extra-thick chaser: the Black and White Malt.

Find the Restaurant: Island Burgers and Shakes

Acme Feed & Seed

At Nashville’s Acme Feed and Seed, the Morales family are serving up Southern food with an international twist. Michael got a behind-the-scenes look at two of their most-popular dishes: the Beer Belly Taco — a banh mi-inspired dish featuring smoked pulled pork — and what he called “good old-fashioned comfort food,” the chicken-fried steak. He paired these comforting eats with one of their 28 beer selections on tap, the Black Abbey dark ale.

Find the Restaurant: Acme Feed & Seed


“It’s a barbecue love story,” Michael said of Bubba’s-Q in Avon, Ohio. There, chef-owner and former NFL player Al “Bubba” Baker set out to create boneless ribs to please his wife, who wished to enjoy ribs without the sticky mess. Though the deboning process was kept under lock and key, Michael got a taste of one of their other secrets: the Bar-B-Q Baker. As a nod to one of his childhood favorites, Bubba loads this baked potato with succulent pulled pork, barbecue sauce and melted cheese.

Find the Restaurant: Bubba's-Q

Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant

Once a small country market, Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in Nashville has turned into a locals’ favorite eatery for its over-the-top barbecue dishes like the Piggy Mac. Combining two comforting classics, Chef Keith West starts with 16-hour barbecue pulled pork and tops it with creamy mac and cheese. Michael also got the scoop on the famous Deep-Fried Brownie Sundae, which he called “not for the faint at heart,” as it’s loaded with caramel, chocolate, candied bacon and pecans.

Find the Restaurant: Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant

Mile End Delicatessen 

For smoked meat, Michael goes to none other than Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn. There, owner Noah Bernamoff is serving up a taste of Montreal with his amped-up deli meats and specialty beers. For a true Canadian-style feast, Michael went for the Smoked Meat Poutine — starring crispy fries blanketed with smoked brisket, cheese curds and gravy — and the decadent Chicken Schnitzel BLT. Michael paired these dishes with the Nomader Weisse, “a delicious sour ale that cuts through all of that meat,” he said.

Find the Restaurant: Mile End Delicatessen

Heck’s Cafe

In Cleveland, Michael stopped by Heck’s Cafe to revisit one of his childhood favorites, where he can satisfy his cravings for both savory and sweet burgers. Ordering the Market Burger, which features tender short rib and a buttery bearnaise sauce, is a must for Michael. He doesn’t let his burger fix end without ordering the Sweet Burger — and with chocolate chip cookies as the bun and a brownie as the patty, plus vanilla ice cream and funnel fries, you can see why.

Find the Restaurant: Heck's Cafe

Corner Bistro 

Once Mario Batali introduced Michael to the cheeseburger at Corner Bistro in New York City 15 years ago, there was no looking back. “This is just such a special place,” Michael said. “I mean, it’s just great ingredients, 50 years of tradition. Nothing beats a classic.” Michael sat down with Mario to enjoy burgers featuring a mixture of freshly ground sirloin and chuck, plus the famous beer-infused Chili Cheese Fries.

Find the Restaurant: Corner Bistro

Peg Leg Porker

“This is the happiest guy you’re ever going to meet,” Michael said about Carey Bringle, the owner of Nashville’s Peg Leg Porker, who despite losing a leg to bone cancer cooks up some of the best barbecue in the country. Bringle’s ribs are truly Tennessee style, as he smokes the meat with just salt and then adds the flavorful dry rub at the end. Michael also raved about the Memphis Sushi appetizer — kielbasa layered on a cracker with cheddar cheese — as well as the smoked green beans.

Find the Restaurant: Peg Leg Porker

Great Lakes Brewing Co.

At Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, owner Pat Conway is serving up craft brews with comforting eats. Michael started with their Stilton Cheddar Ale Soup that features three types of cheese. “Beer and cheese. Cheese and beer,” Michael said. “Magical words together.” Next was the bratwurst and pierogi paired with an Eliot Ness Amber Lager and, to finish, the rich and creamy bread pudding.

Find the Restaurant: Great Lakes Brewing Co.


Whenever Michael visits Adele’s in Nashville, he goes to savor delicious food and his lifelong friendship with Chef-Owner Jonathan Waxman. Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill joined the two to learn the secret ingredient behind the burger: a sweet onion marmalade that Waxman puts between the juicy grass-fed-beef patty and buttermilk cheddar cheese. Also famous are the JW Potatoes — double fried and seasoned with rosemary and Parmesan, which Michael called “game changers” — and the Southern coconut cake.

Find the Restaurant: Adele's

The Cannibal

“This is my spirit animal of restaurants,” Michael said, laughing to Alex Guarnaschelli, who joined him at The Cannibal in New York City. The two Iron Chefs dove into the signature dish: the Cannibal Dog, and raved between bites while enjoying ice-cold beers at the restaurant. “It’s exactly what a chili dog should be,” Michael said about the spicy chili, Chinese mustard and fried shallots that top the all-beef dog. They ended their meaty meal on a sweet note with Chef Francis Derby’s S’mores Ice Box Cake.

Find the Restaurant: The Cannibal

Oak and Embers Tavern

At Oak and Embers Tavern in Chesterland, Ohio, husband-and-wife team Marc and Gretchen Garofoli are cooking up barbecue with a twist. Their Smoked Chorizo Meatloaf features a bourbon-based barbecue sauce that coats the meat before it's baked, smoked and seared in bacon fat, then topped with cheese and onion straws. Michael also couldn’t resist the sweet and smoky combination of the Burnt Ends with Plantain Chips, their signature appetizer starring a crisp coffee-rubbed exterior and succulent interior.

Find the Restaurant: Oak and Embers Tavern

Arrogant Swine

To get his Carolina-style barbecue fix, Michael heads to Arrogant Swine in Brooklyn, where Chef-Owner Tyson Ho is whole roasting hogs and serving up the South Carolina Naptime. Filled with tender strands of hog known as “barbecue spaghetti,” this pulled pork sandwich is topped with a pepper-vinegar sauce, coleslaw and a fried egg. Ho creatively combines mac and cheese with a waffle, which amazed Michael just as much as the rum-spiked banana cream pie.

Find the Restaurant: Arrogant Swine

Butcher and the Brewer

At Butcher and the Brewer in Cleveland, co-owners Chris Lieb and Jason Workman are not only aging, curing and cutting their meats, but they’re also pairing them with housemade local craft beers. “It’s like a glass of summer,” Michael said about the American blonde ale served with the house-smoked corn dogs. Also popular are the spicy chorizo tacos, featuring pork spiced with five types of chiles.

Find the Restaurant: Butcher and the Brewer

Gabby’s Burgers and Fries 

Owner Doug Havron of Gabby’s Burgers and Fries in Nashville has customers creating their own burger masterpieces. Michael named his creation the “Fitty Fitty” for its delicious duo of grass-fed beef and the housemade veggie burger. Spicy, creamy and crisp burger toppings like pepper Jack cheese, pickled jalapeno peppers and bacon paired perfectly with Havron’s thrice-baked sweet potato fries and extra-thick strawberry shake.

Find the Restaurant: Gabby's Burgers and Fries

The Flying Fig 

When Michael eats in his hometown of Cleveland, he’s going to The Flying Fig for none other than the Brunch Burger. Created by his longtime friend Karen Small, this 8-ounce beef burger is piled high with sharp cheddar cheese plus housemade ketchup, crispy onion rings and a yolk-oozing fried egg. Also popular are the biscuits and gravy — loaded with cheddar and chives — and the buttery sticky bun.

Find the Restaurant: The Flying Fig

Hattie B’s

At Hattie B’s in Nashville, you can bet the chicken is downright hot. Order their Southern fried chicken — famous for the outrageously spicy sauce, succulent meat and perfectly crispy skin — and you’ll likely tear up and most definitely need a local craft beer to wash it down. Michael got the scoop on the spicy sauce, which ranges from Southern to Shut the Cluck Up, plus the secret to their delicious blackberry cobbler.

Find the Restaurant: Hattie B's

Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue

“It’s everything you want in barbecue,” Michael said about the Brontosaurus Beef Rib at Mighty Quinn’s in New York City. Owner Hugh Mangum, a former sous chef of Michael's, has perfected cooking his short rib with old-school techniques: salt-and-pepper rub plus 12 hours in the smoker. Bobby Flay met Michael to chow down on this succulent meat with crunchy exterior crust and debate who discovered this hidden gem first.

Find the Restaurant: Mighty Quinn's

More Burgers, Brew & 'Que

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

See More: Burgers, Brew & 'Que