Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t the only superstar added to Cleveland’s roster this offseason.
Michael Symon, who appears on TV’s “Iron Chef,” is helping the Cavaliers upgrade their culinary playbook.
The award-winning chef and Cleveland native is teaming up with the Cavs to bring some of his signature cuisine to Quicken Loans Arena. The team on Monday unveiled “The B Spot” and “Bar Symon at the Q,” two new eating establishments featuring signature items from Symon’s menus that will be open before and during events at the arena.
The B Spot will be located on the arena’s main concourse and include the “Symon Says” burger made with fried bologna, American cheese, coleslaw and whip sauce. Other menu samplings include: pastrami sandwiches, bratwurst, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.
“My food is very approachable, very Midwestern, very Cleveland,” Symon said. “Bratwurst is Cleveland. “We’re doing something as humble as bratwursts and burgers, but the idea is to make the best bratwurst and burger.”
Symon owns three restaurants in the area, including Lola, which is located near the Cavs’ home court. Team spokesman Tad Carper said the addition of Symon is part of a trend by NBA teams to localize the arena experience by connecting with area businesses.
Symon is excited about the chance to grow with the Cavs, who by pairing O’Neal and league MVP LeBron James, could win their first title this season.
“I bleed Cleveland, whether it be the Cavs or some of the other teams that are making me bleed more,” he said.
Symon said James and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas have visited his downtown restaurant and he’s hoping to give fans attending games a unique dining experience.
“Fifteen years ago, there were like two great restaurants in Cleveland,” he said. “Now we have more than 30, and people expect a lot more when it comes to food.”