Symon Says: Mabel's BBQ

March 24, 2016
Mabel's BBQ

Michael Symon shares details on his new restaurant

Danielle Frezza

Excitement and anticipation high, celebrity chef Michael Symon expands his culinary dynamism by sharing his love of grilling with CLE's ravenous foodies at the soon-to-open Mabel's BBQ.

Clevelanders and out-of-towners alike already know Chef Symon from his delicious creations both on television (ABC's The Chew and Food Network's Iron Chef America) and in his own restaurants, including Cleveland's own Lolita, Lola Bistro, and Bar Symon; Roast in Detroit; and B Spot locations in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and Indianapolis.

But this month, Symon brings something completely new to his hometown--Mabel's, a forthcoming Cleveland spin on the classic American cuisine that will smoke meats good and slow using applewood, which is prevalent in Northeast Ohio.

Mabel's boasts a totally different (though still meat-loving) concept and style of cooking from Symon's other endeavors, he says.

"This one is all about the smokers and seriously slow cooking," Symon says.

Mabel's menu will include mouth-watering items such as the Mr. Beef, a brisket-onion-pickle signature sandwich; Polish Girl, Symon's version of a Cleveland original; and, of course, savory ribs for days. The restaurant also offers an extensive list of bourbons, scotches and whiskeys.

Another important aspect of Mabel's is the restaurateur's creation of a new, exclusive type of barbecue sauce.

"This will be an important food for the Cleveland culinary scene," he says. "A lot of barbecue in Cleveland is more Kansas City in style with tomato or ketchup-based sauces. The base for Mabel's will be Bertman's Ballpark Mustard, which has been a staple in Cleveland for decades."

Unique innovations and paying homage to his roots are some of the things that Symon does best. The new restaurant's namesake, in fact, comes from the chef's beloved bullmastiff.

Mabel's BBQ also sits next door to Symon's first restaurant Lola, which opened in Tremont in 1997, and later relocated to East 4th Street, ushering in an era of restaurant reinvention that continues to flourish--thanks in great part to Symon's creativity and passion.

"We love East 4th Street," he says. "And, as the first food-only concept on it nearly 10 years ago, we were excited by the opportunity to increase our footprint there."

Symon's establishment in the heart of the city has inspired other local restaurateurs to do the same. Since 2006, Cleveland's food scene has garnered national attention and accolades from publications including Food & Wine, Gourmet, Playboy and Esquire, as well as on television shows like the Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on which Symon was a guest.

Mabel's BBQ makes an excellent dining choice for visitors to the city, says Symon.

"It provides a fun vibrant atmosphere and the opportunity to taste a food that can't be found anywhere else in the country," he says. "Mabel’s is unique through and through."

Sounds like Cleveland's the perfect place for it, then.

Mabel's BBQ is set to open April 11. For more information, click here.

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