A Burger at Lava Lounge

Lava Lounge in Tremont is part of the Cool Places to Eat group, which includes Fat Cats, in the same neighborhood, and Felice, on Cleveland’s East Side.  They have an awesome Happy Hour here with a wide-ranging menu of bar food and cocktails for $3, $4 and $5.  Roasted Pepper Hummus, Chicken Satay and Crispy Spring Rolls are among the choices. Twice I have been there recently and twice I have been tricked into sharing the hummus.  It was well worth it.  It arrives topped with their signature olive tapenade and ringed by triangles of hot pita bread.  They make a perfect foil to the smooth creaminess of the dip.  The first time we went, I had a hankering for red meat and ordered the burger.  (The second time, I was so taken by it that I happily ordered it again!)  Served on a toasted ciabatta roll, it’s a big big burger.  I’m not sure how they season the meat, but it is remarkably flavorful.  It comes topped with really gooey melted Havarti cheese and caramelized onion jam.  I usually want to add ketchup or mayo to my burger, but this one requires nothing additional.  On the side is served a small pile of sweet potato fries.  These are made crisp with a crunchy batter and are among the best sweet potato fries anywhere.

I have eaten more than my share of Michael Symon’s burgers at the B Spot and Lolita. This Lava Lounge burger is right up there with the best of them.  I have always been a fan of Fat Cats and Lava Lounge.  I have only rarely ordered anything that wasn’t right on the mark.  This burger is certainly the best one in the neighborhood.  It’s a bargain, to boot, at just five bucks with the fries!