Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Wait for Michael Symon's Mabel's BBQ Continues

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely been part of the crowds trudging past the still-shuttered former La Strada storefront on East Fourth Street sniffing the air for a hint of barbecue.

Cleveland sweetheart chef Michael Symon claimed the empty restaurant next to Lola Bistro last year, promising to turn it into the go-to spot for Cleveland-style barbecue (and if that's not enough to warm your belly, you might like to know it's named for his late pooch, Mabel, a bullmastiff).

We reported in our July issue feature on Symon by managing editor Kim Schneider that Mabel's "coming soon" sign would be replaced with "now open" by the end of summer. In a recent press release, Symon confirmed the long-anticipated location will open its doors by fall.

According to Symon, who is famed for his love of all things four-legged, barbecue has its own regional flair, meaning brisket from Texas isn't quite like the mutton in Kentucky or the pulled pork sandwiches in North Carolina. His goal is to put Cleveland on the map, drawing out our local preferences for applewood smoke, ballpark mustard and maple syrup.

And we've been hearing about the scrumptious goodies to come ever since, but repeated delays have foiled our plans for smoked meats slathered in sauce, burnt ends and beans, trays toppling with brisket.

It's been a long wait, but we'll go to great lengths for Symon's signature carnivorous cuisine.

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