Cheap Eats: Monster Burgers

Beef between two slices of bread — on every menu, the hamburger has the potential to be boring and bland or exciting and tasty. No two are created equal, and these three are in a category all their own. And all are less than $10 (side included ̵
Bar Symon
Bar Symon Burger
32858 Walker Road, Avon Lake, (440) 933-5652,

Overflowing from the borders of a toasted English muffin, the Bar Symon Burger ($9) looks a little snug sitting inside its black plastic basket with a pile of shoestring fries riding shotgun. Topped with fried egg and huge slices of cheddar and bacon, it’s got a greasy diner attitude and gourmet taste. Fight the urge to pick off the house-pickled onions because they’re not the boring raw red onion you’re used to — their vinegary zest is a welcome surprise.

56 West
Friend with Benefits
16300 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, (216) 226-0056,

Order this burger for two reasons: First, the onion rings stacked on top offer a sweet twist to this mighty, half-pound bacon cheeseburger. Secondly, it’s just plain fun to say, “I’ll take the Friend with Benefits.” At $7.56 ($1.56 more to add fries), there’s no long-term commitment required.

Grumpy's Café
Rhino Burger
2621 W. 14th St., Cleveland, (216) 241-5025,

Don’t expect the Rhino Burger ($9.99) to show your taste buds any mercy. If it’s not the pepper jack cheese, then the salsa packed with huge chunks of jalapeño will certainly start a spicy tingle on your tongue. Then you hit the center of the sandwich. Chorizo and beef play nice with each other in this half-pound patty — the beef offering a bit of a sweet and juicy relief, and the chorizo swooping in for a tangy kick. There’s no escaping the heat, especially if you add the house specialty Cajun home fries as your side.

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