Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bernie's Southern Bistro Update

2904 NE Alberta St.
Happy Hour Tuesday-Sunday 4-6 p.m.

*Sadly, this entry doesn't have any pictures because I took them with my phone and haven't figured out how to upload them!

My co blogger did a review of Bernie's over the summer, but I wasn't able to attend due to my pneumonia. I had been here a few times before but didn't love it as much as she did (other than the Carolina Cooler, quite possibly the best drink ever). I liked my food, and I thought the service was good, but I wasn't blown away.

However, I feel the need to update because I had such a great happy hour experience there. We arrived right after it opened and sat at the bar. What a wonderful bartender! She was so nice and friendly without being over the top or pushy in any way. She was definitely the highlight of our time here--I almost wonder if she is my co blogger's "favorite bartender" that she mentioned in her entry because she was awesome.

My boyfriend and his friend ordered Guinness (sadly, there are no beers on tap here) while I tried two of the special Happy Hour cocktails. I got the Southern Belle ($5) which was very refreshing. A gin drinker would probably really enjoy this one because you can taste the gin without it being too overwhelming. I loved the raspberry flavor. I also ordered the Key Lime Cooler. This drink was magical because it was one of those +1 drinks that I adore. It came with a little carafe on ice that had extra drink. Why can't all drinks be like this? It charms me every time. This drink also was made with vanilla vodka which gave it an amazing flavor.

I ordered sweet potato fries ($3) and my boyfriend's friend ordered a meatloaf sandwich ($3). He enjoyed it (I would never order meatloaf because I hate it with a passion). The sweet potato fries were really good. They came with a really delicious smoked tomato sauce that I couldn't get enough of. The bartender also surprised us with a plate of the fried okra. She overheard me trying to convince my boyfriend to order it since we had never had it, so she made us some! I thought that was really nice, and it was a really interesting treat. I liked it especially when I dipped it in the tomato sauce from the sweet potato fries. It was fun trying something new.

Before you think that I loved our bartender so much just because she gave us something for free, I have to say that she was great about checking in with us and giving regular water refills. She just seemed to really be a people person who enjoys her job and does it really, really well. She also had no idea that we were there to start my boyfriend's birthday celebration, yet she made it a really nice experience for him.

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Exceeds
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Exceeds
Value: Exceeds



  1. My favorite bartender is not a she. He wears glasses, has a goofy smile, and lives somewhere in my neighborhood (I know because I see him at the coffee shop now and then). This, however, means that Bernie's has TWO fantastic bartenders.

  2. Just happened to go try their Happy Hour for the first time today. The bartender (probably the same guy eereddekopp mentioned above) was attending but we didn't order any cocktails so I have no opinion on that matter.

    It was a big disappointment for me that they do not have any beers on tap. They do have a quite extensive bottled beer list though.

    The food was good but nothing to write home about. We tried the sweet potato fries, the po' boy with fried tomatoes and a salad. The fries and the salad were good. The po' boy didn't live up to the expectations, mostly because of the bread, which was nothing more than a hot dog roll.

    Since I like Southern Food, I will definitely go back to try the rest of the dishes offered on Happy Hour but I wouldn't put on my top HH places list.

  3. You should definitely go back when it warms up and the patio is open. It is BEAUTIFUL and makes the HH that much better. Also, try the spinach cakes. They aren't on the happy hour menu but are worth the extra couple of dollars. They melt in your mouth. I've made them my meal a number of times.

  4. Thanks for the tips eereddekopp. The spinach cakes sound great, I will definitely try them next time!