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Jun 25, 2008 08:14 PM

Thirsty Bernie's in Arlington -- anyone been??

Thirsty Bernie's was featured in Wednesday's Wash Post food section. Anyone been? How was the food? How was the beer selection?


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  1. I have been curious about this place too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sarahkt99

      I have been there and I like the food quite a bit. The pastrami sandwich was really tasty - it had a great smoky taste to it and it came with very good fries. The beer selection was pretty weak though. A minor step above Miller and Bud (Hoegarden and Boddington's), but it could be a lot better.

      1. re: lmnopeas

        wiehenstephaner, Aecht Shlenkerla, Orval, Leffe, Chimay, Staropromen, Ayinger, Franziskaner.

        Thats a minor step above Miller and Bud? What planet are you from. There beer list must have 30 plus beers in the same league as the ones i mentioned.

        1. re: BeTripr

          I went there twice, and the food was thoroughly ok and the beer overpriced. I drank the Boddingtons and the Stella and the brew the bar tender recommended, and they were all swill. The food was fair, for a fast food joint. I had TV's everywhere I looked, bad beer, decent food, a nice bar tender and a bar tab that kind of hurt. If they delivered what they promised they would nearly be worth the price, but their beer sucks and their food is only ok.

          1. re: Ziv

            Follow up, I have to admit that I like my beers on tap, and didn't work into the bottled beers, but the house tap beer, and the Boddy's and the Stella were pretty insipid. I guess I should break down and order the bottled beers. I love Staropromen in the Czech Republic, it would almost hurt if it travels as poorly as Pilsner Urquel.

          2. re: BeTripr

            I posted that 9 months ago - beer selection has improved. I'm on the planet where things change over the course of time.

      2. I've been twice. I thought it was pretty good and there are several more items on the menu I'd like to try. The seared tuna salad was excellent and presented really nicely. I also had the ham and cheese panini with the gazpacho. The gazpacho was REALLY tasty and refreshing and the appetizer was a pretty generous amount of food for a reasonable $$. My friends had burgers which looked delicious. Keep in mind they are still a new place so service is not quite together but I'm sure that will improve with time. The beer selections were pretty standard - miller lite, bass, Pete's, sierra nevada with maybe 1 or 2 that were slightly more obscure. Its certainly not the brickskeller but cold beer on a hot day - how can you go wrong? It's beer and its cold - enough said - what more do you want? Hit the spot for me. I would definately recommend this place and will certainly go back to try more of their offerings.

        1. i drove by around saturday lunch, and it appeared pretty busy.

          1. The best thing about this bar is the array of television sets, and the willingness of the staff to change a channel to satisfy your sports desire. As for the food -- I thought it was pretty weak and overpriced. The burger was okay -- but nothing to write home about. My friend's chicken sandwich was lame too. Neither the sandwich or the burger came with fries -- which was a rip -- you had to pay an extra $5 for them. And the fried calamari was straight out of the freezer section. Also, since it is so new -- it almost feels like you're in a chain restaurant in a Mall. It's a great location for a bar though -- more neighborhood pubs are really needed in that area.

            3 Replies
              1. re: alkapal

                I recently checked it out and found the food to be pretty good, and they have definitely upgraded their beer selection. A few excellent draft beers - Franziskaner, Boddington's, Hoegaarden - and a nice selection of bottled beer - Paulaner, Pilsner, Löwenbräu (on special for only $3!!), Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten, Magic Hat #9, and some Czech beer that I didn't recognize. Many more that I can't recall, but an impressive listing in my opinion.

                The drafts come in a large VERY FROSTY mug - maybe a quart, but it seemed less - though the $10 price tag seems a bit steep. There was a sign promoting Margarita Mondays for $3 or $4, I think, but I didn't try one.

                The pasta special was a ziti served beneath a grilled fennel sausage coil on a hot iron skillet. That was fantastic and filling and worth the $11.50.

                My sense is that the pricing - $14 burger which I did not try - is a bit high for a sports bar, but I did see some affordable options - a half smoke and fries special for $6.50, and Texas brisket sliders for $2 each. I enjoyed the sliders, but the sauce needs a bit more tang.

                The $5 Belgian fries were not top shelf but not terrible, just a bit bland.

                Lots of televisions with a variety of sports playing - European soccer, horse racing, mixed martial arts - not bad for a Monday evening.

                I'll go again to check out the progress.

                1. re: IndirectHeat

                  Not sure how it was at the initial lunch, but Jamie Stachowski is cooking there now and the food has been great lately. Definitely a notch or two above sports bar fare and the beer list is excellent with high quality as noted above. Yeah, it's a buck or two higher than the average sports bar, but I do think its better.

            1. I was just there for dinner on Sunday. The food is definitely high quality for bar food with an emphasis on charcuterie meats. I had some tasty ribs, which were spiced differently than you would find at Outback. My friend had Weiner Schnitzel, which was very good. The food there has a German bent and is quite heavy. The service was pretty atrocious, however. I do not think they were prepared to be so crowded on a summer Sunday night. With good food they need to expect more people and need more help.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rappel75

                Been there three or four times in the last few weeks. Great hanger steak. But service is highly erratic (to be fair, I think its the kitchen). Gazpacho is wonderful. Charcuterie meats are excellent. But the place is just inconsistent. Hanger steak was sublime one night, overseasoned the next. Burger ordered medium rare comes out well done. One night the pretzels (instead of bread) come hot to the table, the next night they're forgotten, the next night they come out and are clearly left over from the night before. It's frustrating. Stachowski's a great chef when he's on.