Berkley Bistro & Cafe - [Suburban Detroit]
- rainsux Jun 5, 2011 01:06 PM
I answered Sir Boagman's Friday call for a dining companion. We were
both a bit ambivalent regarding the venue. I mentioned BBC. He was
nearby. We met there.
We decided to dine outside, on their patio. Reasonable table & chairs. They
are located on Coolidge, north of 11 Mile. I never dreamed how much truck
traffic there would be on Coolidge. Yes, even the tandem gravel trains.
We managed reasonble conversation, with pauses for the odd semi
The shrimp tempura appetizer was four  shrimps. Nothing special
with respect to preparation, sauce or presentation.
I ordered their ribs. While I'm always scouting for an alternative to
Ginopolis and Beans & Cornbread, I am too frequently disappointed.
(i.e. I'm a slow learner; or, a glutton for disappointed. You decide.)
The waiter described their sauce as "tangy" and a bit hot. Um, not
so much. Not a lot of tang. Certainly not "hot" ... and I'm a guy that
orders medium (or a bit less) at most Thai establishments. Thank
gawd I was dining with Sir B and not JP. <g>
The ribs were served pre-sliced, in a decorative (?) pile on the platter.
The meat did not fall off the bone. The meat had to be gnawed off the
bone. More work for my meal than I expected. My advice; avoid their ribs.
They did allow me to substitute garlic mashed for the standard side
of fries, without complaint and without add'l charge. I love garlic .. and
this mash was light on garlic. It also had a patina/skin that made me
think "heat lamp." Dunno if the kitchen intends for that patina/skin, or
it is merely the result.
The 2nd side was cole slaw. Nothing special. Really, nothing special.
I asked for wet naps. The waiter's response was not encouraging.
Sir Boagman mentioned "or wet/warm towel." Neither arrived.
Based on their reviews elsewhere, and inspite of my experience, I'm
willing to return and try other dishes.
Sir Boagman seems so have made the better choice on Friday night.
I'll let him submit his report regarding his hot, dead beast.
27815 Middlebelt Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Beans & Cornbread
29508 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034
My hot, dead beast was certainly better than rainsux's ribs, that's for sure. I had a bistro steak, which was done to a perfect medium. I rather enjoyed it, but I had the zip sauce on the side, rather than served on the beef itself. I'm right with rainsux on the potatoes. They were edible, but nothing to be proud of. The same could be said of the vegetable melange that was on the plate as well.
The appetizer's really where a good bit of my personal disappointment came in. $7 for it, and was it ever skimpy! Sorry, but at the bare minimum, when you serve up an app, it should come with everything the menu has listed. This app was supposed to have the shrimp (and really, for the money, it should have been half a dozen), the Asian dipping sauce (present), and some Aruba pickled onions. Only, you know...they didn't bother to actually *include* said onions. There were some assorted pieces of shrubbery on the plate, the shrimp themselves, the dipping sauce in a little plastic cup (plastic? really?), and a bit of the dipping sauce drizzled around. So, not only skimpy, but incomplete, and poorly presented. For $7. Ergo, this ump's calling a stee-rike. What we received would have been too much at $5...and at $4, it'd probably be functional.
Rainsux is pretty much spot-on about the service. It functioned, and not much more. I mean, geez guys, my dining companion is eating the way-too-hard-to-attain-the-meat-from ribs, he asks you for a wet nap, and I throw in a suggestion for a wet towel, or the like, and you can't be bothered to get him *anything*? Do you not see that he's getting sauce on his hands and face? Wake the heck up.
In the end, after being $25 lighter out the door, I consider it a lesson learned. Rainsux may be willing to pony up for it again, but I'm probably not up for it. If this is run by the guy doing the Dining in the D series, then I'm a bit taken aback, I guess...those who can't do, teach? Or something like that?
Too pricy for what they're doing, and what they're doing needs work anyway.
I'm sorry to see people lose their jobs, but I think it was not well managed after it changed hands a couple of years ago.
Oddly enough, this morning there was an item in the Freep about Restaurant Impossible looking for candidates in the Detroit area...BBC came to mind as a perfect place for a makeover. Could be a gold mine if it were done right...