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There were lots of kids in there last night. The place was slammed, as it apparently has been since it opened. The kitchen is understaffed (according to the bartender, some of the early kitchen hires didn't work out); last night it was Jamie and one other person down there. So yeah, it was slow; as they work the kinks out and get more people on board it should improve. If you want a quick meal, don't go for the next couple of weeks. If you want good food and have some patience, now is as good a time as any.

Last night, NQD's burger was tasty, tender and juicy; my kielbasa sandwich was as good as it was back on K Street. On a previous trip, her fried chicken sandwich was great; my bratwurst awesome, with a fantastic potato rosti (crispy, lightly charred exterior and deliciously creamy interior). My cousin's pierogi was a delicate, high-end rendition, not the heavier Pennsylvania staple I'm more familiar with. Good chicken wings, good fries (not as thinly sliced as the K Street version, but still addictive). The "pub sundae" is ice cream, brownie and caramel sauce in a beer glass; not an elegant dessert but we've ordered it twice now. We haven't tried the other entrees yet, but Don called the lasagna the "best in the city." When Jamie got a chance to poke his head out of the kitchen, he was raving about his fancy new smoker, and specifically mentioned the pastrami and the ribs; so we'll be back for those.

Overall, it's still clearly a work in progress. They need more help in the kitchen, and the front of house has some kinks to work through. I'm sure the kid-friendliness issue will be addressed in some way, but I wouldn't expect immediate changes, until they've had a chance to catch up a bit. It's not a destination restaurant, with no intention of ever being one, but it's absolutely worth a stop if you're in the area. There were some locals in there last night who have already been in three times, and it's only four days old.

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Jamie Stachowski: the chef that keeps on giving, long after he's gone. Thirsty Bernie is a neighborhood grill founded on quality food and drinks. In the Bavarian, small town tradition, we dedicate o

When I think lounge, I think hotel/bar/club with seating generally more comfortable than bar stools/booths on which one would lounge.  I just don't see Thirsty Bernie's as a lounge?

I'm sure the weather brought out some of the kids. We heard one family talking about needing to get their kids fed, and they pretty much inhaled their food and left. But we were told that it's been crowded every night.

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My experience there last night was pretty abysmal. It was crowded at first (but not packed), and the crowd gradually thinned out as the evening went on, so if the kitchen was slammed, they had to have been seriously understaffed to begin with. The bartender (Lisa, I believe) was obviously out of her depth; her skill set appears to be more cut out for the local neighborhood dive. I think with a more competent, aware bartender, things wouldn't have been so bad. When I sat down at the bar, she approached me and asked what I was having. I asked her if they could turn on the DC United game, and she said "I think we can work something out". As I started to order a beer ("I'll have a..."), she inexplicably walked away to some other task. She eventually made her way back to take my drink order. After about 15 minutes went by without her making any effort to turn on the game I asked the manager, who promptly turned it on one of the TV's (which theretofore had been displaying nothing but a DirecTV screen saver floating about). She flew past me way too many times without casting a glance (much less asking) to see if I needed anything - tunnel vision is NOT a good attribute for a bartender in a busy place. I ordered the wings, which came in a reasonable amount of time and were tasty. The burger I ordered after the wings was nowhere in sight after about 1/2 an hour, however, and when I asked about it, she replied with a terse "It's coming". In the meantime, I had already witnessed another customer come up to the bar and cancel her order which had taken too long. After about 10 more minutes I canceled the burger, paid the check (after a "sorry about that" from the manager), and left an unhappy customer.

I don't subscribe to the "they're new, go easy on them" school of thought. You know you're going to be busy; have more that 2 people behind the bar, for crying out loud. If you're not ready to open, then don't open.

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I agree 100% with Ubet. Sorry, if I was not able to handle a new client's needs I would be out the door and I hold any organization to the same standard. Don't open until you are ready to deal with anything (expected or not). Prepare for the worst and adjust accordingly.

Unfortunately, in the restaurant biz (and in many others, as well), that's a non-profitable business model. The amount of money you burn by having paid staff on the books far before you open, and the food costs of practicing on large audiences over and over again until it's perfect, far dwarfs the cost of some unhappy customers or freebies given in the first few weeks while you settle in.

FWIW, I was there a little before 5 today, and there were only a half-dozen other customers. Had a Boddington's on draft and a great pastrami sandwich. Service was friendly and prompt, and I even got to sneak downstairs for a minute to see Jamie.

There was promise of charcuterie to come, game fans, so stay tuned...

Porcupine, I don't know what cable/satellite service they get, but if it's a commonly available channel, there are a LOT of TVs there...

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Porcupine, I don't know what cable/satellite service they get, but if it's a commonly available channel, there are a LOT of TVs there...

And, as I mentioned, they were willing to accomodate and quick to tune in the game I requested (once I found the right person to help me).

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After about 15 minutes went by without her making any effort to turn on the game I asked the manager, who promptly turned it on one of the TV's (which theretofore had been displaying nothing but a DirecTV screen saver floating about). She flew past me way too many times without casting a glance (much less asking) to see if I needed anything - tunnel vision is NOT a good attribute for a bartender in a busy place.

So, she forgot to change the channel and did not smile at you enough? Did she ignore you when you piped up?

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So, she forgot to change the channel and did not smile at you enough? Did she ignore you when you piped up?

Okay everyone, I normally wouldn't chime in here, but I happened to be at the bar also, and u-bet is describing the situation accurately. Personally, I wouldn't have mentioned the bartender because she was well-meaning and simply overwhelmed - I can easily write the service issues off to a new restaurant being slammed. (A second bartender would have helped enormously, but who knew that half of Arlington was going to be without power and camping out at bars? As an aside, Idylwood Grill was PACKED last night at 9:30 PM for precisely the same reason).

The beer and wine selections should be better.

And yes, the lasagna with homemade noodles, spinach, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, romano, and parmesan may have been the best I've ever eaten. It takes awhile to bake, so make sure you get something first.

It will be interesting to see how this establishment is faring two years from now.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Okay everyone, I normally wouldn't chime in here, but I happened to be at the bar also, and u-bet is describing the situation accurately. Personally, I wouldn't have mentioned the bartender because she was well-meaning and simply overwhelmed - I can easily write the service issues off to a new restaurant being slammed. (A second bartender would have helped enormously, but who knew that half of Arlington was going to be without power and camping out at bars? As an aside, Idylwood Grill was PACKED last night at 9:30 PM for precisely the same reason).

The beer and wine selections should be better.

And yes, the lasagna with homemade noodles, spinach, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, romano, and parmesan may have been the best I've ever eaten. It takes awhile to bake, so make sure you get something first.

It will be interesting to see how this establishment is faring two years from now.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Sounds like a great place and I look forward to checking it out this weekend. We'll test the limits of their tolerance when I ask to put on the NASCAR race...

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Is there even the slightest possibility that they'll show Formula 1 races?
Are the TVs good (flat screen, big, HD)?
We'll test the limits of their tolerance when I ask to put on the NASCAR race...

The TVs are all flat-screen HD, and moderately big, but not jaw-droppingly so. But none of them had the volume turned on, so if that makes a difference to you auto fans, be aware.

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So, she forgot to change the channel and did not smile at you enough? Did she ignore you when you piped up?
Actually, she seemed to be pretty friendly to everyone there. If you consider that a substitute for knowing how to do your job, then you'll love the place. She walked away from me while I was in mid-sentence trying to place an order. Throughout the night, she went about her business taking care of patrons in a haphazard fashion, ignoring empty glasses (not just mine) and generally not paying attention. Good bartenders have their heads on a swivel, try to make eye contact with their customers as opposed to avoiding it, and eventually notice when someone's glass is empty (usually a cue that you might be able to sell them something). They also try to keep up with how long customers' food orders are taking and, if not proactively informing them if there is an inordinate delay, at least making an effort to see what's taking so long when asked about it. When they start paying me to come in, I guess I'll relax my standards; until then I don't believe basic competence is too much to ask.
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Actually, she seemed to be pretty friendly to everyone there. If you consider that a substitute for knowing how to do your job, then you'll love the place. She walked away from me while I was in mid-sentence trying to place an order. Throughout the night, she went about her business taking care of patrons in a haphazard fashion, ignoring empty glasses (not just mine) and generally not paying attention. Good bartenders have their heads on a swivel, try to make eye contact with their customers as opposed to avoiding it, and eventually notice when someone's glass is empty (usually a cue that you might be able to sell them something). They also try to keep up with how long customers' food orders are taking and, if not proactively informing them if there is an inordinate delay, at least making an effort to see what's taking so long when asked about it. When they start paying me to come in, I guess I'll relax my standards; until then I don't believe basic competence is too much to ask.

If you're slammed, you're slammed. It happens, especially the place is new and not prepared for an unexpected volume of weeknight customers.

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Not slammed tonight. Pastrami and kielbasa were excellent although the sauce that came with the kielbasa could have been a bit zippier. My husband much preferred the whole grain mustard that came with my pastrami. After all the talk here about this place being packed, we were surprised that it was only half full when left a little after 6:30.

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I don't know what cable/satellite service they get, but if it's a commonly available channel, there are a LOT of TVs there...

That may be the problem; Speed carries them on race day (or night - usually live, which means 0700 for the European races); one of the major broadcasters sometimes carries one or two a year, usually delayed a week. What I really need is a sports bar with TIVO.

Sounds like a great place and I look forward to checking it out this weekend. We'll test the limits of their tolerance when I ask to put on the NASCAR race...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

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Stopped by for lunch yesterday in between errands, a little before 1. Not at all crowded. We were greeted at the door by an earnest, concerned woman letting us know that "food would take a while, maybe 20-25 minutes" because they were training a new chef in the kitchen. No problem, it's 300 degrees outside, we'll hang out in the A/C. We got a couple of Stella drafts, a burger cooked on the rare side of medium rare, and the garlicky kielbasa with peppers and onions. The onion rings must have posed a challenge, as our attentive, pleasant server arrived with the food saying "I brought you fries for now so you can start on your burger, I'll bring out the rings in a couple of minutes." Nice touch so the burger doesn't get cold, and again no problem, since both the fries and the rings, which did arrive a few minutes later, were great. The thin layer of batter on the rings was incredibly crispy.

$40 later, we went home and took a nap. This place is dangerously close to our house.

For the record, there was auto racing on one of the TVs (Speed channel?). And a couple of people working behind the bar, though there were only five or six people sitting at it.

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Hello, my name is Lucius Polk and i am responsible for managing Thirsty Bernie. First off, thank you all for your posts. We can't tell you how happy we are to have this much interest from everyone. I promised myself i would not reply or comment untill we had reached the one week mark.

Without criticism and hindsight, improvement would be challenging. I have focused on three things that many have pointed out:

The children: High chairs and booster seats are a must and have been ordered. A kids menu has been put together. Being a place where family and friends can meet in the neighborhood is just as important to us as late night sports and beer.

The beer and wine: in haste, the beer and wine selection may have been pushed. I think you all will be pleasently suprised to find a wider variety of beer and a far more exciting and interesting wine list in the coming week.

The service: Perhaps a blessing in disguise; but we never would have imagined the response we recieved within the opening week. We are incredibly grateful to all who came out to support us and are disapointed that at times we fell short on or side of that relationship. new staff has been added and as we push through, many of our wrinkles have been ironed out.

I hope that all of you will return. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any additional questions, comments or concerns. Or just poke your head in and say hi.

Lucius.Polk@cysadevelopment.com

p.s our website should be up soon

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It sounds like you prepared to the best of anyone's abilities, and are responding to all that anyone could ask, and then some.

Congratulations on your opening, best of luck with your struggles (which should be few, given your responsiveness), and welcome to the fiercest (and most worthwhile) criticism that you could ever face--and the most hard-earned loyalty that you could ever earn as a result.

I can't wait to try you out for a cold one, some hot eats, and some warm welcomes.

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I've been to Bernie's twice as its in the neighborhood. Had the moules frites, wings, and the pastrami. The previous post on the pastrami sandwich is dead on. Its been almost two days and when I think about the smoky flavor my mouth waters.

The first trip was at 5pm with my kids and they were very accommodating, mentioned that they would consider alternative requests if I asked but I ordered from the menu as my kids enjoy wings and fries.

Second trip went solo, I ate at the bar Saturday around 3pm. Not sure why they wanted a credit card to start a tab when there were only five of us at the bar. I wonder if they got burned during the NBA finals and starting asking for credit cards.

Roxanne is always friendly.

Looking forward to my next trip.

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I went Saturday also. Definitely made a good first impression for a new place. The sliders and lasagna were great. I was disappointed not to see the charcuterie plate but Jamie said it would be coming soon. If I could make a couple of suggestions, it would be:

1) Don't ask for a credit card at the beginning for people having lunch at the bar. I thought this was odd also. It is totally understandable when the place is crowded but there were five people there.

2) They didn't have iced tea--that would be a key addition.

Otherwise, I look forward to going back.

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The previous post on the pastrami sandwich is dead on. Its been almost two days and when I think about the smoky favor my mouth waters.

What can you tell me about the meat that the pastrami is made from is it lean or fatty?

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One of my coworkers and I talked about going there for lunch one day. Since I wasn't in the office I swung by, just to realize that the sign says it opens at 4 on weekdays. D'oh.

Though there were lights on and a TV playing, I think that was for the benefit of the guy doing work outside?

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What can you tell me about the meat that the pastrami is made from is it lean or fatty?

It's lean and shaved very thin. I don't recall much of a smoke ring but I was inhaling it pretty fast so it's hard to recall.

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went last night with some co-workers.

Observations as follows

Did not ask for a credit card to start a tab so maybe that has been discussed per this topic.

Good staff. Not over bearing and definetly trying to build customers with less razzle dazzle and more upfront approach.

Food was decent, but not memorable. Wings were ordered, hot and medium, did not notice a temp difference between the 2.

Mushrom Salad was good, could have used a little dash of salt with the spinach, goat cheese and corn mixture.

Keilbasa Sandwich had good flavor, roll was a mess. Fell apart after 2 minutes. Same went for Beef on Weck. Good flavor for the beef, roll fell apart. Too soft was the observation.

Never received my onion rings so I will have to go back to try, and no I didn't ask where they were as that is part of the experience.

Overall, good spot, decent food, and staff that seems to be making an effort to welcome people.

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I went a couple of nights ago. I thought it was definitely better than average sports bar fare. I really enjoyed my pastrami sandwich, and I would go back for that alone. The meat was sliced thin, and had this awesome smokiness to it. The onion rings that came with it were a bit weak. There were only like 5 of them and they were stone-cold. I am assuming it was because I was eating at 10 PM on a Tuesday night....

Service was really good and I enjoyed a nice IPA on tap.

I think it is a nice addition to the neighborhood and I am looking forward to them opening for lunch. Not necessarily a destination, but a good neighborhood sports bar....

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My wife and I stopped in about 7:30 pm on Saturday and were lucky to snag one of the last remaining tables. I went with the pierogies. They were tasty, but weren't cooked to crispness as stated on the menu. My wife ordered the lasagna. Half of it was quite delicious; the other half of it was scorched beyond being edible. Unfortunately, the waiter did not circle back to give us a "how is everything?" until after I'd already finished my food, obviating her desire for a replacement slice. Once we were able to have a bus person flag him down for us, the waiter profusely apologized and said he'd take the burned lasagna off the bill, which he did. I was impressed the waiter had on-the-spot authority to do so without covening a management tribunal. He also thanked us for being mellow about it all, and taking things in stride. I am chalking it up to the place still trying to work out staffing levels and hit the marks on a crowded Saturday evening dinner service. I really like what they are trying to do and will be back in hopes that they get the execution down a little better.

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My brother and I went on Sunday between noon and one. The kitchen was a bit slow but we enjoyed the experience other than me repeatedly smacking my knee into the bar. The wings were good (if Matt wasn't there, I would've gotten spicier), and the pastrami was tasty, though there are so many other things on the menu I'd like to try that I'd wait to get it again. My brother had the chicken sandwich and liked it a lot, it was just too bad he was so hungover that it perhaps wasn't the most appropriate choice on the menu...:lol:

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Professional, friendly, polite, enthusiastic, and confident. Those are the five words I'd use to describe my bartender this evening at Thirsty Bernie. She was in charge, and she was the person other bartenders were relying on for help. She was smiling and laughing with seemingly every customer that walked in the door - a young man and his mom came in for the first time, and she (apparently recognizing them from the neighborhood) invited the child to come over to her house and play on her water slide. In a neighborhood sports bar, this is exactly the type of warm, courteous service you hope for. And yes, this person was the exact same bartender who was rather mercilessly criticized here two weeks ago. If only everyone could be this genuinely engaged and competent.

The $5 "Half Smoke" (which is the homemade kielbasa) happy-hour special was fully ten inches long, and as big around as a 1922 Peace Dollar. At this price, loaded up with peppers and sauerkraut, this two-pound behemoth must surely be one of the best food values in the United States.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Professional, friendly, polite, enthusiastic, and confident. Those are the five words I'd use to describe my bartender this evening at Thirsty Bernie. She was in charge, and she was the person other bartenders were relying on for help. She was smiling and laughing with seemingly every customer that walked in the door - a young man and his mom came in for the first time, and she (apparently recognizing them from the neighborhood) invited the child to come over to her house and play on her water slide. In a neighborhood sports bar, this is exactly the type of warm, courteous service you hope for. And yes, this person was the exact same bartender who was rather mercilessly criticized here two weeks ago. If only everyone could be this genuinely engaged and competent.

The $5 "Half Smoke" (which is the homemade kielbasa) happy-hour special was fully ten inches long, and as big around as a 1922 Peace Dollar. At this price, loaded up with peppers and sauerkraut, this two-pound behemoth must surely be one of the best food values in the United States.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Say hi next time. :lol:

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Extremely disappointing!

Just came in from the Thirsty Bernie. We’ve been a couple of times before, and while it has not been "stellar," it also has not been terrible. I assumed that some of the earlier misses were the result of the newness of the venue, and the overall need for the staff to “gel” into a workable machine. Tonight, I had hoped to just stop in for a simple burger and a couple of beers.

However, the experience was so bad; it will likely be my last visit to the TB.

When my buddy and I walked in the door, a very young (she couldn’t have been long out of high school, or maybe just out for the summer) hostess moused her way over to seat us. Poor thing. No personality and she appeared to be scared to death. We sat down and a very young (again, he must have been a classmate of the hostess) waiter came by. We asked about the beer selection and settled on two Hoegaardens.

The beers came in frosted glasses. At first I thought, “Wow. I’ve never seen Hoegaarden served in a frosted glass.” But then I tasted it. There was clearly something wrong with it. It tasted like lemon-flavored Miller Light. Really not good. Maybe it was the frosted glass, maybe it was a problem with the line.

About then, the youngster waiter showed up with a basket of “fresh out of the oven” pretzels. We remembered these from our earlier visits, served with a delicous horseradishy mustard sauce. However, tonight’s pretzels were maybe “fresh out of the oven” sometime last week. They were hard (but not crunchy). They were lukewarm (but not hot). They were dry and unpleasantly chewy and had no horseradish mustard in sight. Plain and simple, these things were not edible.

The youngster came back by to take our order. We asked him to check with the bartender about the beer. “Maybe there’s a problem with the line,” we offered. We also told him that the pretzels were very stale and that we didn’t get the sauce to go with them. He said, (and I kid you not,) “so, do you want me to take them away?” We did want them taken away, but somehow we thought we’d get fresh ones. We were wrong.

Several minutes later, he finally went go over to the bar to talk to the bartender, a perky young lady who seemed to be very busy talking with a co-worker and eating her dinner at the bar. Of course, she was also very busy touching and playing with her hair and face— I never did see her wash her hands. Yuck.

So, even though the youngster spoke with the perky lady at the bar, he didn’t come back to us to report his findings.

Finally, our dinner came. I had ordered a burger with fries, and my buddy had ordered the hot pastrami with fries. Dinner was served in baskets, which made picking up the sandwiches (not to mention trying to cut them in half) nearly impossible. For a minute, I thought we must have made an errant turn into Fuddruckers! But no… the service would have been better there.

We immediately observed that our fries were dramatically different—mine were pale and hot. My buddy’s were very dark brown and barely warm (burnt). The meat on my burger tasted fine, but the bun was stale and not edible. I ended up eating my burger patty like a piece of Salisbury steak—Salisbury steak served on a paper lined basket. However, I fared better than my buddy. The pastrami did NOT taste like pastrami. He convinced me to taste it because he couldn’t believe that they were calling this concoction pastrami. It tasted like beef barbeque. Not unpleasant, but definitely not pastrami. And here’s the kicker. The cheese was melted and had congealed (think about a McDonalds Fish Filet that’s been sitting for a while—except that a fish filet would have been MUCH better). Exactly when WAS the hot pastrami made hot?

The youngster came by to see if we wanted another beer. We asked him for a report on the Hoegaarden line issue, and he informed us that they checked. “It’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it”, he reported.

No one representing management came by to check on us or to offer a beer redux, or even just to say that the realized that we weren’t happy. The bartender is too busy with her friends to care. The wait staff needs training. And the hostess needs a clue. We paid. And we left.

We were so excited to see Thirsty Bernie opening in the neighborhood. Now, we just can’t wait for them to close so a real restaurant and bar can open—hopefully one run by people who actually care about the customer experience.

In our earlier visits, the staff was young, but energetic, friendly and competent. Where did they go?

Final kicker … as we left we tried to go through the right-hand door. It was locked. Isn’t it illegal in Virginia to keep an exit locked in a public establishment during open hours?

Management? Are you there??

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I have to reply to this post since in all fairness I am still waiting for my Onion Rings I ordered 2 visists ago... :lol::lol: But seriously there are flaws on the reporting from one perspective, I too had the Pastrami on my second visit and the kicker was simply put, it sat in a basket as you described, but already cut into 2 portions. Not one whole sandwich as it seems you got on your visit. I do have to concur on the flavor of the Pastrami as I thought it had very little flavor, but then again I was spoiled by Big Daddy Panda Anda at Tallula for so many years. The fries when I took my second tour were good, but the first visit my work colleague seemed to have your brown and hardened fries.

Truth be told, they do have a very young staff, but in this case maybe that is what they are left with in the talent pool.

A work in progress as I see it.

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I'm calling bullshit on your entire post, tool.

Don, while that post was over the top, to be fair the several times I have been there I have noticed the bartender totally blow off customers to gossip with the waiters, or pay attention to favored bar customers at the expense of everyone else. The food is great but there are structural service issues that Jamie should fix.

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I too had the Pastrami on my second visit ... I do have to concur on the flavor of the Pastrami as I thought it had very little flavor

Hmm, that is interesting, up-thread I asked if it was lean or fatty, and then I learned that unfortunately it was the former. Fat = Flavor

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I do not know what it is about this place that seems to invite such unwarranted personal attacks on the staff. Hello. This is a sports bar. It is not always possible to intuit when you want a refill or a replacement pretzel. Sometimes, you just have to ask.

Maybe if you lighten up and act a little friendlier yourself, you will find that the whole world will appear a little friendlier to you.

:lol:

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I do not know what it is about this place that seems to invite such unwarranted personal attacks on the staff. Hello. This is a sports bar. It is not always possible to intuit when you want a refill or a replacement pretzel. Sometimes, you just have to ask.

So sports bar should automatically equal crappy service?

Quoted from the Wash Post: It's a little distracting for a bar that has grand culinary ambitions. Thirsty Bernie aims to be more than just a place to knock back a few beers. The chef is Jamie Stachowski, formerly of Restaurant Kolumbia, who made a name for himself downtown with homemade charcuterie and sausages. "The whole idea is that it's pub food but at a higher level. I don't have the mental fortitude to do fine dining," Stachowski says with a sigh. "I want something fun right now."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...8062400471.html

From the handful of grumblings here and my own limited experience (aka one visit with medicore food) Bernie is a work in progress, but it is a place that appears to have high aspirations, which apparently are not currently being met in its young life, hopefully any issues are fixed soon. In the Post article Jamie is quoted as saying he wants to get things "shipshape" for a July 4th's "Grand Opening"...that's one short week away.

Jamie might have high stature on DR but lets not get all sacred cow.

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So sports bar should automatically equal crappy service?

No. My larger point is that the grumblings here seem to be presented more in the form of ad hominem attacks rather than legitimate gripes regarding the level of service one should expect in a neighborhood bar, a topic on which reasonable minds can differ.

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seems to be enough grumblings on these posts that there are some basic service issues at Thirsty Bernie, regardless of being a sports pub/neighborhood joint. But I think we can all agree that it is a new place and hopefully they will be sorted out.

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My experience last night was quite an improvement over my first visit a few weeks ago. It was not crowded at all when I arrived around 8:30 and found three or four open seats at the bar. They were well-staffed with two full-time bartenders, plus the manager roaming around, helping out when needed and chatting with customers. I experienced no service issues this time but, to be fair, they were nowhere near as crowded last night and had more staff, so it was easier for them to keep a handle on things. I will add my voice to the chorus of those who would like to see a greater variety of beers on tap, but they do have Red Hook Longhammer IPA, which I like (note to management: Dogfish Head 60 Minute on tap would be AWESOME).

The revelation of the evening was the mushroom salad, which was intended to be my appetizer since I was fairly hungry. I'm not a huge mushroom fan, but this dish won me over. Wild mushrooms are sliced and fanned out along one side of the plate, drizzled with vinaigrette, and a mixture of corn, arugula, goat cheese, and what I believe were slivers of tomato is arranged next to the mushrooms on the other side of the plate. It's a very flavorful preparation, with the goat cheese predominating, but the vinaigrette does not overpower the mushrooms, and the fact that everything is not all mixed in together allows for full flavor regulation on the part of the eater. Really a very nice surprise, and highly recommended, even for non-mushroom fans. A bonus: the interesting presentation caught the eye of the young ladies sitting next to me, so if you single folks are looking for a conversation starter...

I wanted to try the burger so I ordered one, medium, topped with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and bleu cheese. The burger was huge and cooked to order. Overall, it was fine, but the bun fell apart a bit too easily. I won't go so far as to say it seemed stale, but I would have preferred something a little sturdier to hold the large burger and piles of "fixins" contained within. Fries were plentiful, hot, and tasty.

No dessert, but maybe next time, when I intend to try the impressive-looking wienerschnitzel I spied on someone else's plate.

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I don't make a habit of putting up PR for restaurants, but I just got off the phone with Jamie and certainly don't mind helping him out this once. Thirsty Bernie owns the entire parking lot, so this could be quite the little orgy.
Cool - in addition to what sounds like some great food - Jumpin' Jupiter rocks!
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