Since I try not to drive at night and since I am on a very “fixed income”, I like to try new restaurants – at least new to me – that are relatively close to my home in Ocean Beach and not terribly expensive. Last week I read an article in the newspaper that is thrown in my driveway on Thursdays, re: a restaurant in Old Town called “BERGIE’S”. It sounded interesting, and since I don’t always have the time to stand in line AND eat at Hodad’s, a friend and I decided to try it out.
It is on the outskirts of Old Town at 2244 San Diego Ave. It is in a very tiny strip mall with a liquor store, a coffee shop, and a closed business. There are 8 parking spaces, including two that are “reserved” for the liquor store and one handicapped spot. The sign in front of the liquor store parking says that your car will be towed away if you are not a customer of the liquor store, yet there was one black convertible parked in one of the spaces when we arrived at 6:30pm, and it was still there when we left at 7:40pm. (The owner?)
“Bergie’s” is a small establishment with 8 tables and 11 chairs at the counter. It boasts 4 televisions with subtitles – an interesting way to watch a football game – and loud, blaring music that makes it hard to talk to your partner or watch the football game.
The menu is a very clever “BURGER PUBlication” that is a fun read. The menu is inside the 4 page PUBlication. It lists 13 “starters” beginning at $3.49 and going up to $7.99; it also has Omelet’s, Soup and Salads, Sandwiches and their “pride and joy, Bergie’s Grill Burgers”, starting at $6.99 solo, and $8.49 in a basket for the same burger. There are 13 different kinds of burgers with the most expensive one being a Triple Bacon Cheese Burger, in a basket for $12.99. (The “basket” is either fries, tater tots or a small salad.
I ordered a Bergie Single for $8.49, which included a basket of fries. It came with mayo, tomato, lettuce, onion and pickles. A separate tray of condiments also came with it. Although not nearly as big as Hodad’s burgers, and not nearly as messy to eat, it was very tasty and I would order it again. The fries were hot, and way too many for me to eat. It was a little reminiscent of the old “Boll Weevil” but more of a “copy” that something different.
My friend ordered a Philly Cheese Steak, served with peppers, onions and a choice of cheese or “Cheese Whiz”. He ordered the tater tots instead of fries. The cost for the basket was $9.99. He said that the sandwich was very good, but he was critical of the “tots.” He said they were greasy and tasted more like “fried coating” than fried taters. Like the order of French fries, there were more “tots” than he could eat.
He ordered ice tea with his meal, and when the terrific waitress – Nicola – came to give him a refill, she told him that they had run out of ice tea and offered him an “Arnold Palmer” instead. (Half ice tea/half lemonade.) He said it was tasty but rather surprising that there was no more ice tea.
Nicola and the cook were the only two employee’s in the restaurant. They did a nice job; although not completely filled, there were a goodly number of people eating throughout the time we were there. Interesting to note two things that happened that might make a difference in returning to the restaurant:
A party of 4, plus a young child, came in and asked for a high chair. They did not have one.
A woman eating at the counter, got up before her meal was served and went into the restroom. It was obvious that she was smoking because the smell permeated the restaurant, and when she opened the door and came out the area just reeked of cigarette smoke. No one said anything to her, and after she finished eating, and her companion had not, she again went into the restroom and had a cigarette. Besides her disregard for those of us eating, someone should have told her not to smoke in an area that clearly is non-smoking.
Bergie’s is a sports bar, of sorts. They have draft beer as well as bottles; they offer wine; pitchers, etc. They have a Happy Hour every day and specials every day.
The questions remains as to whether or not I would go back and I have to say it is doubtful. If I compare it to Hodad’s or “In and Out Burger” it does not rank as high. None-the-less it was tasty, filling and above average. I might try their Omelet one day, but without the tater tots as an accompaniment. Over all, I think it was just an “average” meal that was more on the “high” side than what I expected. It has potential – you’ll have to try it and let me know.