Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cafe Biere (Emeryville)

Saturday Date Night: March 19, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

Cafe Biere can be best described a sweet neighborhood gastropub.

The stormy weather and plan to see a movie down the street at Emery Bay brought us to Cafe Biere.

Faced with the possibility that our Saturday Date Night might be at one of the chain restaurants like PF Chang, Elephant Bar and California Pizza Kitchen, I consulted Yelp and found Cafe Biere.

And what a sweet find! The outside was charming and looked like a cute little French bistro. When we walked in, I went "Oh!" The interior was very small, probably 500 sq ft small. Dark with low ceilings. 3 bar type high tables and booth and few more battered tables for seating. On a beautiful day, you can dine al fresco under the heatlamps.

I was expecting a classy French bistro but there was nothing fancy about Cafe Biere but instead it was cozy, homey and relaxed. Our server was probably the owner. He was very friendly and joked with me, "No beer, no food" when I told him no beer for us. We had a friendly banter when I told him, "Okay, give me San Miguel, then." He was confused for a little bit until I told him that San Miguel is a Filipino beer. They have a huge beer selection on tap but no San Miguel which I will be very surprised if they have it.

The place was packed with groups of beer-drinking friends, couples and even family with a small kid. It was bustling for being a small place. Most people were drinking beer, having fun and playing board games which were provided by the restaurant. The people were planted on the spot imbibing and playing board games without ever being rushed.

For starters, Enrique and I shared the FRITO MISTO (Fried calamari with house made beer butter, bell pepper, fennel, and red onions) $10
* Well-seasoned and yummy but very greasy! It came with deep-fried veggies, spinach and battered calamari.

OYSTER PO BOY (Fried oyster, coleslaw and fries) $13
* I was afraid that my po boy would be as greasy and thinking about it made feel sick. Surprisingly, it was not. It was very flavorful with nice-tasting coleslaw.

HAMBURGER for Enrique with extra order of mozzarella on ciabatta.
* And surprisingly, he loved this non-traditional hamburger in a non-traditional bun. He said his hamburger was actually juicy and very good!

* Enrique who is a big carnivore hates fried food but he told me "I can just eat these fries all day!" That's a huge compliment. The fries were not greasy at all, perfectly seasoned without being salty and crispy without being dry. Very nice! I could not stop eating mine either.

Tab: $49 including 1 Diet Coke and 20% tip.

1. Great friendly unpretentious service.
2. Good selection of bar bites (fish and chips, burgers, potato cheese balls, etc.) and big plates like Chilaquiles Rojas, Fish Stew, Steak and Eggs, etc.
3. GINORMOUS PORTIONS! I ordered sweet potato fries as apps but the server told me not to and gave them to me as sides to my po boy. He was not kidding! The portions were huge and a doggy bag was inevitable!
4. GOOD FOOD! For a tiny bar, this place serves amazingly good food that can compete with the fancier restaurants in the Bay Area

Cafe Biere is going to be our pre-movie dinner spot in Emeryville. And I wil definitely order beer or mimosa next time.

Definitely worth checking out again.

0 Star: Never again!!! These people should not be in business.
1 Star: Chalk it to bad experience. Live and learn.
2 Stars: Some are good. Some are okay. Some are bad.
3 Stars: Like! I will return!
4 Stars: Love! I will be dreaming of you at night!
5 Stars: Perfection (or close to!)

Cafe Biere on Urbanspoon


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