Bernadine’s. The newest addition to the Treadsack restaurant family is open and has started serving brunch! We hit up Bernadine’s on the first brunch weekend to check out the Gulf Coast cuisine restaurant in the Heights (yes that means there was a lot of fish on the menu).
The vibe. Pretty consistent with the other Treadsack restaurants, Bernadine’s is trendy AF. The décor is pretty minimalistic with exposed lighting, wood slat ceiling, and touches of soft wood and burlap. It’s got a spacious patio (with heaters!) and elegant place settings. A good place to go to impress people (dates, out of town friends, snooty coworkers, etc.)
The drinks. Brunch without booze is just breakfast. So naturally we had to check out some of the delightful items on the drink menu. We tried the Breakfast Club which is made with Alberta Rye, St. George coffee liqueur, vanilla bean, and elderflower. The grapefruit garnish was delish–but warning the glass is rimmed with salt not sugar! We also tried the Bernadine’s Bloody Mary–pretty standard (and tbh pricey for what you get) but it’s made with a housemade mix and topped with pickled shrimp and seasonal vegetables.
The appetizers. Would you like to split a plate of Black Pepper Biscuits with spiced honey butter? The answer is yes. Always YES. FYI it only comes with two biscuits, so if you’re planning on sharing–choose your friends wisely because these are DELISH. If you have more of a sweet tooth you can try the Sorghum Pecan Sticky Buns – which is sweet AF, so you’ll def want to split so you don’t get a stomachache or sugar overload before the actual meal (#regrets).
The food. Brunch is an interesting affair at a Gulf Coast food place. Basically shrimp and seafood find it’s way into unusual places-like the BBQ Shrimp Toast. No that wasn’t a typo, it’s literally shrimp embedded in toast (and topped with a fried egg). There’s also two New Orleans-esque po-boys to choose from. Over half our table went with the Fried Green Tomato Po-Boy, which was delish and filling thanks to all the fried-ness and generous serving of shoestring fries. The BBQ Pork and Potato Skin Hash has housemade Andouille sausage, smoked cheddar, and yard egg. The table also tried the Head Cheese Hot Brown which was a Texas brioche toast topped with bacon, roasted tomato and a morney sauce–super interesting choice with unusual flavors. Mixed reviews if it should be ordered again.
The catch. I have a fabulous brunch squad who is beyond down to try new restaurants each weekend. Rolling deep is great because you can split tons of appetizers, switch drinks if you don’t like them, and taste nearly the entire menu in one go. Unfortunately when you’re brunching with 9 of your closest friends on the first weekend a restauraunt serves a menu, there are often some downsides. Such as the fact that the restaurant doesn’t know what’s on the menu (four out of five of our tomato po-boys were missing sprouts), the service is a bit slow, and the server refuses to split checks. Refusing to split checks and expecting the customer to do the math by is a huge pet peeve of mine. It’s prone to error, causes the customer to leave the restaurant on a bad note, and probably doesn’t end up saving the server any time when we hand her 9 different cards and balances. Feedback to Bernadine’s: keep the Bloody Mary’s coming and learn to split your checks.