Ford’s Garage – Winter Garden

Fried pickles
Fried pickles
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Photo of Ford’s Garage - Winter Garden - Winter Garden, FL, United States
Photo of Ford’s Garage – Winter Garden – Winter Garden, FL, United States
Tuna
Tuna
2 speed platter
2 speed platter

**** (4 stars)

This seems like a particularly large Ford's location. As with the others, the decor theming is neat if you're into antique cars.

The menu focus is on elaborate burgers, but I like their barbecue. The ribs are tender, and the burnt ends moist and tasty.

The tuna appetizer is also surprisingly good.

Avoid the fried pickles, as they aren't the usual slices, but are instead spears, and the layer of skin makes them unappealing.

Also avoid the booths near the back of the main room, as the air handler is both cold and LOUD.

Service was good.

Ford’s Garage – Winter Garden
5375 Hamlin Groves Trl
Winter Garden, FL 34787

https://www.yelp.com/biz/ford-s-garage-winter-garden-winter-garden

Bern’s Steak House

Lobby
Lobby
Tournedos au Poivre
Tournedos au Poivre
Tuna Tartare
Tuna Tartare

**** (4 stars)

It pains me to give Bern's four stars, but it's time for a wake-up call.

I've been going to Bern's for forty years, and it has always been my favorite restaurant. But pandemic changes have made it not the experience it once was, even though there has been plenty of time to adjust.

The menu is a third of what it once was. True, it could have used some tightening, but all around us we heard people complaining that their favorites were missing. And some of those favorites, such as Bern's caviar service, made the restaurant the unique experience it was.

The extremely aged steaks at Bern's have never been the highlight for me, but, with so much of the menu eliminated, I decided to try the Tournedos au Poivre. The meat was wonderfully tender and perfectly cooked, but the dish was literally inedible. I have never encountered such a salty sauce short of seawater. No chef could possibly have tasted this sauce during preparation.

"Another new menu coming next week," our waiter told us, with some degree of exasperation.

With over one million bottles of wine, the primary attraction of Berns is, of course, the wine cellar. But the older obscure wines on the list are nowhere to be found. Hundreds of pre-1980 listings from Burgundy alone have vanished. Were they all really drunk during the pandemic? Or has this, too, been streamlined? The conversion of one of the wine warehouses into more hotel rooms is not a good sign.

The situation is worse in the upstairs dessert rooms, where a menu of a hundred vintage Madeiras is now a short non-vintage list. I ordered one of the two survivors, and it was also missing in action.

I can forgive obvious pandemic issues, such as the server warning us it would take twenty minutes for her to get a cart for preparing Bananas Foster. But it seems like corners have been cut everywhere.

If it's an inflation issue, just raise the prices. Bern's is still ridiculously inexpensive for what they offer, and the only way to get a reservation is to book one just after midnight the day they open. So there's no lack of demand. But please don't let the new chef cost optimize this restaurant into the pedestrian experience it was last night.

Bern’s Steak House
1208 S Howard Ave
Tampa, FL 33606

https://www.yelp.com/biz/berns-steak-house-tampa

Bern’s Steak House

Lobby
Lobby
Tournedos au Poivre
Tournedos au Poivre
Tuna Tartare
Tuna Tartare

**** (4 stars)

It pains me to give Bern's four stars, but it's time for a wake-up call.

I've been going to Bern's for forty years, and it has always been my favorite restaurant. But pandemic changes have made it not the experience it once was, even though there has been plenty of time to adjust.

The menu is a third of what it once was. True, it could have used some tightening, but all around us we heard people complaining that their favorites were missing. And some of those favorites, such as Bern's caviar service, made the restaurant the unique experience it was.

The extremely aged steaks at Bern's have never been the highlight for me, but, with so much of the menu eliminated, I decided to try the Tournedos au Poivre. The meat was wonderfully tender and perfectly cooked, but the dish was literally inedible. I have never encountered such a salty sauce short of seawater. No chef could possibly have tasted this sauce during preparation.

"Another new menu coming next week," our waiter told us, with some degree of exasperation.

With over one million bottles of wine, the primary attraction of Berns is, of course, the wine cellar. But the older obscure wines on the list are nowhere to be found. Hundreds of pre-1980 listings from Burgundy alone have vanished. Were they all really drunk during the pandemic? Or has this, too, been streamlined? The conversion of one of the wine warehouses into more hotel rooms is not a good sign.

The situation is worse in the upstairs dessert rooms, where a menu of a hundred vintage Madeiras is now a short non-vintage list. I ordered one of the two survivors, and it was also missing in action.

I can forgive obvious pandemic issues, such as the server warning us it would take twenty minutes for her to get a cart for preparing Bananas Foster. But it seems like corners have been cut everywhere.

If it's an inflation issue, just raise the prices. Bern's is still ridiculously inexpensive for what they offer, and the only way to get a reservation is to book one just after midnight the day they open. So there's no lack of demand. But please don't let the new chef cost optimize this restaurant into the pedestrian experience it was last night.

Bern’s Steak House
1208 S Howard Ave
Tampa, FL 33606

https://www.yelp.com/biz/berns-steak-house-tampa

Boot Hill Museum

***** (5 stars)

One of the best museums I've been to, this incorporates a new facility with extensive exhibits featuring great audio video performances of actors in character that bring the history to life. Then there is a walking tour that takes you through many historic buildings and displays, including actors working in the businesses serving drinks and selling merchandise. Fun for all ages.

Boot Hill Museum
500 W Wyatt Earp Blvd
Dodge City, KS 67801

https://www.yelp.com/biz/boot-hill-museum-dodge-city

Pizzeria Rustica

Interior
Interior
Exterior and patio
Exterior and patio
Antipasto
Antipasto
Caesar salad
Caesar salad
Rustica
Rustica

*** (3 stars)

Friendly service and a nice patio dining area are the highlights of this place in the midst of the Colorado Springs tourist area.

The food was just okay, with a very pedestrian Antipasto Misto and somewhat odd Caesar Salad that involved diced meat and toasted bits of flatbread.

The namesake Pizza Rustica was also just okay. The thin, authentic crust was good, but the ricotta was only in one small section, and the pizza overall had very little flavor. We overhead a nearby table chatting with the owner, and they gave exactly the same assessment.

Wine prices are reasonable.

Pizzeria Rustica
2527 W Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

https://www.yelp.com/biz/pizzeria-rustica-colorado-springs