2163 N. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207
CUISINE Bar/Pub Grub, Beer Joints, Modern American
PRICE $$ ($13-$20)
HOURS Open for dinner daily, brunch Saturday and Sunday
NVM AWARDS Best New Restaurant 2009
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
Strip-mall sports bars aren’t usually known for their rilletes, saucisson sec or homemade bratwurst.
Then again, most sports bars didn’t snag wandering chef-cum-charcuterie merchant Jamie Stachowski to help launch their concept.
Though Stachowski decamped last fall, general manager Lucius Polk says Thirsty Bernie continues to feature the luxuriant pates, cured meats and palate-pleasing sausages customers have come to know and love. Chef Andy Cieslowski, a Sam and Harry’s alumnus, has put his own stamp on the menu via a traditional goulash and crab cake sandwich.
Whenever available, jump on the charcuterie, as Stachowski is a whiz when it comes to kielbasa (seared bulbs of Polish sausage are sublime), country pate (herb-spiked liver sporting the faintest ring of fat possible) and everything in between. Their hot pastrami sandwich sports pickled red onions, piles of pepper-cured brisket (fantastic) and melted Swiss pressed between nutty, whole-grain pumpernickel. Plain old pierogies go gourmet via a tangy farmer’s cheese filling, and seductive riesling-brown butter sauce pleasantly goosed by golden raisins (well played).
Meanwhile, Polk says they’re putting the finishing touches on an outdoor patio and plan to expand their import beer lines.