Just returned from a totally ghastly dining experience at the once-great Berns in Tampa. In addition to their obvious "processing" of diners that includes serving your entree halfway through the salad course, removing the televisons in their dessert rooms to increase "turn" and the insulting $4 valet parking fee and 12% service charge on every check Berns is now serving steaks and seafood that bear every sign of having been rejected by Outback or Shells (both of which are headquartered in Tampa).
The menu still makes for interesting reading; but the steaks are hardly a match for any of the chain steak houses now opening both in Tampa and Orlando. Their "famous" onion soup is served in the world's smallest onion soup crock, salads feature consistently excellent vegetables atop poor greens, there is NO bread (except for a homemade melba toast-like flour product hardly worth putting on the table), and the potato served with your dinner tastes like it had been cooked hours prior to arriving on your table.
If you must experience the 50's bordello decor first-hand steer clear of anything other than the aforementioned steak. They will show you a take with live pompano swimming in it; but the pompano in parchment was "mushy" and had clearly taken at least two days to get from the tank to the table.
A wonderous wine list - with Alice in Wonderland prices.
Five years ago Berns was good enough to warrant the hazardous drive down I-4 from WDW - now its hardly worth the drive over from the hotel strip near Tampa International.
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