You know those days when you wake up in the morning and immediately know what you want to eat? I sure do. Whether it’s pancakes, an omelette, a grilled cheese, french toast or fried chicken, the chance that Bertha’s can fulfill the craving is certain.
After a quick Google search, I found that Bertha’s – located on Hertel Ave squeezed between storefronts right near North Park Theatre – has been around almost as long as me (I’m 27). In a town where the classics still win the hearts of locals and flavor typically squanders trendiness, we can be rest assured that Bertha’s isn’t going anywhere. Hallelujah!
In true diner form, Bertha’s has their all-day breakfast menu as well as a lunch menu served after 11AM. For breakfast, you can go easy on yourself and get some eggs, toast, potato, and meat combos, or you can go with something like “The Dennis”: bacon, egg, cheese and a spicy chorizo stuffed hot pepper on sourdough. A hangover cure at it’s finest IMO. Or indulge in the sweet side of the menu – pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc., all with the option to add the goods like chocolate chips, strawberries, walnuts, bananas, etc.
I almost always get two savory dishes as well as one sweet dish to split when I go to eat somewhere with a friend, even though we both know it’s far from necessary. One of my first visits ever to Bertha’s yielded the ‘sitting pretty’ for me, the canadian western omelette for my friend, and banana walnut pancakes as our phantom entree. What is the sitting pretty, you ask? It’s two eggs grilled into bread and topped with cheese. You know that thing you try to make at home but probably, definitely don’t succeed? Yeah, me too. Just swallow your pride go to Bertha’s. Not only does it look pretty, it’s the perfect marriage of egg, bread and cheese. The omelette was traditional, hearty and delicious as well as have the perfect proportion of ingredients.
On another visit, during brunch time, I got the big breakfast platter with scrambled eggs, bacon, and of course, I just had to upgrade to a waffle instead of two pancakes or french toast. My friend got the reuben, which was crunchy, salty, cheesy and what a reuben should be. Also – the key to my greasy little heart – being able to get fries instead of just home fries.
The cooks at Bertha’s know their way around the sweets. I’m a pancake fanatic and the banana walnut pancakes totally did it for me. Fluffy and dense and a wonderful sanctuary for all the syrup. Also incredibly satisfying was the waffle – crunchy on the outside and a soft, eggy interior.
The service at Bertha’s is always friendly, speedy, and efficient. I’m a big coffee drinker, and I find that I am hardly ever left needing more coffee when I’m at Bertha’s.
My personal classification of a diner that has their diner marbles? The presence of a patty melt. There are many things that should always be part of the offerings at a diner, but even more than the tuna melt, the patty melt is my qualifier. There’s just something about the addition of a burger and fried onions to a grilled cheese that really encompasses what a diner is about. While I have not had the patty melt at Bertha’s yet, I know I’ll be back. At the exact moment that I’m in the mood for a patty melt.
Pro tips: Heads up, Bertha’s is a cash only joint, but they do have an ATM up front. Also important to note, Bertha’s does not serve alcohol, which means no bloodies or mimosas here. You can, however grab a hot chocolate, chocolate milk, coffee, tea, juice, etc.
Location: 1430 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216