“We need to go there sometime.”
Both Julie and I say those words often as we drive past restaurants in our travels in and around Berks County.
In the past few weeks, we have said that often about The Bridge Inn in Pleasantville as we drove Route 73 on our way to and from Boyertown.
Finally, after saying it enough, we made a trip to the Oley Valley with the Bridge Inn as our destination.
The Bridge Inn has the feel of a great dive (I use the term lovingly). You can sense the character of the building — and hear it with every step across the wooden floor.
We chose to sit at one of the three random booths in a narrow room along the front of the building. On one side we could watch traffic breeze by on Route 73. On the opposite wall, an even more random antique couch sat empty. And at the far end of the room hung a floor-to-ceiling drape for those times when this room is closed off to the bar on the other side.
The menu is deep with bar food and beyond. Burgers and sandwich options are plentiful and there is a half-page of seafood options, as well as steaks, chicken, veal and pasta.
A few of the options stood out for originality, one of them being the tequila fettuccine.
The pasta is tossed in jalapeno lime sauce with spinach, onion, peppers, cilantro and choice of chicken or shrimp (I went with chicken).
It was a hefty bowl, for sure. Specks of red and green popped against the dull-colored cream sauce and chicken breast slivers.
And it packed a decent punch. It wasn’t an overwhelming heat, but it was impossible to miss the jalapeno that lingered after every bite. The peppers and cilantro gave it some freshness, too.
I finished a little more than half of it before I couldn’t take another bite. Not because I didn’t want more, but because the portion was too large, especially with a side order of onion rings to eat as well.
There really isn’t a side order that goes with this dish (other choices included fries, potato filling, mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed mushrooms) so onion rings were just what I was craving most among the available options.
They were fine, if a little greasy. But I certainly didn’t need them. I probably would have been happier with a starter salad and no sides.
Julie may have actually had more food than I did as her “Bridge Chicken” dinner came with two sides.
The Bridge Chicken is sautéed with tomatoes, garlic, feta cheese, spinach and bacon with Dijon cream sauce. You could really taste the Dijon mustard, and it paired well with the smoky flavor of the bacon.
It was a unique mix of flavors, a deconstructed chicken sandwich of sorts. And Julie really enjoyed it.
For her sides, she chose a baked potato and corn nuggets. The corn nuggets were average, but she really enjoyed the baked potato, which was covered in coarse salt. Already a fan of potato skins, Julie was excited to have the extra salt on them.
She, too, took home nearly half of her chicken so our $42 was stretched into a few more meals.
There was a lot to like about the Bridge Inn, and judging from the crowd in the dining room, plenty of others thought so, too.
And now that we’ve been there, “we need to go there” is now “I’m glad we finally went.”