The York Dispatch restaurant reviewers Betty and Hanna took some pint-sized companions along to Bermudez, 29 E. Princess St. (843-0850 or www.facebook.com/BermudezCuisine), for this week's review. Take it away, ladies!
Hanna: Betty and I are always looking for new local places to try, and Bermudez has been open for only six months, so we had to check it out. We brought the kids for extra fun.
The dining room, which holds about 15 people, has dark hardwood floors and burgundy curtains on the large windows that face Princess Street. Bermudez does a lot of take-out business. Our service was excellent and the chef came out several times to ask us how we liked our meals and to answer our questions about how the food was prepared.
For an appetizer, we ordered empanadas in four varieties: beef, beef and cheese, ham and cheese, and guava and cheese. The shells were crispy and not greasy. One 11-year-old diner, Super-Secret Restaurant Reviewer Codename M, declared the guava and cheese "quite flavorful" and announced, "the next time we go to Giant, I am getting a guava." Our second 11-year-old diner, Super-Secret Restaurant Reviewer Codename A, said the ham and cheese was "yummy." I agree with both of their assessments — the empanadas were my favorite part — but everything I had was excellent.
I asked one of the owners what their specialty was, and she said the roasted pork. Since Betty had already called dibs on that, I asked for the second specialty: stewed chicken. The chicken, stewed in a tomato base that was not too spicy or acidic, included a thigh and leg with meat so tender it fell off the bone. I got white rice and beans as well as a side salad (which comes on the same plate as dinner, not in advance). For dessert I got the flan, which was — yeah, you guessed it — amazing.
Verdict: Come enjoy this very local gem in the heart of York City. The atmosphere is relaxed, the service perfect and the food a welcome change from everything else around. Oh, and they have Diet Pepsi.
Betty: People might say I'm a little bit particular. I want meals cooked perfectly and flavored well. I don't like to wait to be served, and I want good service throughout the meal. I hadn't found a place that meets my demands until Bermudez.
Bermudez is located in the very first block of East Princess street, and it backs up to the City Hall/Santander Bank parking lot, which has plenty of parking after hours. The small dining room means great attention from the staff and chef. The food came quickly, the plates were cleared promptly and my drink stayed full.
And the food? Oh the food.
The empanadas make me want to throw a party — and I hate parties. Maybe I'll just say I'm throwing a party, order dozens and eat all of them while binge-watching on Netflix.
The corn fritters with aioli gave me pause because I generally avoid things I can't pronounce, but the chef swore by it — and he was right. The fritters alone are like Bradley Cooper. The aioli is Bradley Cooper shirtless.
The pernil and yellow rice I ordered was so moist and tasty I was rendered speechless. (My friends would certainly tell you I'm never quiet unless I'm watching Bradley Cooper shirtless on Netflix.)
Verdict: I'm hesitant to write this because, frankly, I'm selfish and greedy. I want to keep the awesomeness all to myself. I don't want to wait for a table and I certainly don't want you eating the amazing empanadas without me.
However, I want Bermudez to be around for a long, long time — so let's make a deal. When you go, and you MUST go, save a space at your table for me. You won't even notice I'm there; I'll be too busy eating to talk much.
— Hanna and Betty are the alter egos of two York County professionals who love dining out. Want to recommend a restaurant for review? Email food editor Mel Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion.