Billy Berk’s, San Jose, CA

2forks

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(408) 292-4300
billyberksworld.com
https://www.facebook.com/BillyBerksSJ
99 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisine: “New American”
Cost: $$ ($11-30 – Moderately priced)
Two Forks = A worthy addition to its neighborhood with consistency in its food.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday 11AM – 10PM
Friday 11AM – 11PM
Saturday 12PM – 11PM
Sunday 4PM – 9PM

Happy Hours:
Monday – Friday 3PM – 7PM
Saturday 12PM – 5PM
Sunday 25% off all bottles of wine

$2 off Billy’s Specialty Cocktails
$2 off Well Drinks
$4 Select Beer
$2 off all 6 oz. Wines by the Glass

Appetizer Eats $7 and under

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Handicap accessible: Yes
Parking: Street, Validated
Vegetarian options: Yes
Kid friendly: No
Liquor served: Full bar
Wine List: Decent options, at acceptable prices.  The wine we chose was ok, but we wouldn’t order it again.
Outdoor seating: Yes, heated open air patio
Reservations: Yes

Unique:  Set in a historic San Jose downtown brick and timber building

interior decor inside

The decor is fun with old album covers on the walls.  It’s warm and rustic with exposed brick walls and piping that has a modern vibe. We love the old original old hardwood floors, and the bathroom was nice and clean with good sized stalls.  The bar was obviously the main attraction.  It sits like an island in the middle of the space with flat screen TV’s facing outward.

patio

Although we didn’t sit outside, there is an open air outdoor patio.  It seems like a great place to wind down after work, for pre-game festivities and was just fine for our date.  More of a fun place, not fancy by all means.

They have a variety of food and claim “Flavors for all palettes”.  We thought it was “OK”, but nothing spectacular.

We started off with:  Didn’t have a salad, which is unusual for us but they did look like they offer fresh options.

the little wedgy iceberg, bacon, red onion, cherry tomato and blue cheese $6

Entree:  I chose off the “Share plates” because the Blackened Salmon Sliders, $12 sounded good.

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Cajun remoulade, arugula and balsamic

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The description was better than it actually tasted  It was a decent sized piece of salmon on each bun, but there was no balsamic to it and it was served with spinach and not arugula, so it was missing that pepper punch I was seeking.  The bun was a bit dry, but the sauce was good.  The biggest problem that I had was that they left the skin on the salmon.  If it’s on a sandwich, hidden under the garnish, take it off!  Ewe!  Fishy.  Once I peeled it off, the fish was much better eaten on its own.

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Bill ordered the Tuscan Chicken Breast, $18

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Crispy Potatoes, cipolini onions, peppers, roasted garlic and chicken-fenel- Asiego sauce.  This was a bit steep for a small chicken breast.  The meat was flavorful, but dry.  Bill didn’t notice that they hadn’t served it with the sauce!

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The vegetables on his plate were hot and fresh!  He is a big fan of sausage, so that was a welcomed surprise.

Entrees are served with a choice of one side dish and there were plenty of starchy type of options.  He decided on the side of Parmesan, red pepper flake, and toasted garlic green beans

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These were a big disappointment.  Overcooked, soft and mushy.  They were burnt and really not good at all.  I mentioned it to our server Pablo, who had said they were one of his favorites and he did the right thing by bringing a fresh batch.

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The second batch was cooked better, but the problem I had with them is that they were not cleaned properly and still had their strings.

strings

Dessert:  We passed, but it sounds like they make a good sundae.

Bill ordered a $34 bottle of  Petite Sirah, which was fine, but not great.

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Looking at the above, you can see why I think $70.69 is a bit much for this type of meal…

BBQ ribs steak spanish pork roast with appricots, fennel and onion

A table adjacent to us ordered the ribs and never touched them.  Perhaps they wanted them for home, but they looked good!  Some of the other dinner menu items looked good including the steak and the Spanish pork roast served with apricots, fennel and onion that looks like a stew.

flat bread wings spicy and sweet chicken, chipotle potato skins

Some of the appetizers looked good including the flat bread, chicken wings and the chipotle potato skins.

bbq pork sliders white cheddar burgers mac and vermont white cheddar

Many of their dishes are plated the same, like the “Little Hot buns” (BBQ Pork and white cheddar burgers) in a pile of crispy fries.  The Macaroni and Vermont white cheddar looked great.

I really liked the environment, so when we’re visiting downtown it’s likely a place we would go back to for a casual dinner.

Bon appetit!
~Chris

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