Hip. Bright. Vegetarian options galore. Why haven't I written about this popular spot sooner?
I've never had a great experience here, unfortunately. I gave them three or four tries over the last couple years, but the attitude is a big turn-off for me, which is why I'm adding to my ratings scale: Customer Service. I can understand one, maybe two times, just being bad luck with whomever was serving me, but every time my visit has either been met with negativity or with total apathy. It's a shame, really, because they have such a lovely spot, good coffee and great espresso! With the Long Beach coffee scene getting pretty competitive, this branch of Portfolio Coffeehouse better up its game.
Illy is their main drip coffee, so I don't usually get it since that's not unique to their shop. The espresso is the way to go, here. My last time here I had a latte with whole milk, and received a lovely cup with a rosetta design. It was smooth, if a bit hot on the tongue. The espresso felt lighter than average, but it went well with the milk's sugars. Another thing I'd recommend, despite not recommending the shop for an experience, is the Mexican chocolate mocha. Many shops have something like this now, but theirs is one that stuck out to me as on point. There are few outlets here, but if you get lucky you can snag one out of the floor under their long communal wood table. Seating here is sort of ridiculous-- as you can only take certain seats depending on what you're getting... I.E., only the front few spots for drinks, but all the back spots and outdoors if you're eating there.
My ratings for Berlin Bistro:
Study spot? 2 stars
Quality pour over? 2 stars
Espresso? 4 stars
Seating? 3 stars
First date spot? 2 stars
Customer Service? 1 star
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My ratings scale is as follows: