Tampa Treasures: The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steakhouse


The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steakhouse is famous for its Baked Alaska, and gorgeous private dining areas — and you can visit it at 1208 South Howard Avenue in Tampa.

Devour edible art inside the famed halls of Bern’s. When you’re through with the steak and the wine, head up to the dessert room and further satiate your local hunger. ¬†Welcome to The Harry Waugh Dessert Room.

In real life Harry Waugh was an esteemed British wine connoisseur who was a consultant to the Queen and wine buyer for the St. James Club of London and other famous restaurants and hotels. However, in memoriam, Waugh is the eponymous host to one of the most decadent dessert enclaves on Planet Earth.

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Heaven is above a steakhouse

The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steakhouse is a warren of wine barrels serving over 1,000 desserts and spirits. It is a Tampa institution – I mean where else can you watch the dazzling blue flames of a Baked Alaska while listening to heavenly piano music (and, yes, you can call in request on that phone inside your booth – it is not a game).

The story goes that Bern Laxer met up with Waugh at his home in London and the two of them retired to his drawing room for a snifter of brandy and dessert. It was here that Waugh suggested that Laxer should build his own drawing room for guests, so that they could have a private place to eat dessert. So, in 1985, Laxer completed the 48 booths inside the dessert room. Nowadays, a team of 20 pastry magicians create these innovative epicurean fancies.

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Naughty Dessert descriptions below

Some of the most notable are the Cheescake Gert (named after Bern’s wife, Gertrude), the King Midas – a carrot cake served with the macadamia nut ice cream and hot fudge – and the Framboise Macadamia Decadence.

Don’t forget the dessert wines as well – I mean it is Bern’s, they have a universe of bottles tucked inside the Aleph-like cellar. Seriously, Bern’s has items you will rarely see like Eisweins and Sauternes or Buals and Trockenbeerenauslese. And, for real, those are real dessert wines, I did not just rest my elbow on the keyboard on accident.

The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steakhouse does not take reservations and asks politely that you do not wear flip-flops. Bern’s is located at 1208 South Howard Avenue and the Dessert Room opens at 6pm every night of the week.

*Featured image courtesy of Bern’s Steakhouse¬†