Tradional and the best at what it does.. My family has been eating at Marin Joe's for over fifty years. Just because the style of cooking is traditional doesn't mean it's out of date. The portions are substantial, the service is professional and the prices are reasonable. I can't understand some of these reviews. Someone stated that a "chef friend" told him that the food had gone downhill "since Joe" died. You and your chef friend don't know what you're talking about. There NEVER was a "Joe". Adolph Della Santina started the restaurant in 1954. It's now owned and operated by his nephew's family. Joe's is a generic term for a restaurant specializing in a certain style of Italian-American cooking. As far as going to Ruth's Chris to get a steak instead of Joe's, you're not going to get a New York with two sides for $25 at the former. It's all relative. You can't find alot of the dishes anywhere other than Joe's - sauteed sweetbreads, chicken livers, roast veal, broiled 1/2 chicken etc. Granted this isn't expensive foo-foo modern Italian Cusine, but it doesn't pretend to be. If you looking for seared diver scallops on the piastra with a wild mushroom, chicory root, bagna caudo ragu, don't come here. If you want a medium rare cheesburger on sourdough with great fries, get over here.
We used to love Marin Joe's restaurant, but after tonight we will never return or recommend it to anyone.
Tonight we called ahead to make dinner reservations for 6. We were told that they only take reservations for parties of seven or more. We decided to go anyway, arrived at 7pm and were told there would be an hour wait for a table. Even though it was a long wait, we decided to go into the bar and wait over drinks.
The bar was crowded there was no place to sit, so we waited until a table there opened up. We were not allowed to sit and any of the 4 open tables, as we were told those were "dining tables". When one finally did open up we discovered there were not enough chairs. Half of our party was left standing for another ten to fifteen minutes, with none of the staff even noticing. When we asked for chairs we got no response, and so finally took chairs from the next table that opened up. A waitress came and took two of our chairs from us saying that they needed them for a "dinner table". She did not offer us other chairs, even though there was a stack of them around the corner. We waited another 45 minutes before the stressed out curt cocktail waitress got to our table. After waiting for over an hour and a half, watching many other parties who arrived after us and were somehow seated in the dining room before us, we were finally offered a bar table right next to the bar table we had been sitting/standing at for 1 1/2 hours, instead of a dining room table. When we refused the table, the manager/owner acted offended, and in a surprisingly demeaning tone asked why we didn't want the table. At that point, hungry and fed up, we just left.
Our party was expecting a wait, but we never expected that level of indifference to our needs nor the demeaning and offhanded manner in which the hostess and manager dealt with our party. Our experience was insulting and embarrassing, especially since we had recommended the establishment so highly to our out of town visitors.
I love Marin Joe's!. I have been going to Marin Joes my whole life... 30 years! I love it. For Italian food in Marin, its one of the best. Its not a happening spot, seems like most of the clientele has been around for 3 times my life. My grandpa could fine a nice date there if he didn't have a girlfriend... and if your a little kid or have one, beware of cheek pinchers, there out to get some! Service is up and down, overall ok. People love marin joes, so there is usually a wait, to me... worth it. The burgers are the best!
There are a lot of great places to go for a steak, in Marin and San Francisco. Marin Joes was a late night discovery I made in my first week of living in the area, recommended by the hostess at Izzy's, which was just then closing for the night. I was seated right away in a small, two person booth, which was comfortable, and the ambience, though nothing too fancy, gave me a feeling like I had been there before, which was comforting. I have been going there for years, first for the hanburgers served on a baguette, which are mighty, for a lack of better words. And then I moved on to the New York steak, which I found to be extremely satisfying with a side of rosemary red potatoes and steamed vegetables. But more recently I have found the steaks to be less than satisfying, generally a little small. I love the sourdough bread and house salad, but probably won't be going back too soon, because for a steak at that price, you're just better off going to Ruth's Chris. The service is consistently good.
wait in line for ????.
Fine dining prices minus the food.
A eat and run kind of place, with a old ambiance.
Could be better if the prices came down again,
and the food consistancy went back up.....
Very disapointed...drove all the way from petaluma to eat here.
Not the best place in town!.
Dark, Dingy and slightly over rated.
The Tenderloin was great and the veggies were nasty.
Frozen pees with dried potaoes....???
a hundred dollars later, we wer left with a bad taste in
our mouths - way to expensive.
I like the place and the service, but dont understand the hype?
The place your grandmother would have gone. This place screams 1960's, from the crammed, too-small booths, to the tuck and roll upholstery and grim looking walls. On the other hand, the lunch I had me totally reminiscing about my old grandma; who had martini's with lunch, and everyone knew her name, and she always ordered her steak RARE and got it RARE. The food is good to a minimal standard, but it's that old-style food no one under the age of 60 really goes out for anymore. I mean, spaghetti with meat sauce is a side, for goodness sake, and they still have liver and onions on the menu (someone's ordering it!)The place was filled with older people, happily eating the old-school food and swilling cocktails. The beef tips w/ mushrooms I had was somewhat bland but well cooked and when doctored with salt/pepper a nice throw-back to my youth, and the freshly steamed, veggies, as boring as they could possibly be, were just what my grandma would have expected. My lunchmate had seared scallops, perfectly done, she said. This isn't a place I'd revisit, but to give it the props it deserves: Marin Joe's created one of the world's best dishes: Joe's Special, an unlikely combo of eggs, mushrooms, ground beef and onions, and it is truly one of life's must-try's. They also are one of the only low-brow joints still making Caesar salad table side, and to their benefit, they use an open grill for their meats... But... the place is sadly outdated and wretchedly grim and old. A chef friend tells me that when Joe died, the place lost it's charm, and I believe him. I'd bet there's a lot of aging boomers who are happy Joe's is still around, and even though I won't go back unless my now-aged mother forces me, the food is decent, old-fashioned grub that is going to go the way of the hof brau before you know it. There are so few of these places left, it just might be worth a try, so you'll know what you will (or won't) be missing when they're gone.
A review from someone who knows. I want to say I'm 62 and I grew up in San Francisco. I haved moved to Prague and one of the things I most miss is a night at Joes feasting. I liked the larger portions growing up. I think they have the best Hamburger in town as I found at Original Joes years ago. I like that they carry on a tradition that was in place the first time I visited at a ripe young age. They are about steak and hamburgers, larger portions, real charcol cooking, and freshly cut meats. They have fine roasts, where can roast veal be found three days a week? What about Joe's Special? My gawd, what kind of people are these that write those disgruntled reviews? This place is where real San Franciscans still go.
Poor to very poor sdervice. Walked in last night. Sat at counter Waitress after being asked produced a menu. No water no french bread offered. Waited for appr 15 minutes. Waitress basically ignored me AND there were very few patrons at the counter at the time. I left without eating. Advised management and believe it or not management sided with waitress. Expressing it may have been pretty busy. Three(3) people at the counter in her area apparently overwhlemed her.Management does not care about repeat business. Will never return.
Harley Girl. I have to say I have always had a great burger at Joe's. The service is good and I have never had a problem with the older patrons in there, it doesn't change the flavor of the food what so ever! The veal is also great.
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