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“What took us so long” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marin Joe's Restaurant

Marin Joe's Restaurant
1585 Casa Buena Dr, Corte Madera, CA 94925-1730
415-924-2081
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Ranked #3 of 38 restaurants in Corte Madera
Cuisines: Italian, Continental
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“What took us so long”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We haven't been to Marin Joes for many years. Now that makes me sad because I have had too many mediocre hamburgers and I could have been having a fabulous, drip down your arm great hamburger at Marin Joes. We just forgot how fun Joe's is when we moved to the East Bay. I haven't had a hamburger in the East Bay as good as Joe's. There's a hamburger in Rutherford that is as good but very different. A friendly place, always crowded and straight out of yesterday. But most important it's very, very good. Nice counter service for single diners. How many of those left? We could only eat half the burger and we were going to leave the fries but our server said they would be great after a warm up in the oven. She was right.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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67 reviews from our community

73% Recommend
    32
    17
    6
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Fran
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“A bit disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I have eaten here a number of times, with others and solo. It has an "old school"
Cal-Italian menu and a fun open kitchen, where you can watch the food being
prepared. Usually I am very happy with the food, especially the veal chop special
and the lamb chops.

This place is essentially a steak and chop house that also has an Italian menu.
So what was my problem? I ordered a rib eye steak. I'm not a butcher, but have
eaten my fair share of steaks. When I saw them put the steak on the grill it looked
a LOT like a NY Strip steak. I have nothing against NY Strip steaks, but they are
very different in texture and flavor, and that wasn't what I ordered. I waited.

When the waiter brought the steak over, it was a dead ringer for a NY Strip. It
was the same long, rectangular shape, the same small triangular piece of fat
on the end. So I cut into it. Strip steaks are not nearly as tender, and rib eyes
have a lot more marbled fat. This was no rib eye. I spoke to the waiter and asked
him if this wasn't a NY Strip. He said he could understand my confusion, and that
"a lot of the rib eyes were coming out looking like that".

Well, I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but what I had was no rib eye. And
I have a problem with what is essentially a steak house essentially not knowing
the difference between two of the most common types of steak. Either the waiter
was clueless, the cook was clueless, or all of the above. I didn't enjoy spending a
fair amount of money and not getting what I wanted.

I may be back, but I won't order a steak again. What's next? Will they bring me
a bowl of macaroni and tell me its spaghetti next time?

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“My Favorite Place to Eat Solo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Marin Joe's is the best of any of the Joe's I have tried in the SF Bay area. I'm a local and have eaten here at least 50 times. I've never been dissapointed. I love to eat at the counter where you can really see the cooks in action. On cold days, I prefer being by the mesquite broiler where you can feel the heat and enjoy watching the sizzling food. On warm weather days, I head for the other side the better to see the cooking on the stove which can be amazing to watch. When it's crowded and the staff is in high gear, it is fun to watch 20 different pans at once. Never seen zagaglione being made? Here's your chance to see it live and appreciate what a bargain it is for all the work involved.

The portions at lunch are generally a little smaller and cheaper than dinner. Most dishes have a choice between mixed vegetables and french fries or spaghetti or ravioli with meat sauce. If it's dinner, you can get really yummy roasted red potatos instead of fries. I don't care for the thick cut fries as I like mine thein and crisp. But the veges are always really good. When I get a steak or roast, I always get the ravioli with meat sauce. The juice from the meat and the excellent meat sauce runs together to form ambrosia. Sop up all of it with the excellent sourdough bread.

The fish here is also excellent. Sole and thin fish are done in pans. Thicker fish like salmon, halibut and boneless trout are grilled over mesquite. And all of the pasta is divine and comes with a wide selection of different sauces.

Service is prompt and efficient, but don't expect to be charmed. That's just the style of service here. This place is old school and was constructed in the 1950s and nothing has changed much. But fans of Marin Joe's don't want anything to change

I'm getting so hungry writing this, I think I'll head there for dinner tonight.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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San Francisco
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great confort food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Marin Joes is a wonderful 1950's restaurant with great comfort food and good service. Sitting at the counter and watching real masters cook and grill is wonderful entertainment. The steaks, roasted meats, Caesar salads and pastas are all fantastic. This is a real restaurant and is a Marin institution. Not a place for a diet. No reservations except for large parties, and some waiting for a table is usual.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Mill Valley
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good Old Fashioned Fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

This place is ALWAYS packed because it's such a great, down-to-earth restaurant. I love sitting at the counter and watching the mastery of those chefs as they turn out dish after dish of delicious, home-cooking.

Visited November 2012
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