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“Fun interior, terrible food”

Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House
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Ranked #21 of 308 Restaurants in San Luis Obispo
Price range: $20 - $98
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Hwy 101 & Madonna Rd Exit
Transit: Bus stop at the entrance to the World famous Madonna Inn property.
Description: Located at Madonna Inn, the Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House is a landmark destination for its whimsical décor and classic menu. Featuring outstanding oak-pit barbequed steaks, a superb wine list, world-famous cakes and pies, and outstanding service. The menu also features abalone, lamb, Australian lobster, chicken, and vegetarian entrees. The Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge serves an assortment of specialty drinks along with appetizers. Music and dancing nightly.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

This hotel / restaurant is the most fun interior I've ever seen. Pink everywhere! But sadly, the filet mignon I ordered and the rib eye steak my boyfriend ordered was really not good, especially the rib eye. We've eaten at a lot of different restaurant all over the world, and we know what to expect, and we also understand that some restaurants may not be as good as others, but this one was really disappointing. First of all the rice tasted terrible! And the rib eye steak was way to greasy. Really not quality meat. The same goes for the filet mignon, it was not as tender as it should be. The salad we got as a side order was just so sad. It was really not worth the money.

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Thank IseWes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 - 221 of 289 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2013

Separately I have reviewed the Madonna Inn hotel, of which this restaurant is a part. The hotel gets 5 stars. Regrettably, this restaurant does not deserve the same rating.

Here is the blow by blow account:

1. Our reservation was met with the offer of a booth at the very front, which was not at all private. When I declined the offer, the hostess said they were full and it would take a while to seat us until someone left. This was false, as at least one-third of the restaurant was empty. After a five-minute wait we were seated at a private booth in the heart of the restaurant. But we were made to feel uncomfortable for objecting to the unsatisfactory booth.

2. The busboy brought us water and rolls and a relish tray. He was friendly and attentive.

3. Our waiter took forever to take our order and was sullen and not helpful. He should not be employed as a waiter.

4. I asked about ordering steak and lobster, but explained I did not want the two 8 ounce lobster tails coupled with a 12 ounce steak (as it was offered on the menu) as it was too much food. I asked if I could order one lobster tail as a side. I was told I could not. I was told the lobster tails could only be served in a pair. In hindsight I probably should have left the restaurant at this point.

5. I ordered the ribeye. It was probably the best steak I have ever eaten. No kidding, the best ever. Tender, delicious, and tasting like it had been rubbed with bacon and lightly smoked. I shared some with my companion and she also fell in love with it.

6. My companion ordered the filet mignon. It was a huge disappointment, no flavor whatsoever. Probably the worst steak I have ever tasted. How can the same restaurant have such divergent quality in its meats?

7. I mentioned to the waiter our disappointment in the filet, especially as compared to the ribeye. I expected him to offer to exchange it. Instead, we were told that is just the way their filets are and that they were not very good in comparison to the other steaks. That being the case, we should have been told such when we placed our order. Did I mention that our waiter was not helpful?

8. We never got the focacia bread that was touted in the menu, even after asking the busboy. Nor were the rolls ever refilled.

9. Tables near us, once the patrons had left, were never cleared or tidied. We felt like we were dining in a sea of dirty dishes and leftover food.

10. We waited forever to see our waiter to ask for a bill. When we saw him, I mentioned again our disappointment in the filet. He ignored us and walked away.

11. I left a note for the manager explaining our dissatisfaction and asking him to contact me. I had asked to speak with him, but was told he was not on duty. I never heard from him though I included my name and telephone number with my note.

I recommend staying away from this steakhouse. Although the ribeye is excellent, it does not make up for the bad service. Go to the coffee shop instead. The staff there is very friendly and attentive. And you can order the same steaks in the coffee shop.

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Thank catatthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

The food was good, not very good, just good. The prices were pretty high but I would go again. The place is so over the top, it's fun. The band playing music was really good and we actually danced. It's just fun to see the place. Reservations are a must. You will spend more than you want but it is for the experience.

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Thank Robin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

If you are looking for great food then I would not go here. Not that it is bad, it isn't, just that it is nothing special. The steak that I had was tender, but nothing to write home about. You wont get a bad meal, but you wont remember it the next day.

The service was a mixed bag. I set a reservation for 8:00 only to have the hostess tell me that I would need to wait ten to fifteen minutes despite getting there at 7:59. Apparently, they know how to take the reservation they just don't know how to HOLD the reservation. I was not happy and let the maître de know. He was rude and not understanding about it and made excuses. He later came back and profusely apologized- maybe someone told him that I was a VIP or something (I'm not) because his attitude change was so drastic it was not believable. The waitress that we had though was exceptional. Very professional and very experienced. She knew what she was doing so our table service was outstanding.

The best part of the Madonna is the atmosphere, although depending on your likes you might hate it. If you have a romantic side to you and if you remember the days of the rat pack with the pink booths and Sinatra style music then you will love this place. It's lack of change over the years is intentional and refreshing. If you are in town for a few days, I would at least stop in at the Madonna and have a drink at the bar and check it out.

Thank Redhead32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Like the hotel, the restaurant's decoration is interesting. It seems to be a popular restaurant as there were people celebrating their birthdays and graduation when we were there. There was also a live band and a dance floor going on. Service was good. We went there as we're staying in the hotel.
Now, comes the food. It's pricey and the food is only average. We had steaks and a chowder, and they were OK but not for that price. We finished off with their famous pink champagne cake, which we found to be nice but not outstanding.
Overall, interesting experience but maybe only for special occasions.

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Thank PaulofSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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