Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.23mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.23mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi
  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.23mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

About Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

A historic landmark since opening our doors in 1890, Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto features antique stained glass and porthole windows to give you the nautical dining experience. Enjoy your lunch, dinner or happy hour while browsing century old salvaged maritime artifacts that adorn the reconstituted teak walls. Delight in viewing the "Star of Denmark" Canary Diamond and 6 foot Ming Vase in our main dining room.

Conveniently located in the trendy 4th Street shopping district in Berkeley, CA. Spenger's is famous in the San Francisco Bay Area for impeccable cuisine, an inviting atmosphere and superior service.

Planning a Private Event or Corporate Meeting? Spenger's offers unique Event Rooms for 15 to 200 guests. Our Event Manager will work with you to create a unique menu, perfect for your group. Make your next event a one of a kind, stress free experience.

1919 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Seafood, Steak, American

Hours of Operation:
BRUNCH: Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm
LUNCH: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-3:00pm
DINNER: Monday-Thursday: 3:00pm-9:30pm | Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm-10:00pm | Sunday 3:00pm-9:00pm

Cross Street:
University Ave.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(510) 845-7771

Website:
http://www.spengers.com/

Parking Details:
We validate for parking in the lot located across the street from the restaurant. 1 1/2 hours free before 5pm, 3 hours free after 5pm.

Public Transit:
We are located a few blocks from many AC Transit Bus lines. The closest Bart stations is about 1 mile away.

Executive Chef:
Patrick Kehler

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

Specials

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Details
Daily 4:00PM - 6:30PM 8:00PM - 10:00PM

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Private Dining

An historic landmark since opening our doors in 1890, Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto features antique stained glass and porthole windows. Enjoy your Private Event while browsing century old salvaged maritime artifacts, adorning reconstituted teak walls.

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.7

service

3.7

ambience

3.9

value

3.3

Noise

Moderate

61% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (24)
Special Occasion (20)
Good for Groups (19)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (16)
Good for Anniversaries (15)
Authentic (14)
Comfort Food (14)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Great for Lunch (11)
Good for a Date (9)
Happy Hour (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Cozy (8)
Business Meals (7)
Healthy (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Bar Seating (6)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Fun (6)
Late-night Find (6)
Local Ingredients (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Seasonal (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Romantic (5)
Disabled Access (5)
Fit for Foodies (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Live Sports (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Waterfront (3)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Great Beer (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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1939 reviews
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·Dined 6 days ago

Since we had a reservation, we were seated as soon as we arrived. No waiting! Enjoyed the fish and boat decor. Shrimp Scatter was delicious as usual. There weren't as many shrimp as there used to be but they were larger. Meal was pricey but for a special occasion was well worth it.

Tags: Fun, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

You can't go home...We celebrated my father's 88th birthday at Spenger's after confirming they still had the shrimp scatter platter. Well, the recipe used by McCormick and Schmicks today is NOT Frank Spengers and was disappointing. One review said it was right up there with Sizzler and I would agree.

They are understaffed but our server met all our demands especially considering we had 5 children under the age of 7 with us. The bar staff was REALLY bad took our order first and served my father last...I understand she serves regulars first but WOW we were the 1st two people in the bar.

Overall, it was a nice drive and a walk down memory lane for my dad but I wouldn't recommend this restaurant - it is not even up to McCormick and Schmick's standards. It is convenient to 4th Street so if you are out shopping and want to grab lunch it would be fine.

Tags: Casual
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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Mobile)·Dined on January 11, 2018

Fresh squeezed lemonade was very nice; I have had better sourdough bread. Their sour dough bread crust was tough and the loaf was sliced very thin. The butter was abnormally salty. Fried calamari was good and should be served with cocktail sauce. There was a few bits of crab shell or cartlige in the crab Louie. The hard boiled eggs were like rubber. The Louie dressing must have a milk product in it and every time I have it I get sick within 15 minutes of ingesting it. I Should know better not to try it again.
Waiter was not attentive to our needs.
I did not complain about the shells in the salad.
My husband enjoyed the fish and chips.
Spengers is not as good as it was before the original owner's sold it many years ago.
Waiter told us a new group just purchased the restaurant from McCormack and Scmick; Kelley Group?

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
·Dined on January 10, 2018

I have come to spengers whenever I visit Oakland for over 40 years. It seems to get better each time. Great atmosphere and the seafood is great!!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

We were a party of 8 that contributed to the "moderate" noise level . . . Food and service were so much better than the last time we dined here. My sister had cioppino which was phenomenal in many ways: 1-the presentation was wonderful with crab legs sticking up; 2- cioppino wasn't on the menu for lunch but our wonderful server checked with the kitchen and they were able to accommodate - really above and beyond expectation, plus 3-my sister gobbled every bit, hardly talking while she ate, and that's saying something! Did I say our server was wonderful? I wish I remembered her name (small, Asian woman?); my daughter paid the bill so I can's check the receipt to get her name. She was very attentive and efficient - kudos, Spenger's!! My crab and shrimp Louie was outstanding too! Thanks!

Tags: Casual, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Mediocre food served in a gloomy setting. At least they modernized the bathrooms. I remember the old family owned Spenger’s and how great their breakfasts were. It was cheap to eat there and maybe the food wasn’t so good, but it was cheap. Now the food is terrible and it’s expensive. Not going back.

Tags: Authentic, Comfort Food, Good for Groups
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food2
ambience2
service5
value3

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

The entire experience was totally poor. Service was basically non existent and then they attempted to overcharge me. We were not offered anything to drink except water and were not offered desert. The waitress was apparently in a hurry to leave because she passed us in her car when we left.
They did not have shrimp or crab and there was only a few other people in there. I was terribly disappointed. Everything was so different and substandard since the old Spengers.
It was quiet because there was no one there.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Spengers has been a favorite for more than 25 years - good food and good service - great seafood!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Fun, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 26, 2017

Mwaw was ok

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 26, 2017

Excellent food and service!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 26, 2017

I HATE giving bad reviews because I understand how hard it is to be in the food industry business. I will say the drinks are good. So if you just want to drink and nothing else it could be ok. The absolute worst part was paying for 4 star dining and we were getting two star with the food in both taste and looks. The food looked like a blue plate special at Golden Corral. It tasted only a bit better. There was a hair in our appetizer. Our order was completely screwed up and by the second mess up we just didn't have the energy to fix it. We aren't the kind of people that make a big stink and demand our dining "rights." We ate here Christmas day. It was the server's first day. He was very sweet, but he wasn't properly trained and Christmas shouldn't be your first day for a busy restaurant. McCormick & Schmuck bought them so they are now a corporation. I HATE THE CORPORATIZATION OF 4th Street. Next year for Christmas we are going to Black Bear Diner. They won't mess up our order; the food will be just as good, and will be half the cost.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

The menu states that the seafood on the menu is available in preparations other than those described in each entree. God only knows we wished we’d taken this seriously. The “herb crusted halibut” at $30 was a glorious piece of fish encased in an inedible casket of burned panko. As a dish, simply hideous, but in fairness, if we’d ordered the halibut grilled or pan fried it might have been palatable. The salad, the roasted root veg, cocktails and desserts were very good. I had a memorable swordfish steak (no burned panko, thank you).

Service was terrible, with wrong orders and long waits for, well, service.

So go and order the simplest of preparation. The embiance is glorious, with a floor to ceiling wall of model ships, and seafaring memorabilia at every turn. This is way out of the way, near practically nothing unless you’re shopping on Fourth Street or going to Steamworks .

And bring your gold card. This place is expensive.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Very welcoming place. Relaxed, not hurried.Although the place was full, there was no pressure to hurry up. Server was very experienced, competent and calm.

Tags: Disabled Access, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

I grew up in the Spencer's restaurant. I have great memories from when the family owned it. It's now a corporate run ghost of what was once the 4th busiest restaurant in America. We go on Christmas in memory of my father. Your jacking up the process for a holiday is sad, and now no Captains Plate of Shrimp Scatter? You need to do better

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual
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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

This place has old school, Berkeley charm. Love that it retains its sea food ambiance. Our family has made it a tradition to eat here after attending the Christmas Eve church service. We enjoy having dinner here before the madness of Christmas.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Authentic, Fun
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 22, 2017

We had an excellent meal at Spenger's. We reserved before our concert at Cal Performances. The server was attentive to our needs. Th cups of chowder were very good. We had a variety of entrees from the crab cakes (one all crab the other crab and shrimp--both delicious!), to pasta with smoked chicken (also delicious), to the seafood cioppini (sp?) (full of delicious bites of crab, shell fish, etc.). We were all very satisfied and too full to partake of dessert. We also were able to finish easily within an hour, so we could travel down University and get to the theatre in ample time. Add to this free parking in the lot across the street and it was a lovely evening.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Live Sports
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 19, 2017

This was not up to previous visits. I learned long ago not to make reservations during the lunch hours since the main dining room is right next to a noisy bar full of the alcohol for lunch crowd. That was not a problem n this visit as we arrived after that period was over. However, the background noise was loud enough that I had to lean over to talk to my wife and she had to lean so I could hear her. Additionally, the background 'music' was not encouraging to a pleasant dining experience. One piece was a continual single tone on a gong repeated endlessly. Another was the same repetitive type of music played on a wooden sounding instrument being struck at a regular beat of the same tone. Both pieces raised my anxiety levels and detracted from the overall experience. Other music played during the meal was equally unpleasant and too loud. Service was slow, the meal was not as good as the last time I ate the same thing there. We will look for an alternate seafood restaurant.

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food3
ambience2
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

Spenger’s Has gone downhill. Seems to cater to tourists. Halibut was overwhelmed by ‘herb crust’ (Parmesan). I asked for plain steamed vegetables (twice) and got salty, oily veggies with a lot of thyme.

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food1
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Service was horrible and the food is mediocre. It’s gone downhill over the last few years.

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Being from SoCal and up here during the NFL season, we always look forward to at least 2 visits to Spenger’s .

Tags: Good for Groups, Healthy, Business Meals, Casual, Comfort Food, Seasonal, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Hot Spot, Tasting Menu, Fun, Afternoon Tea, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Happy Hour, Authentic, Afternoon Coffee, Worth the Drive, Live Sports, Quick Bite, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Spengers! I really really want to love this place.
Super convenient...Great History...the food was actually quite tasty.

But, for the scene- ( a bit worn out and tired) and not great service (although our waiter was very helpful and friendly and accommodating) it is just way too pricey.

I can spend that money and get a fab meal at Chez Panisse or other places.

Bring the prices down a bit. tighten up the service and the dining room will fill up!

Hope it can improve!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Kid-friendly
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food4
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Excellent food kept the real style of the classic Spenger’s from years ago -love this place and can’t wait to go again

Tags: Local Ingredients, Cozy, Authentic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on December 14, 2017

We were four for dinner, on a weeknight and with a reservation. We waited a long time for our drinks, which were forgotten by the server until we reminded her, after the appetizers had arrived. Then we were told that one of the beers we had ordered was unavailable. A different beer was ordered, and 5 minutes later we were told it was unavailable also. Apparently they were out of beer altogether so the beer drinkers ended up having wine or water instead. Not in itself a problem but should have been clarified right away, not half an hour after we sat down. After dinner (which wasn't bad but was totally unremarkable), I went to the Ladies' room and found that one of the two toilets was nearly overflowing and the stench was literally unbearable. The whole place had an "in decline" vibe. I will not be returning to this restaurant anytime soon!

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food2
ambience1
service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 13, 2017

Excellent food, service & ambiance

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 12, 2017

Pleasant main dining room with a couple of bar venues. Menu is varies with some "non-fish" items. Bar is good for seeing a game, but not a sports bar environment. Nice place to meet friends for many good choices on the menu.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Groups, Casual
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 10, 2017

they were short staffed so service was very slow although there weren't many tables filled. Crab salads were excellent, however, with wonderfully fresh local crab.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Disabled Access, Authentic
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food5
ambience2
service2
value3

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

If you want a $10 cut of meat that costs you $40 this is the place to go. Who doesn't love a chewey ribeye that reminds you of when you were a kid shoving too many pieces of bubble gum in your mouth? How about some flavorless fish atop risotto paste? You betcha. At least you'll be serenaded by all of the middle aged people requesting the Happy Birthday song.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

We were a little late for the reservation, so the hostess could not find the reservation. Other than that, it was a wonderful lunch. The food was delicious. Hope to return with family.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on December 4, 2017

Very disappointing When we got their they said I will try and find U a table
We had reservations and the place was pretty empty

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food4
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

We had a group of 20 that shrunk to 16 due to a few last minute issues.

I dropped in to chat with the manager before the group showed up and he made sure it all came together right, including getting timing down so we could attend a Cal hoops game on time.

While we were not quite big enough for a private room, our 2 tables worked well.

Service was very good. Food was done right with only one "timing" glitch on a busy night.

Our Cal group has 45+ years of prior experience with Spenger's and, despite changes over the years and some "complaints" from other people in their online reviews, we were treated right, the food was top notch and we had a great experience, with the staff helping to make that happen.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on December 2, 2017

THE crab Louie was $28 and had little crab sitting o small bed of lettuce a few cucumber slices, 5 olives and 2 hard boiled eggs sliced and then some tomato wedges. My guest's sand dab entree was cold and had to be sent back. The mussels were good. We ordered a bottle of wine which the waitress poured the first glass but never returned to pour again.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

I would recommend this place if it was the only place left for the bread and water. And thats if it came within a reasonable time from when you sat down. We had no utensils no napkins no appetizer plates but food was sitting getting cold. I asked for a pint glass for my beer from three separate people and ended up drinking it out of the bottle.Next time I'll bring my own paper bag. If you want fried fish go to McDonald's. Filet O Fish is half the price and half the wait. The scatter was told to be the captain's platter but instead was worse than all you can eat Red Lobster shrimp and fries from Wendy's. My Jim Beam and Coke looked like cheap whiskey and water and didn't taste much better. I will pay the price for good food but growing up going to this restaurant to seeing what it's become is sad. All other reviewers who know what this place used to be say the same. I would put more money into your service and quality of food instead of changing the look of what was once a great restaurasameBy the way the lingering smell of Pine-Sol throughout the entire restaurant makes it smell like a one star rest home. Stop trying to be what you are not or step your game up. Otherwise tear it dowdown. Perfect location for an In and Out.But f... it. Im sure the other watered down restaurants numbers that also belong to this chain even out Spengers losses. Take note from Dead Fish and Stinkin Rose.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

We took our sister for a special birthday dinner. Unfortunately, the menu was limited and the food was not fresh.

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food1
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Service was spotty, food was luke warm at best. And it took forever to get served in the first place.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value2

 
·Dined on November 25, 2017

This restaurant has gotten progressively worse over the years that we have gone there.

The services has gotten particularly bad and we shall never go there again.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (San Joaquin)·Dined on November 24, 2017

I thought the food was a little bit overpriced. I paid $3.75 for a glass of ice tea which was never refilled and sugar was not offered. The shrimp scampi was seven dollars and I got three shrimp which had no garlic on it and they were cold, but it was meant to be a hot dish. The shrimp or cold but the sauce around it was hot. Not good value.

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food3
ambience5
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We had to wait 25 minutes for a table we had reserved in advance. The hostess told us she'd bring us a cocktail menu as she seated us but she never did. The featured wine of the day was not available and we were there at 7:00pm. The french bread they served was stale. Even though we ordered a bottle of wine we had to remind the waitperson to bring it to our table after he delivered our salads. The roasted potatoes were so hard you could barely chew them. One of the wait staff (bus person) left the men's room without washing his hands. A bartender was seen blowing his nose and not washing his hands as he continued to prepare a cocktail.

Tags: Happy Hour
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food3
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Just fantastic wait staff is wonderful food was delicious just as expected

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Comfort Food, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 24, 2017

First time eating there. It's been there for ages and apparently they were closed for a remodel but the place doesn't appear to have been remodeled? Food was so so. Prices high. Waiter was nice.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving dinner. The variety of the menu choices made everyone’s meal the best hassle free option.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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