So I noticed yesterday when reviewing the Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto that I only had the one review for both that location and the San Francisco location. At the time, I suppose I thought that the two were pretty much indistinguishable, so why have two separate reviews? Of course, I still have to have a page for the San Francisco location, since I went there. But in all, I’ll still use the original review, despite it being a repeat from yesterday.
I will say this, however. The San Francisco location was bigger, louder and more impersonal than the Palo Alto location. So its score for location and service drops a bit. But otherwise, it’s still a solid establishment.
Or should I say… “was” a solid establishment. Apparently it closed earlier this year, due to difficulties resigning their building lease. But it sounds like they’re looking for a new spot to open. But still…
All in all, there really is no difference between the Palo Alto and San Francisco locations of Gordon-Biersch, except that the Palo Alto location was their first, has much better parking options, and is a hell of a lot easier to get to. But past that, both have extremely hip, up-scale interiors with soft lighting, plenty of plasmas and giant Gordon-Biersch banners. They get points for style, but lose them for homey, local feelings.
Everything I’ve had here is great, but sometimes its not quite enough. Well, I take that back. The appetizers are just that… appetizers. Some places feed you huge appetizers that could easily be split between four people or be eaten as a meal, but not here. This in itself is not problem, except that they still cost $8.00 a pop. Anyways, the pizzas here are great, but if you really want a treat, get a burger with garlic fries. The burgers are decently big and juicy, and the garlic fries are the best things on the menu.
Brewed in the traditional German fashion, you will not find any ale here. Every beer is a lager, which is fine because there are still plenty of selections. Besides the always-wonderful seasonals, my favorites include the Marzen, Blonde Bock and Schwartzbier. The Marzen is sweet but spicy, the bock is full-bodied with plenty of flavor, and the Schwartz has all of the depth and taste of a stout without the heaviness. The Weiss is also good, but I’m not a big wheat fan.
I always had wonderful bartenders in Palo Alto, but the San Francisco location was a bit slow on the uptake. Either way, nothing great or terrible either way.