Gordon Biersch


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

640 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, California, 94301
United States

(650) 323-7723 | map

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Ratings: 15 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by nickd717:
Photo of nickd717
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Welp, what can I say? I live right by this place. It's a decent brewpub. Very spacious. Food is average to a little above. Garlic fries are always a big hit though. They sort of pander to the ignorant masses with their brews. Mostly German styles. Their hefeweizen and schwarzbier were better than expected, although many others were "meh." Prices are average for Palo Alto, which is an overpriced town, sad to say. Service is decent, but the average person working there doesn't really understand beer all that well. Good place to catch a game on TV.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of spoony
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

V-Dan Gordon's aka Gordon Biersch is located in downtown Palo Alto. It is pretty big with high ceilings and light wood in the California style. A bar with tons of whiskeys on display sits below some huge TVs playing football highlights (in early August). It was not terribly busy when I visited late on a weeknight with a work group for some post-meeting beers.

Q-The craft beers on offer are from the Gordon Biersch stable, so they rank mostly average in my book. I know Gordon makes a few that stand out, but they weren't selling them the night I came in. I ordered the session IPA on the server's recommendation and it was serviceable. The regular IPA was OK too.

Ser-Our servers were mostly quick and helpful. They could offer suggestions for beers and cocktails, but they definitely were not beer geeks. Dan's loses points for serving everything in a shaker pint glass and for forgetting about my friend's cocktail twice.

Sel-I recall seeing ten beers on tap. They did have a few harder-to-find German styles, e.g., maibock, which is nice, but otherwise, I felt like the selection was something out of a brewpub from 1989. An IPA, a blonde, a brown, and some other uninteresting offerings. It wouldn't be bad if the beers were better, but alas...mediocre.

F-Dan's is a BBQ joint, but I'm no aficionado, so I left most of the eating to my co-workers from the south. The few bites of biscuit and pulled pork that I tried were OK, but nothing great. The fries got good reviews from my friends.

O-Not the worst place you could be, especially in the beer wasteland that is downtown Palo Alto, but I have been to better places.

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Photo of 31Sam13
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Geoffq
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3

Photo of AlexM
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of bradybeer
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Went here a few weeks ago with my wife. Located in down town Palo Alto. Walking in to this first GB I was expecting a little more atmosphere-but alas no.

After a customer service SNAFU we had the Schwartz and Golden Bock-both solid but nothing worth making a detor for.

We had the Chilean Sea Bass and a Steak-neither blew us away and in fact the Sea Bass was very bad. You would be better served hitting another restuarant in the city.

We were disappointed as we expected some one offs at this location. Nice to stop for a pint-but not to stick around for dinner.


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Photo of belgiumbud
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Came down the Peninula to meet a friend to watch some playoff basketball. In the heart of downtown Palo Alto and really close to the Cal-Train station. That's good if you plan on having a handful of brews like I did. Open kitchen and resturant seating in the front of the establishment. Horseshoe shaped bar in the back with plently of seating. Greeted promply upon arrival. Beers on tap: Dunkelweizen, Summerbrau, Marzen, Golden Export, Czech Pils and Schwarzbier.
I tried the Dunkel, Hefe, Pils and Schwarzbier.
The beers were extremly disappointing. The best one was the Schwarzbier, which I had last. I ordered the fish tacos and a Middle Eastern pu-pu platter. The food trumpted the beer by miles. I have had the Marzen on tap before but all of the brews I tried were forgetfull. I will review the beers individually later. i would definitly meet friends there again for any sporting event but I made the right decision by getting there early because the bar filled up pretty quickly. The atmosphere was great. Food was really good...satisfying...the beer...ummmm...I will say though...The glassware for each beer was spot on and the pours are generous

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Photo of Nick3
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is a solid brew-pub featuring a full bar, tasty beers(brewed onsite), and a diverse menu (fish, steak, pasta, salads, sandwiches). The place itself has vaulted ceilings, a nice bar area with several large flatscreen TVs, and a large window which showcases its brewing facility. Note that the only beers brewed here are for onsite consumption. The garlic fries are the signature dish/appetizer here. Of course, most of the specials are pretty good. I prefer the ahi, the cajun jambalaya, and the steak frites. If you feel like putting back some beers Oktoberfest style, they will serve you full Liters of beer which I think is rare out here. I think the best beers are the Marzen and the seasonal Dunkelweisen. IMO, it's worth visiting the pub just for the Dunkelweisen alone.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The original location of Gordon Biersch, and the one I like the best. How you like this place will depend on a couple of factors- when you come, and whether you like simple, sessionable German style beers. I come in the afternoons on a nice sunny day when the front panels of the restaurant are open exposing the whole front to the street and the breeze and snag a table right by the window. The place will be about half full then, with attentive service and food that is properly prepared. Come later, or while football games are on and you'll be packed in like sardines after waiting for a table forever with harried servers and more misses in the food department- and without the nice street feel. The beer is the same either way. Well crafted, fairly tame but tasty German styles. The food is best if you stick to specials, starters (including the garlic fries), and pastas. A little pricey to be sure, but this is Palo Alto, and I'd rather hang here than the Empire Taproom, and if I'm having dinner with my beer I'd rather have it here than at the Rose and Crown.

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Photo of mlaroche
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 1.5

I live pretty close to this place, and when friends come over I often think "where do I get a burger and a beer around here?" Gordon Biersch has come to mind a few times, and each time I've been disappointed. I've said "I'll never go back" the last two times I've been, and this time I mean it.

The burgers are flavorless, not juicy at all.

The other food is bland. I've tried a bite of what friends have had, and what on paper sounds great ends up being just plain flavorless.

The beer *is* pretty good, and I've been happy with the service. But don't go expecting haute cuisine.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I'm a bit of a snob and always tend to roll my eyes when someone mentions Gordon Biersch restaurant.... It's simply me remembering many nights there before Giants games, waiting forever for a table, and dealing with a bunch of Bridge and Tunnel-ers (which back then, I was !haha)...
However, I DO consistently have the beer, which they brew for TJ's stores... I eat their garlic fries with mucho gusto in the ballpark at most Giants games, and every time I have been brought to Gordon Biersch on Harrison, I always have good food and beer. So, I'm writing this review with a side of humble pie.

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Photo of Mark
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Very upscale feeling and heavy leanings towards the restaurant side of things. Big and airy, high ceilings, feels more like a fancy restaurant. Service was decent, no complaints at all. There are no guest beers, just GB's rather pedestrian lagers and bock's. Beer is served in tall logo glasses. Marzen , Pils, Czech lager, and a bock were on tap. Beer is secondary at a GB establishment. To me it's all about the food, it was exceptional. My chicken burger was superb, garlic fries were indulgent (be prepared to stink) The burger my aunt ordered was maybe the best I ever had (she gave me half of it.) They do the food up right, that's for sure, if they didn't I believe they would die on the vine. Gordon Biersch is not a big favorite among craft beer drinkers, even though it tops macro swill. Worth a visit for the food, that's why the place makes it. Hopefully the beer will satisfy somewhat.

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Photo of Troyone
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Located off the main street, University Ave, although within walking distance this is a decent place for a brew. A Brewpub atmosphere with Gordon Biersch paraphenalia and the brewing facilities behind a glass window.

Stainless steel tap nozzles and wood bar and stools. Kitchen is in the open and the restroom was clean.

Service was friendly and prompt.

The seasonal Czech Lager was alright, other possible notables would be the Hefeweizen, Schwartz Beer, Marzen, and the Blond Bock. No cask, guest beers, of heavy (alcohol) dark beers.

Food was good with some healthy options.


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Photo of ecoboy
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

You never forget your first Biersch. The first GB in the nation, this was also my first experience with one.

Palo Alto is such a classy-feeling posh San Francisco suburb with great used booksellers, links to Stanford and the Donnas in the middle of Silicon Valley. The people I met and talked to at this spot while watching football after noon on a Sunday were just my kind of people: friendly, appreciative of beer and relaxed in outward appearance. If you need your place a little dingy, this GB is not for you. Removable panels open up the pub to the street and the wood and metal interior is very nice.

You should know, as with every GB, that decently brewed malty-sweet German styles are the only things available. Hop-heads beware. But I never use GB's for session-drinking anyway, and the styles seem to suit the squeaky-clean feel of Palo Alto.

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Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto, CA
3.7 out of 5 based on 3,473 ratings.
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