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“Good service, worse meal, too expensive”

Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House
Ranked #19 of 303 Restaurants in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$98
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Child-friendly, Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
168 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Good service, worse meal, too expensive”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2013

Our dear friends took us to the steak house. They were told that the restaurant had a few items on the menu for a vegetarian. There was one and it's called, I believe, a Portabello Mushroom steak. The waiter highly recommended it. Well when it came out, it was two mushrooms topped with a slice of tomato, sprinkled with some balsamic vinegar. The vegetable side was two asparagus and a baked potato. I was so hungry after the meal, I ordered cake just to fill me up. I think a restaurant that charges so much for their meals could afford to hire a chef who knows how to make a real Portabello mushroom steak. Why bother even offering it on the menu?

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JJGoodell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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265 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great steak but too much food on the plate”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2013

We ate at the Gold Rush Steak House when spending a night in the Madonna Inn. The decor is great fun and worth a visit just for that alone, however the steak is also very delicious. My only criticism is that the portions are just too big for a British person. It actually put me off the food having a huge salad, giant steak, jacket potato slathered in sour cream, rice etc. all on the plate. It made the experience feel a little less refined, but the food itself was very tasty so maybe worth sharing with your partner rather than ordering one each.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank LaLaL0nd0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Menifee, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A Teenage Girl's Idea of Chic”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2013

We have heard of the Madonna Inn for many years and finally had our anniversary dinner there at the steak house. The food was quite pricey but very good.

But the décor is over the top in a really tasteless way. I think there are probably many other restaurants with food as good but with a more adult theme to rest your eyes on while you eat. Check out the website before you spend the money.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Highland, California
Level Contributor
100 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Excellent Steaks, Be Ready to Open Your Wallet”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

Madonna's Steak House is not necessarily the best Steakhouse in the San Luis Obispo area, but it ranks right up there. For atmosphere with your steak, it probably is the best. Want the best? Travel 23 miles south to Jacko's in Nipomo. The problem with Jockos? There is NO atmosphere. Jockos is 5 star steaks in a 1 star atmosphere. Madonna's has that atmosphere and more. Built by contractor Alex Madonna in the 1950s, Madonna had some extra materials from his finished jobs and he decided to build a Hotel / Restaurant from those materials and build he did. The result was either and amazing Hotel Restaurant complex or a horror (the latter coming mostly from architects who would have never thought to build such a place). The consensus from the consumer? Usually praises for Alex Madonna's bold vision.

The restaurant is an excellent example of his vision ... mostly pink, very plush, with excellent, expensive food and on some evenings, entertainment and dancing. It is occupied by honeymooners, by couples celebrating anniversaries (look around, you can usually tell the difference), but folks celebrating birthdays or other happy events in their lives. Madonnas Steak House is for special occasions, and very worth it.

Jockos is for those that really like their steaks and don't care where they eat them.

Go to both.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Coover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AV, California
Level Contributor
200 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“Perfect for Princesses”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

My family was visiting San Luis Obispo and had read about the Gold Rush Steak House having interesting decorations, especially, somehow, the men's restroom was not to be missed. The picture used here on TripAdvisor is not an exaggeration. Everything is pink and gold. There are richly carved dark wood panels banisters on the stairway and giant natural-looking rock formations as part of the decor. Those of you who read my reviews will notice that we are now gluten-free and so we intended to look at the decorations, take a picture, and peek at a menu. We were quite fortunate that one of the wait staff was well versed in what they offered that was gluten free versus the menu items that are made using flour thickeners, for instance. Honestly, without help from the wait staff we may not have fared so well - the Steak House ought to put together a Gluten Free menu or a marking system on their menu.
We ordered barbecue chicken and steak and other, similar fare. Everything was really quite good. I have seen other reviewers complain that the food is overpriced. I do not believe we ordered appetizers so with food and some wine the bill was over $100, but I have paid more for less. The portions were large and, come on, it wasn't $30 of BBQ chicken out of the back of a truck. The experience was wonderful. There was live music and a little dance floor. The wait staff was extremely attentive. The menu was very well suited to a wide range of tastes.

If you have a little girl in your life and want to take her to the princess restaurant of her dreams during a day at the beach, see if you can make the trip to San Luis Obispo. We saw several families bring their girls there and the little cuties just fell out. That's priceless.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank dmpdsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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