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“One of The best!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Marx Brothers Cafe

Marx Brothers Cafe
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Ranked #47 of 867 Restaurants in Anchorage
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 31 - US$ 45
Cuisines: American, Seafood, International, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Cross street: F Street
Description: Located in one of the oldest homes in Anchorage, The Marx Bros. Cafe specializes in innovative contemporary cuisine featuring fresh Alaskan seafood and only the finest quality meats. Our chef revises the menu each night to reflect unique ingredients and imaginative preparations. Our cuisine is expertly paired with an extensive selection of wines housed in one of Alaska's largest cellars. Welcomed at the door by partner Van Hale, guests are at once immersed in a quaintly elegant atmosphere provided by our original town-site house and tasteful table settings. The evening is guided with unrivaled service by our subtle, accomplished staff. With only 14 tables in our house, we serve an average of 60 guests each night. Reservations are highly recommended. Please contact the restaurant directly if you are unable to get the time or party size requested online.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“One of The best!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2012

Small restaraunt Located in a house and a long time anchorage favorite for special occassions. Seating is limited but the wine list and menu make it worthwhile. They were out of two of the six entree choices last time I was there but my third choice was still very good.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank AnchorageWineLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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219 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    148
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Alaska
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“What a joke!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

Or, it would have been a joke, if not for the outrageous prices for such bland food. This is the second time we have eaten at Marx Brothers. We went 3 years ago and left not impressed. We decided to try again in mid-February. Based on our experience, I have no idea why anyone bothers to go to this place. We eat out often in Anchorage. Our three favorites that never let us down are Sacks, Southside Bistro, and Jens.

THE SERVICE: It was a busy evening at the restaurant and I do make allowances for that in this review. We had a reservation and we were seated immediately, but no one came to our table for quite some time for our order. We wanted to order a bottle of wine, but the server tried to just rush us to ordering our food. We told her we would wait for the wine before we ordered. The wine menu is a bit deceptive. Although it is lengthy, it is not deep. The bottle you want may or may not be available. Or, so we were told.
Bread came to the table, but we had to flag down a server for butter. Butter should have been an automatic in a restaurant this pricey. Instead, it just seemed stingy that it did not arrive with the bread.
As the server opened and poured the wine we had to listen to a second recitation from her about some award that the restaurant had just received. We were also asked again if we had come in because they had just done some TV show about their Caesar salad. We said, no, we had not seen it. When she asked a third time, we told her that we don't own a TV! She seemed oblivious to the fact that she kept repeating the same stuff to us over and over. We actually just wanted her to shut-up and be unobtrusive. We really were not dining there to chat with her and and hear about her travels to California to learn about wine.
We ordered two appetizers. We expected them to arrive at the same time. One appeared and the server brought 2 plates so that we could share. We had not asked to share the appetizers. The second one came well after the first had been devoured. The seafood mousse was still frozen in the middle.
THE AMBIANCE: The place is tiny and the tables are packed together. That is not so bad. Just request that you not sit near the entrance to the kitchen. If you are seated near the kitchen door, you will think you are in a diner. Although there is a window in the kitchen door, the servers shout "In" each time they go through the door. At first, it was annoying (sort of like fingernails in a chalkboard, because they shout it and extend it to "innnnnnnn") and then it became just hysterically funny. We still laugh ourselves silly by shouting "In" when we think about the Marx Brothers.
The server who mixed up the Caesar salad at our table (the portions were too big for dinner salads) managed to slop a bit of it over the side of the bowl and onto the floor. She looked at it and sort of shrugged and rolled the cart away without picking the salad up off the floor. Waiting to see how long it would take to be picked up also became pretty funny.
THE MENU: The main courses, even the fish dishes, had red meat in them. I asked about this and the server told me I could have the cold seafood mousse. I said I wanted an entree. Could any of the fish dishes be made without pork? I was told, no, because they were all made up ahead of time. She also told me I should have checked the menu online before I came and called them about this. I had looked at the menu and the fish dishes did not have meat in them when I looked.
Our server also made some comment about the chef being put out by all the folks just walking in without reservations. Wow, you put up a restaurant sign and people just walk in off the street for dinner! Who knew people did such things. We are still laughing about that one.
Our entrees, when they finally came, were simply dull and lacking in flavor. Nothing memorable at all. Of course, no one asked about them. The dining room had emptied quite a bit by the time we finished dinner. Our reservations had been at 7pm. The wait staff seemed more interested in just closing up shop. No one offered to help us find out coats on the coat rack as we left although they had taken them and hung them up when we arrived. We walked over to the Captain Cook for a nightcap. And, we laughed the whole walk over about how bad the Marx Brothers experience had been.

All in all, the place is a joke, except for the final tab. If you want a great meal, served by professionals, and offered at a fair price, try one of our Anchorage favorites: Jens, Sacks, or Southside Bistro.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank AKtraveler51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marxstaff, Staff at Marx Brothers Cafe, responded to this review, 26 March 2012
Thank you for your response... It's our goal to deliver a positive exspierence to our guest. We as a team have been going over your review, trying to find ways to improve our preformance. We take your words very seriously and it is our wish that you will return and give us another chance...
If you are willing to do so please contact us directly at info@marxcafe.com with an address and we will send you gifcertificate...


Thank you again
Marx staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairbanks, Alaska
Level Contributor
49 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A small jewel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

This is a very small restaurant with fabuous food. Be sure to make a reservation far in advance. It's one of the top couple restaurants in the state.

Helpful?
1 Thank Staggerwing12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
“It's all I've been thinking about ever since.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

The Oysters were to die for. The Caesar salad amazing and the filet melted in our mouth. So wonderful.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank AKhairdresser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“great food and wine but pricey”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

great food and wine but pricey. Special occasions. Portions are for weight watchers.

Helpful?
Thank 4SavvyAKTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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