Marvin Gardens review
Went to Marvin Gardens in Belmont last night on the recommendation of the SF Chronicle's Bargain Bites http://www.sfgate.com/food/bargains
It was highly touted in the article so we dove in. It's a shack of a place on an indutrial road next to the train tracks. Kind of a funky environment that adds to the authentic dive bar feel. We liked this atmoshpere and the guys working there were super nice. As promised by the article, the menu tops out at around $10 and there were ample beer choices. The interior is heavy on wood and typical bar signage clutter. It has a cozy, comfortable feeling. Big disappointment was the ribs were not on the menu and this is what the article touted the most. We ordered burgers instead. The menu said 100% ground sirloin and they asked us how we wanted them cooked, we both asked for medium rare. The burgers were very thin and cooked all the way through. I swore I could taste a pork blend. (they did us a favor by cooking them through). Overall though, the flavor was good and ingredients tasted fresh. If I was in Belmont already and craving a cheap burger and beer, I'd pop in again. But nothing worth going out of your way for to eat the food. Maybe a good place for beers on game day if you live nearby.
First things first: they have Franziskaner ON TAP. There's not a lot of that sort of thing on the peninsula.
Marvin Gardens is more of a pub/beergarden, really. One of the few places around with a big gravel garden out back and probably fifteen nice weathered picnic tables, like the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley. Food's better though. Burgers are passable, definitely overcooked, but great fries and rings (fries are thick-cut on-premises) and rib-eye sandwich. Good pizza. Wings are grilled then fried, which makes a nice flavor. A great place to drink. Feels like the 40s or 50s inside, probably because the building is that old.
I used to go MG a lot a few years ago, when a bunch of friends lived down there. What stood out the most for me was one of their pizza combinations that included pancetta -- that was quite a pie!