Long-Gone Restaurants...Which Do You Miss Most?

What are some of the restaurants and entrees you wish were still around?

I know there are a lot of great restaurants in Larkspur and Corte Madera. Believe me, I’m still working my way through the list. But every once in a while I start reminiscing about the restaurants and entrees that are no longer around, especially the places in the '80s that couldn’t hold on through the 90s and beyond.

The Good Earth Restaurant at Larkspur Landing is one of the places I really miss.  Even though it was essentially a chain restaurant, it always had a line to get in.  My favorite entrée was the Chicken Marco Polo and while one of the best uses of the Internet is to track down favorite recipes, I still haven’t been able to find it. 

Baxter’s in Larkspur Landing was THE place to go dancing in the 80s. I won’t admit to dancing in a Soul Train line there on Friday nights but I know for a fact that it was done.

But the place that I often hear is missed the most by the dining-out crowd is the Savannah Grill.  It was the place that introduced us to glazed pecans in our salad. I can’t believe we ate salads without sugared nuts before then.

We all had our special favorites from the Grill.  Back in the old days of long lunches, our boss would take us there for a leisurely meal served with several bottles of wine (Iron Horse Sauvignon Blanc).  In Marin, in the decadent 80s, it was the place they took you to welcome you to the company or to say goodbye when you left.

The Peppermill!  Who remembers when Max’s Cafe was home to the Peppermill?  My husband took me there on our first date after a movie. The waitresses wore such skimpy black dresses that looking back it was kind of like taking your date to Hooters.  Am I right?

Okay foodie old-timers, what are some of the places and entrees that you wish were still around?  Do you have any old snapshots of these places? Scan ‘em in and upload them to this story just for old times’ sake.

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Jill Sellers September 29, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Wasn't here in 80s/90s but I miss Magnolia Cafe ( pictured above.). Great salads, always crowded, felt like a perfect small town lunch place. I also miss the breakfast and lunch place that was where Avatars is now- the one that shares name with place in red hill shopping centere. There is no good breakfast or simple lunch spots in larkspur/ Corte madera. Corte madera cafe is ok but not open Sundays, portions are not generous, kids meals pricey ( 3.75 for a single small pancake-- should be $6 for a meal) Red Robin is super outdated, not a resl restaurant, food is blah and the tables sit on really stained carpet. I want a great family eatery!
Ann-Marie September 29, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Alcapulco restaurant used to be a favorite when I was little (in Larkspur Landing) as well as Victoria Station.
Sarah Fletcher September 29, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I miss Ward Street Cafe. The BEST Sunday brunches, unbelievable shrimp BLT sandwiches, and great dinners. Easy Street used to be in the spot that Avatars occupies now. Easy Street in Larkspur and in San Anselmo were the kind of restaurants that shouldn't have disappeared. The food was delicious, the portions could feed two and the prices were reasonable. We need more restaurants like that.
Pati September 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I miss many: Easy Street, Good Earth, that tiny place on Magnolia with the great BLT-A(avocado) that is now SeaThai,464 Magnolia, and the old one across from Book Passage that went away and came back with an additional letter in its name. And, it goes without saying: Baskin-Robbins. See, the problem in asking the old-timers is while they remember, they can't REMEMBER!
Cat September 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I second the author on the The Good Earth. The planet burger was like no other. I have not found another veggie burger that even comes close! The Good Earth tea does not taste as good as when it was sipped in the restaurant! I also miss Salute in San Rafael on 3rd st. It's a shame they didn't rebuild after the fire!
Larry Chu September 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Easy Street. Further back, Baby Sal's. Way back, Victoria Station.
linda v. September 30, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Our family misses David's burritos in the town center...you could also get a chicken dinner with beans, rice and salad for less than it would take to cook it at home, and so very tasty!
linda v. September 30, 2012 at 02:36 AM
and, how about Java hut and Roxannes!
linda v. September 30, 2012 at 02:39 AM
and to continue, eating on the back deck of Marvin Gardens, also my husband misses the Black Oak and Savannah Grill...that should do it!
Tom Young September 30, 2012 at 05:44 AM
Back in the 1950s there was a great Italian restaurant on the corner of Tamalpais and Magnolia before making the turn to Larkspur. It burned down. Zim's in the original Corte Madera shopping center for a traditional hamburger. Herbert's Sherbert Shop for orange sherbert, also in the old center. Hell, McDonalds for the morning coffee clatch and an affordable breakfast. Tomj Y.
Mary Fontes September 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Henderson's Grandmother!
Haggis September 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Early on it was Victoria Station where we took our young sons. Much later for ourselves it was Roxannes which for flavor and innovation we will never forget.
camille October 01, 2012 at 12:22 AM
this topic really has me going down memory lane..... how can we ever forget 464 MAGNOLIA restaurant. (where RULLI'S is located) spent happy new years eves there. lived up the street from SALLY SANFORDS sausalito. great times sitting at the bar & dining... as sally sat in her barbers chair at the end of bar. oh boy....the TRIDENT. never forget those days....... TWO TURTLES on bridgeway sausalito. life was always "festive" there. FLYNN'S LANDING TOO. GATSBY'S/caledonia st. those were the days.........
Tom Young October 01, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Sausalito restaurants, now that's a subject near and dear to my heart. Sally Stanford (Marsha Owens) was, along with Juanita Musson of Juanita's Galley fame, my godmother. My godfather was Willy Yee of Marin Fruit & Grocery, the best source of fresh shark and ray in the county, many of which I caught for him as a kid. He and brother Jack would cube shark and ray and soak them in brine to make the most fantastic mock scallops around. Remember Zackburgers and turtle races? Super quality burgers on fresh sourdough, today pretty much matched only by the near-clone at Sam's Anchor Cafe in Tiburon. What was the name of the barmaid at Zack's who drew as many customers as the food? Maybe more. Sabella's in Strawberry. My folks loved that, I can't stand fish. Crepes Viola on Bridgeway. Owner Walter Lappert went on to Hawaiian ice cream fame. Pine Street Bakery's giant chocolate chip cookies. Brownies at the Tides bookstore. The candy store in downtown with penny candy, especially little packets of malted milk balls and chocolate cigarettes. No wonder I was overweight most of my life.
Peter Chase October 01, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Definitely Ward st café
Linda Malatesta October 01, 2012 at 08:22 PM
464 Magnolia was a great family breakfast place. We would drive down from TL to eat at the "hippie restaurant". I remember it as being funky with old scarred hardwood floors. Also, who can forget the Blue Rock! Larkspur wasn't so upscale back in the '70s. Not a restaurant but have to mention Uncle Charlie's in east CM. Best music club in Marin!!!
Anthony R. Chatham October 02, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Blue rock inn. When it was called the blue rock inn (the rock). 464 Michael Goldstein was an awesome chef.


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