Was disappointed in the food- this is the second time that the food was bad. The first time I just thought they were having a bad day- the potato pancakes were soggy. The second time the turkey was like eating a hard piece of leather. I mentioned it to the waitress and she didn't seem to care- never offered to remove the meals from the check or work with the issue in any way. I am disappointed because I used to really like going there and enjoying the beer-but I won/t be back. Please Max's if you are reading this get better food (you did it before).... Educate the waitress to provide service and not be so robotic.
Really love this restaurant.
I've visited Max's once or twice a year since the mid nineties.
I've travelled extensively and have never found a restaurant in the US with better German food than Max's. Sorry for not citing particulars but I really don't eat there that often. Let's just say I've never been disappointed by the food.
When I host out of town guests I usually take them to Max's because good German restaurants are actually very rare.
As for the staff, well... they come and go. Recently, I came in for some Kotzritzer (super good dark beer) and an appetizer. The barmaid was very nice and attentive. I must say it was nice but not what I've come to expect. Maybe they read these reviews and have changed some things.
In any event, if you want to try authentic German cuisine, I say give this place a chance. You'd be missing out if you don't.
Poor Bar. Only for Dinners.Not for drinks or you will be ignored if not buying dinner also.Johnsonville Brats.
Service with a Smile - NOT. Yes, one gets the feeling that this used to be a decent place...in the past. I heard stories about the fine German dining, and I all can say is that I've come away with from my experience there with little more than a bad memory of cranky middle-aged and seemingly very bitter and disappointed waitresses. They made me feel guilty for actually asking that they bring me food. Imagine - someone wants food in a restaurant! The food did make an effort, but, to be honest, I mostly drank the German brew (mediocre taps, but still unique enough and strong enough of a selection to help wash the bitter "i hate anyone whom I don't know" waitresses down). The food was good enough bar food to go with the beer. Interesting, though, that several reviewers mention the poor service. It's just too bad for Max's, I guess. I was prepared to spend much more in there than I ended up doing. Again, too bad.
Old Allegheny. Great atmosphere, sort of "old hotel tavern" (which I think it was?) - meaning a brass bar and stools with a few nearby booths and adjoining dining room with dark Germanic wood tones as I recall. One section more of a Ratskellar with a fancier dining section upstairs. Very cool. and the Jager Schnitzel is absolutely delicious. The dark, rich, mushroom gravy is unbelievable. I've tried this dish in other German style establishments, but Max's wins. Hands down! (add the Spatzle noodles and/or sauerkraut, potato pancakes, sweet-sour cabbage....GREAT STUFF!). My family, originally from Bavaria, settled in North Side after moving south from Saxonburg (Butler County) around the time of the Civil War and remembering my grandfathers tales of his youth in "Deutschtown" or Allegheny City always add to a visit to Max's in his old neighborhood - as do the big selection of German beers. I highly recommend a visit.
Favorite German. This place has tons of character (and neighborhood history). The food is very good......as heavy as it is supposed to be. Good mix of older patrons and families
Does anyone who works here care?.
Unless you have been going to this bar for 20 years, don't start now. The regulars appear to be treated politely. All patrons who aren't regulars are treated like a burden. I went back 2 times because I keep hearing how great the place is. Each experience was as bad as the first.
Had the hasenpfeffer 2 times. First time was phenominal. I mean absolutely fall-off-the-bone fantastic. The second time I thought I was eating a squirrel that had been reheated in the microwave. So while they have the potential to make great food, they lack consistancy in that respect.
They have a coin operated piano with drums and cymbals that is really annoying, but charming at the same time. The draft beer selection is markedly poor, given that they are trying to mimic a German tavern. The bottle selection is good.
It is an inexpensive place to eat, but you get what you pay for: poor service, inconsistent food quality, average-to-poor beer selection, and the feeling that you are an imposition to everyone who works there.
I have since found a better German restaurant right across the highway called the Penn Brewery. It's everything that Max's should be (and I assume once was). Go into Max's if you have a spare quarter and want to hear an annoying piano. Otherwise, head to the Penn Brewery (or possibly the Church Brew-works).
Best schnitzel I've found. I found this to be an excellent restaurant. The service is great and the schnitzels are the best I've found in the US. Not quite up to Austrian standards but very good, nevertheless. The restaurant itself is an interesting place to explore. Very unique architecture in a historic section of the city.
Visited Max's on a recent week night with 3 friends. Sometimes when I go to a restaurant that has been around for awhile, I get the feeling that it has been handed down to relatives (sons, daughters, etc) or sold to someone who has about 1/10 the work ethic and business sense that the original owners had. I don't know if that is true here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be the case.
Our waitress seemed as if she didn't want us there. Got that feeling that we were in her way. She seemed in a hurry even though there were only two other tables with patrons and at least one other waitress working. I wonder what the problem was?
The food was average at best. My pork gravy had the texture and taste of something that was made several days earlier and heated in a microwave. None of my friends were impressed with their food either, and we are not picky eaters.
One of the three tables also has a drunk women from the bar bothering them, and so it was annoying to us. Max's seems like a bar first, and that's fine, but I don't understand why its reputation is so good for German food.
It's rare that I go to a restaurant where the food, service, and atmosphere are all below average, and such is the case with Max's
Avoid the Sunday Brunch.
Max's Sunday brunch used to be fantastic. Then about three months ago they changed their Brunch menu. It still contains your basic breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, bacon, link sausage), however the lunch parts are your plain german foods, sausages, kraut, sweet and sour red cabbage, potato pancakes.
It had been almost two months since eating there, so last week end I decided to try it again. Bad choice, still the same menu items on the brunch only the quality is even lower. We were seated about 45 minutes before the brunch was over. The entire time there was no bacon available, only small crumbs. I decided to try the kielbasa and kraut and had to ask them to refill the mustard which was totally empty. Imagine my surprise when I got back to the table and tried the kielbasa to find it completely cold, not room temperature but cold. Needless to say it will be a long time before I give them another try.
The only redeeming feature of the meal was the service. Max's servers have been there for years and they all provide great service.
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