Sunday, October 4, 2009
Eat at Joe's!
Ok, so I found myself dining at a Santa Barbara staple on Friday. Yes, I ate at Joe's. Joe's is the oldest running restaurant in Santa Barbara, which is cool. I really never thought of eating there. The menu reads like a directory for the frozen food aisle in a grocery store: onion rings, mozzarella sticks, Salisbury steak. It never really jumped out at me as a place that I wanted to dine at. As it turns out, Joe's kinda kicks ass! It achieves everything it is striving to be. Its the place you would take a client if you were a business man in 1962; good strong cocktails and man food. This is a nutrionalist's worst nightmare. This is the kind of restaurant that serves vegetables as a place holder, not as something you would eat. Its total post WWII food, and done well: no frills, no silly garnish. If you are in the mood for American comfort food and booze, this is the place you should go.
I have to admit, I was lame when it came to the booze ordering of my meal. I just wasn't in the mood for a cocktail at the time so I ordered a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (my favorite). I do know from experience that their cocktails are really good! I like the dirty martini with 3 olives. With that being said, I did a better job at ordering my food! The waitress was around 50 years old, and looked like she's worked there forever; a no bullshit type of broad. I could tell that I could trust her judgment. I told her I was a food blogger and that I wanted to eat whatever she thought was the "best of Joe's." She gave me a little wink and said that she knew just what to order.
I was presented with a sandwich that could only be described as a mammoth sized open face french dip. It was a piece of Texas toast with a huge slab of prime rib with au jus and horse radish on the side. It was nestled in between a pathetic salad of chopped iceberg with ranch and a healthy dose of golden french fries. The fries were REALLY good...really potato-y with a crisp outside and soft inside. No soggy fries here. The salad was the equivalent of a frilly piece of kale....you don't eat it, you just accept that its there. And the sandwich....oh boy the sandwich. It was great! I've never had prime rib, but I'm pretty sure I was eating great prime rib. It is fatty and juicy and meaty. It squirts blood juice when you pierce it with a fork which makes the piece of toast underneath even more crucial. I grew a pair of testicles while eating this meal. This is serious man food. There is NOTHING feminine about this meal. It was really good and satisfying in its own way. I don't order fare like this often, but on a slightly cold, windy night, this stuff hits the spot. It just goes to show that sometimes you're just in the mood for bloody meat. I give this place an A+. From its classic red checkered tablecloths, to the waiters in monkey suits, and their famous stiff drinks, Joe's Cafe is American food done right; unadorned and simply fabulous.
Click Here for Joe's Cafe!