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 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!


  1. OK. Now I want to go to Joe's. I had no idea it was the oldest restaurnt in S.B. When I come home, I want to go there! (Probably Christmas break beacuase Thanksgiving isn't enough time...) But that was a great entry. Totally Tony Bourdain!

  2. I really shouldn't read these after skipping breakfast. Four more hours til lunch ... where can I get some prime rib and a surly waitress around here ....

  3. Finally linked to you. Sorry that took so long. Sorry I don't get much traffic and it probably won't matter much.

  4. Its the THOUGHT that counts, Tim.