Sunday, June 10, 2007

Want to have a triple bypass someday? You should- Eat At Joe's.

Eat At Joe’s is a shack. I’m not saying that as a bad thing. Hey, I’ve eaten in shacks before. My favorite BBQ place in Seattle is a shack. I just want you to be prepared to go into a building that looks like a large and slightly refurbished lean-to. It’s in a structure that could not survive any form of inclement weather you’d come across in another part of the country (a wind storm or even, say, a light snowfall). That’s part of the charm of this Redondo Beach mainstay. Also part of Eat at Joe’s charm, is that in lieu of individual tables, the majority of the seating is done at long tables, ‘picnic in the park’ style. You’ll find yourself seated intimately with complete strangers at busier times. This makes sense once you find out that it’s a hamburger stand that just kept growing. Like a shoddy Winchester Mystery House, it’s addition after addition.

Another dare I say, charming, thing about Eat at Joe’s is that they weigh down the tables with just abut every condiment you may want. Soy sauce? Mustard? Check.. A-1? Check. Spicy Thai Pepper Sauce?…Maybe, I forgot to check, but probably. When you order the coffee you get a basket of different creamers. Now of course everyone wants fresh cream or milk but you have to expect that you aren’t getting that at most places. Eat At Joe’s does give you a selection of different flavored creamers. It’s like having coffee at my mom’s house- French vanilla, hazelnut, Irish cream. The coffee is served in a heavy mug. in a cruel contrast to the coffee itself which is rather weak.

If you remember the (no Eat Ats) Joe’s Diner review, you’ll remember I got the John Wayne’s Eggs- chilli on top of two eggs, on top of home fries, on top of a flour tortilla with sausage circled around it like wagons. Well, Eat At Joes’s claims to be the originator of the dish with the tale that the Duke himself came in and ordered that dish. Eat At Joe’s variation features cheese, the eggs standardized with over medium, no chilli but with a “Spanish sauce”. I thought about ordering that and comparing the two, but there’s one thing that prevented me- I am over my recent chicken salad sandwich phase, but I am now going though a biscuits and gravy phase.

I ordered the Joe’s Special. It consists of biscuits and gravy served with sausage patties, two eggs and home fries. This meal should kill you. It should just come with a gun with a note that says “Aim at Heart”. With the caloric and fat intake this meal packs I wish it was better. Now, it is good, it’s just not great. The gravy was a refreshing brownish tinge which usually means that it is real gravy made from real grease. It was a tad too greasy for my tastes but still good. The biscuits, really just one biscuit halved, is soft but a tad small. The sausage patties were what they were, I’m not crazy about patties, I prefer links. The eggs I ordered over easy, came out perfectly. The home fries were the right amount of greasy and had just the right amount of seasoning.

My dining companion, Shannon, ordered the Hangover “Omelette” (their spelling, not mine). I guess the idea of this is that it’s the breakfast you try to make when you have a hangover and halfway through you screw it up and just say the hell with it. This isn’t an omelet, it’s a scramble with hamburger, onions, mozzarella, ortega chiles, and tomato. Normally the ensenada sauce is served on top but Shannon wisely ordered it on the side. It proved to be too spicy.

They do indeed have pie. I didn’t order any due to the large amount of sausage fat coursing through my body at the time. I don’t imagine the pie would be something special but you never know. They do also offer slices of cake, if you are one of those people.

Now two things I haven’t covered- the service and the menu. The menu has a wide variety of offerings. They have a healthy section with things like the Gobbler Scramble (ground turkey with egg whites served with brown rice). They also have night dinner specials. Wednesday it was Yankee Pot Roast, which nearly won out over the Biscuits and Gravy and/or the John Wayne. The service was kind of shoddy. I had to ask for several of my refills. I think this was more atypical. Our waiter didn’t seem like he was always the waiter. It seemed like he had another job there but was handling tables because it was close to closing.

They are pretty boastful on their sign though.

It could be true for all I know.

For the health conscious-

Price: $6-$15
Food: Good.
Service: Lacking.
Pie: Yes

400 North Pacific Coast HWY.
Redondo Beach CA
310 376 9570

1 comment:

Shanni said...

This is my favorite diner EVER! I have been going to it since I was a child. My dad would sometimes take my brother and I there in the morning and let us show up late to school. He usually got the omlette with chili, it's yummy. I usually got sasuage and eggs, I can't remember what my brother got, he used to be a picky eater. As a grown up, I usually get the Joe's Special. This is a wonderful place to go after a night out drinking, because all the grease will soak up any remaining alcohol in your body. There is nothing bad about this place, everything is wonderful, anything Mike doesn't like about it is just him being overly critical. I love to Eat At Joes!!!