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02/24 2009

Places I Like: Joe’s Inn

Joe’s Inn is like that old pair of jeans that you can’t throw away because it they are so damn comfortable. Whether you are visiting the old location in the Fan or the strip mall version in Bon Air, both bring their unique qualities while maintaining a glorious consistency in the food they provide to their patrons.

For the few of you that may have never been to Joe’s Inn, it is Richmond’s version of the classic, Greek run diner. Now, neither location is located in a diner car, but they are known for hearty breakfasts, solid sandwiches, and fabulous baked pasta. In the AM, they carry the standard fare- eggs, pancakes, waffles, etc. Lunch and dinner menus are the same. The staple menu items that get most of the attention are the small Greek salads, fried chicken livers, spaghetti ala Joe and its cousin, the spaghetti ala Greek.

The Greek salads are not complicated but the red wine vinaigrette they use is so addicting that it is tempting to pay $5 for it in the local grocery stores. They also use a high quality feta which provides the perfect creamy blend to the tart dressing. As for the livers, I can’t stand livers in general. I just see people people eating them all of the time.  The spaghetti ala Joe is the big ticket item. This dish is a huge pile of spaghetti, topped with browned provolone cheese and finished off with marinara and meat sauce. The spaghetti ala Greek is the same except that it has some feta added to the mix. Based on the name of this blog, you can be sure that I take my sauce seriously. Joe’s has a great recipe. Spicy without being to acidic. I am more than happy to pay the $10 as opposed to going through the hassle myself.

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Which brings me to price. Joe’s is family friendly dining at a reasonable price. There may be a handful of items that are over $10. It’s a safe place to bring out-of-towners because of the variety as well as being a Richmond tradition for years.  I’m tempted to go try on those old jeans again!

*Note- I have never been to the Mechanicsville location, but who really goes to Mechanicsville to dine anayway 😉