Original Joe's is a well known restaurant in San Francisco. It sits on the out-skirts of dodgy Tenderloin area near to Market Street and it has 70 years of history.
The first Original Joe's was established in San Francisco by Louis Rocca and Tony Rodin in 1937. The little restaurant initially consisted of two counters and a row of booths. As business grew, Louis and Tony leased a vacant space next to them that allowed the addition of a full dining room. Later, further space became available next to the dining room enabling the addition of a full bar, thus completing Original Joe's in San Francisco. The second Original Joe's was opened in May 1956 and it's located in San Jose.
Original Joe's serves a wide variety of foods themed more toward Italian food. They serve over 100 entrees including a large variety of salads and soups, sandwiches, roasts, veal, chicken, fish, pasta, steaks and chops along with a variety of omelets and other dishes. Their signature is extremely large portions of food regardless of what you order and penguin suited, only male waitrons (or at least during the time a visited the place). The atmosphere and the waitrons were friendly and they seemed to know every other customer by name.
Large portions means large burgers. You have three choices: the Original Joe's burger with or without cheese, a Diet Plate which has hamburger steak with tomatoes and cottage cheese, and your third choice is a Joe's Special which has fresh spinach, eggs and mushrooms mixed with ground chuck (this is something that could really make your arteries sing). All sandwiches are served on sourdough French bread and include fresh hand cut steak fries.
I had the original Joe's Burger with cheese: 12 ounces of ground chuck on a French loaf with cheese. Cheese was white cheddar and the big slap was covered with it. Burger was served with hand cut steak fries. And that's it - a bread, a big slap of meat and cheese - no condiments of any kind. I poured some mustard and started to destroy this monster. The slap was made medium well as ordered and it was mildly seasoned and mixed with onions, really really tasty. I was told that they ground their own chuck so it's fresh every day. My fries weren't really good, barely warm, dry and propably done long before I arrived to the restaurant.
After finishing my first half of the burger I started to grave for lettuce, tomato or something, so I asked for the extra stuff and heard that bacon, lettuce and tomato costs extra and are available only on request. Maybe you should mention this in your menu?!
There really wasn't anything wrong with the burger except the missing lettuce, tomatoes etc. I definetly recommend Original Joe's, maybe not for their burgers but for a friendly and authentic dining experiece.
# Original Joe's San Francisco
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