Yeah, I know….I just wrote about JOE’S STONE CRAB a few weeks ago.
And yes, I know some say that writing about Miami restaurants so often is just bullshit (especially since Minnesotans travel in much greater numbers to the Gulf Coast.
I just got back from Miami two days ago and went to JOE’S twice, and I was reminded about a couple of things: just how comfortable it is; no rock star chef; no molecular-gastronomy; no foam; nobody using tweezers to plate algae on your crudo.
Just a supremely reliable, well-run restaurant with generous, thoughtfully-crafted dishes that I happen to find very comforting and surprisingly affordable (if you choose wisely)….and that’s why I’m here for you.
First off, the exception: If you haven’t tried STONE CRABS, this is the place to do it. We rarely order them, however. Joe’s offers a world of alternatives that are just as satisfying and much more affordable.
So here’s what you do here. Every month they make a deal with a winery and pass on the savings to the customers. This month’s feature was Ferrari Carano, and you could get a bottle of Chardonnay or Cabernet for $30.
There’s simply no need to spend 80 or 100 bucks for a bottle of wine.
Next, appetizers are generous and affordable. Joanne and I have concocted entire meals from the appetizer selections (with a $30 bottle of wine, of course…occasionally two bottles). What a nice evening, I think.
Favorites (all pictured below), include BAKED CLAM STUFFIES, which are big fat quahog clams stuffed with chopped clams, buttery bread crumbs, red peppers, celery and other good stuff, for $13.95.
On my last visit I had the COCONUT SHRIMP APPETIZER for my main course: five coconut-crusted jumbo shrimp for $14.95. A friend had the STEAK TACOS ($16.95), also as a main course.
Joanne and I frequently start with half a dozen fresh oysters….and they are FRESH. At $18.95, they’re about $3 each; that’s Minnesota prices.
Now, on to the main courses. If you want fish, you can’t go wrong with GROUPER, SEA BASS, SALMON – or the daily catch, which was probably swimming this morning. Most run about $32.00; certainly reasonable considering the pristine freshness and the portion size.
But if you don’t want to spend that much, there are some surprising and very good options, including a 1/2 RACK of BARBECUED RIBS for $17.95. And it’s good barbecue; they smoke the meat on site.
Also the CRISPY HALF FRIED CHICKEN for $7.95. YEP, THAT’S RIGHT – $7.95…..!!!!!!
Finally CALVES LIVER with CRISPY BACON and CARAMELIZED ONIONS costs just 13.95. I know, I know, liver is not on everybody’s culinary hit list, but if you’re one of those folks like me who REALLY like liver once in a while, how can you resist?
One last thing: This restaurant is rumored to do about $23 million in sales annually. And here’s what that means: The servers make A LOT of money. They stick around for years. And they get REALLY GOOD at what they do. We’ve never experienced bad service at JOE’S (bad managers, yes; bad servers, no). Every server we’ve ever had has been extremely knowledgeable, efficient and professional. However, we do have a favorite. His name is Massimo and we try for his section each time we go. He’s pictured here last week with our friends from Boston.