This past week, I ventured over to Original Joe’s in North Beach with a large group of friends for dinner. Described as the “quintessential, classic San Francisco dining experience”, the restaurant has been recently remodeled and boasts homey, upscale diner-esque décor. The space itself is comfortable, if not a bit loud, and the menu features a variety of comfort food specialties, leaning heavily towards Americanized Italian cooking. The burger, called out at the top of the menu, simply states “Joe’s Famous Hamburger, Sandwich French Fries”. Despite the lack of accompanying information, I went ahead and ordered it anyways.
When the dish arrived, I was a little surprised (though maybe I shouldn’t have been given the simplicity of the description), since all it consisted of was a cheeseburger on a French roll with a side of fries. No condiments or additions to the burger whatsoever. However, I’ve had many a “plain” cheeseburger before that has been delicious, so I tried to ignore the simplicity of the plate.
Original Joe’s has a lot going for it in terms of ambience and even a menu full of simple, potentially delicious dishes (plus, it’s close to my apartment!). However, I was disappointed with the burger, and my friends weren’t too impressed with their meals either. While Original Joe’s may appeal to a certain demographic, I won’t be going out of my way to visit in the future.