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Report on chowdown at Original Joe's

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Report on chowdown at Original Joe's

Ruth Lafler | Nov 14, 2003 12:56 AM

Nine of us met for lunch Wednesday at Original Joe's (144 Taylor, the heart of the beautiful Tenderloin).

We had a nice big booth in the back -- the sort of booth you find in old-fashioned (if slightly shabby) restaurants like this.

The menu is nice and old fashioned, too. No baby greens or seared ahi in sight. Just hearty Italian/American fare. The portions were huge -- almost all of us took doggie bags home. Melanie had enough leftover osso bucco for at least two more meals!

I was in the mood for comfort food, so I ordered the roast leg of lamb. It came with a choice of potatoes or pasta, and I went for the ravioli, which were plump with meat and quite good. Like all the sides, the ravioli came on a separate plate, with the main taking up the entire large plate. Mine was simply thin-sliced lamb swimming in jus. At first I thought it was a little salty and ... bouillon-like, but a touch of acid courtesy of the lemon wedge on my ice tea saucer brought it into balance. The iced tea was actually my favorite part of the meal -- they didn't have it pre-made so they brought me properly brewed hot tea poured over ice. So simple, and yet so few places do it. (I've actually had the discussion: Waitress: We're out of iced tea. Me: Do you have tea? Hot water? Ice?) The waiter also brought a pitcher of their regular iced tea so those who had ordered it could refill their glasses. The rest of the gang will have to comment on their food.

Service was professional and old-fashioned. I loved the old-fashioned heavy, oval, scalloped edged plates. Old fashioned fashioned atmosphere. Old fashioned clientele. Definitely not cutting edge haute cuisine, but a satisfying experience.

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