Finally ventured out to this small Szechuan place, since we've been hankering for authentic Szechuan with the absence of Formosa Cafe. The verdict: great prices but mixed reaction to the food. We had the Szechuan spicy dry beef saute, the Szechuan style beef noodle soup, the house pan-fried noodle, pork buns, salty crispy chicken and the whole steamed fish with ginger, scallion and cilantro. In general, we found everything to be salty. the Szechuan beef saute was so incendiary that we couldn't finish it. (however, the menu did warn us that this dish was not only extra spicy but "numbing" - they're not kidding around.) The beef noodle soup was delicious-- wide noodles in a spicy broth with greens and chunks of beef with five spice and ginger flavor. huge bowl for 5.95! the pan fried noodles were so-so. the noodles are deep fried first, then covered with a brown sauce with chicken, beef and shrimp and vegetables ($10.95). the steamed pork buns were reminiscent of dim sum dumplings - not the bready kind of pork buns but the translucent dumplings (8 for about 4 bucks, and it's served with an interesting sweet/sour sauce with shredded ginger). the salty crispy chicken tasted like tougher crispy chicken nuggets and came topped with fried basil, garlic and chiles. the standout was the whole steamed fish - two croakers steamed whole with a soy, ginger, scallion and cilantro sauce poured over it ($10.95).
This place was packed, and we had to wait about 15 minutes to get a seat. Customers order and pay first at the cashier, and then they bring out your dishes as they're prepared. If you have leftovers, you make your own to-go box with styrofoam packaging and plastic bags provided for this purpose at the entrance. Judging by its busy-ness, Joe's obviously has a following. We're glad we tried it, but next time we're in the area, we'll try some different things off their voluminous menu.