Stockton

Exploring Stockton: Stockton Joe’s

In Entertainment on September 21, 2011 at 7:00 am

We’re in the midst of Stockton Restaurant Week which, in its third year, is always a great opportunity to try new things for a relatively inexpensive price.

My personal kickoff to Restaurant Week was Sunday when my girlfriend and I decided to head to Stockton Joe’s in Lincoln Center. I had never been to the restaurant side of Stockton Joe’s, so I was excited to explore Stockton try out something new.

Joe’s has a pretty decent Restaurant Week menu (PDF warning) offering a $15 3-course meal with either that day’s special (Sun-Thurs only) or your choice of any pasta dish for the entree. For $20 you get your choice of any chicken dish for your entree plus a side and for $25 you get the steak and shrimp combo. We both opted for the $15 version of dinner, choosing Sunday’s special which was chicken cacciatore.

One thing I had heard about Joe’s was that the service there was mediocre to put it nicely. Before we even got served someone replied to my Foursquare check-in on Twitter to joke that they too had taken advantage of the restaurant’s special that day and received the best service they’d ever gotten there…from a take out order. While the service we had wasn’t as bad as their Google reviews seem to imply (one of their tags is “bad service”), it was decidedly mediocre. At one point we had to remind our server, with check in hand, that we still had a third course coming. Of course, this is just one night’s worth of service on what’s usually an off night for restaurants, so maybe it gets better. If we decide to go for their Thursday special of corn beef and cabbage, I’ll let you know how that goes.

Service really doesn’t matter though as long as the food is good, and Joe’s definitely brings it. We were served an ample serving of chicken cacciatore. Having never had the dish before, I was surprised that the chicken was served bone-in, which resulted in a few minutes of carefully deboning the chicken to minimize messiness. Had this been at home, I would have just grabbed a roll of paper towels and dug in, but Joe’s is a classy joint so deboning it was.

The entree itself was delicious. The sauce was excellently seasoned and the onions and bell peppers were grilled to perfection. The only real criticism I had was that the $15 deal did not come with a side. So unless we felt like filling up on more bread the main course was chicken cacciatore with a side of chicken cacciatore. It was a bit monotonous, but still delicious and very filling. So filling that we had to stop halfway through to save room for our chocolate sundae dessert. If you want a meal that will provide you with delicious leftovers for lunch the next day, Joe’s is definitely the place to go.

All things considered, I would absolutely recommend Stockton Joe’s. The menu looked particularly appealing and the prices were such that it would be an affordable destination even without the restaurant week deal.

Exploring Stockton is an ongoing series reviewing first time experiences at various Stockton venues.

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