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Thursday, May 3, 2012

[Chicago] Joe's Seafood, Prime Rib, & Stone Crab

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLocation Review:
60 East Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

The story of Joe's starts in Florida almost 100 years ago in 1913, when Joe Weiss opened up a small lunch counter on Miami beach. This iconic beach-side spot established its claim to fame through their Florida stone crabs. In fact, before Mr. Weiss, nobody even knew that stone crabs were edible. With it's huge success, two more locations have surfaced, one being in Chicago. Drawing its reputation from the original location, the menus are almost identical, allowing patrons to experience the Floridian jewel of a restaurant without the long flight down south. Anywhere there is great seafood, count me in!

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Joe's Seafood, Prime Rib & Stone Crab

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It's been said online that the Joe's in Florida doesn't take reservations and the wait time is upwards of 2 hours! Lucky for my friends and I, the Chicago location did take reservations, and we were promptly seated upon arrival.

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Menu and Table Breads

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Medium Stone Crab Claws ($34.95) -7 per order

First up, the item of interest: Florida Stone Crab! There is an entire section of the menu devoted to Stone Crab Claws, and you can order portions ranging from 2 to 7 peices. You'd think the more claws you get, the more expensive it would be, but it's actually quite the opposite because they take into account the size. The most expensive order is a 3 piece Jumbo size Stone Crab claw, costing $62.95. Needless to say these crab claws are PRICEY. So are they worth dishing out the money? I would have to say yes. These crab claws come pre-cracked and are arguable the sweetest tasting crab I've ever had. It is served with a horseradish mayo that gives a nice kick without overpowering the freshness of the crab meat. Not going to lie, at the end of our meal we wanted to order another serving for dessert!

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Ahi Tuna ($28.95) -with Sweet Chili Sauce & Tempura Green Beans

My pictures don't do this dish justice, but If I had to choose a second favourite dish this meal, it would be the Ahi Tuna being (after the stone crab of course!). The execution of this dish was simply divine. The sashimi grade tuna was seared to our requested rare state and served with a bed of deep fried bgreen beans. These green beans would forever change my attitude toward beans. They were somehow able to fry the battered beans to a thorough crunch, yet still keeping the bean inside slightly raw. Didn't get soggy even after it cooled, and went so well with the sweet chili sauce. Actually cross that, everything I had that night went will with the sauce. I ended up dipping my steak, beans, everything in this sauce. Irresistible!

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Filet Mignon ($35.95) -12 oz portion

For a restaurant that prides in their steaks just as much as their seafood, I was quite dissapointed in this Filet Mignon. The cut of meat wasn't the greatest, despite being cooked fairly well. Looks can be so deceiving!

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Creamed Spinach ($7.95)

Most dishes (like the steak above) doesn't come with any sides, and that's because they have a big variety of family sized portion sides to add on to your dishes. They really encourage sharing here, and its a good thing because these sides were huge in portion. The Creamed Spinach is thick and heavy in cheese, almost passing for a spinach dip!

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Havana Dream Pie ($6.95)

The name of this pie is so appropriately named. It really does taste like a dream in your mouth! They physical make up of this cake is quite interesting. The top of the Havana Dream Pie is a light fluffy cake, while the bottom is a heavier custard. Both parts are quite plain in flavour, but taken together with the whipped cream, cinnamon, caramel, and strawberries, it becomes a heavenly dessert!

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Key Lime Pie ($6.95)

Key lime pies being indigenous to Florida, I wasn't surprised when the waiter mentioned that the Key Lime Pie is the most popular dessert at Joe's. We actually decided against ordering it since no one had a particular affinity for it, but knowing that we were out of town vistors, the waiter decided to bring out a couple slices for us to try anyway. A really nice gesture! The pie had a lovely smooth lime custard filling, and a thick satisfying graham cracker crust. Not as good as unique as the Havana Dream Pie in my opinion, but still a delicious dessert.

Aside from the food, what impressed me the most was the impeccable service. Our waiter was not only knowledgeable about everything on the menu, he was very honest. Not your average waiter who would just suggest everything as being a good order. Thank you Joe's for a memorable meal and great night! :)

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