Does anybody remember Joe's restaraunt in Reading-it was on laurel ave. I took several family members there one time for my dad's b-day. Joe signed the cookbook he had on sale there. The dinner was marvelous and the atmosphere as I remember was nice. It closed several years ago-Just wondering if anybody knows if he has opened another place? I live in CT but was born in Reading and have some family members still in the area. Planning on going back for a visit in March.
I was told that at one time Joe's was one of the top ten restaurants in the ENTIRE world. Does anyone know if this is true? I've tried surfing the web to find out if it really was one of the best. Everything I've read about Joe's makes it sound like it was an amazing restaurant. But, I haven't been able to find anything that says it was one of the best places in the world at one time. So, if anyone knows anything about this would you please enlighten me?
Dear Pink, as a boy I had eaten at Joe's with my parents a few times. Of course one would have to like/love fungi to understand the acclaim being lavished on this little wrong-side-of-the-tracks establishment. Some years ago Joe move northwest, way northwest to Washington State for access to a larger selection of mushrooms, or so my parents told me. Then dinner at Joe's
was like a punishment to me; fortunately only endured on company funded dinners. .
As for the "ten best" speculation: If I had to bet the dog and the farm I would say NO WAY. In looking at the current list of Top 10, 50, and 100 with only New York restaurants making it
from the US as World's Best it would be almost impossible. The only thing restraining my
skepticism is that perhaps, just perhaps their speciality set them apart. Well now that I think
about it , I will bet the dog and farm on NO WAY.
I, as you, would like to know so I could add Joe's to my list of top ten restaurants in the world at which I have eaten,. List, currently the long gone Joe's would make ONE.
Bad news Pam, Joe's is gone! It was one of my favorites too. The good news is that his son Jack is carrying on the tradition. The bad news is that it is on the west coast. It is called the Joel Palmer House and it's in Dayton, Oregon, near Portland. Apparently mushroom hunting is more productive in the damp Pacific Northwest than it was in Berks COunty, Pennsylvania,
Waking up a nine-year-old thread is a new one for me and, from the looks of things, fine dining in Reading may have ended with Joe's.
I was there with my parents in the late '60s or early '70s and remember it well. Joe Czarnecki was not only an excellent chef but also a well-versed mycologist (TG) as one funky 'shroom would have ended his enterprise. But it never happened and all patrons - including myriad entertainers and dignitaries whose photos graced the foyer - enjoyed his foraged fungi creations for many years.
But, with Joe now departed, where does one go in Reading for a superb fine dining experience? I'd like to have the option later in September when headed up there with a friend.
A bit outside of town is OK but what up in those parts might be of interest to gourmets?
It's nice to read this old thread! I worked at Joe's briefly, as a bus girl, when I was in high school in the early 90's. It was a wonderful place.
I'm not sure there is quite anything on that level in the Reading area anymore, but I can suggest a few places where you can get a nice fine dining meal.
One is the newly remodeled and reopened Stokesay Castle. The ambiance is exquisite, and though I haven't eaten in the dining room, I have had lunch on the patio and food at the bar and thought it all excellent. Another long-time favorite is Green Hills Inn. It serves French cuisine in a country-inn setting. A third option in the city is Dans. My husband and I went there for our wedding anniversary last year and thoroughly enjoyed the food and the attentive service. This year's anniversary dinner was spent at Lily's on Main, in Ephrata, which was also excellent.
Those are the fancier places that come to mind. If you are looking for more casual options, I can suggest some as well. Best of luck on your visit!
Green Hills Inn
2444 Morgantown Rd, Reading, PA 19607
Many thanks for these options, Katie. I thought Stokesay was a long-goner as I remember their TV ads on Philly television in the 60s, but nothing since. But hearing this from a former Joe's employee is priceless.
P.S. I hope his son is doing well out west but I really wish he had stayed here to maintain the family tradition.