Little Joe's 2007
I used to go to Little Joe's back in the early 1990's when it was on Broadway. It had a greasy spoon feel to it, with reasonable prices, tasty food and very filling portions. I used to like to sit at the counter and watch the cooks work it out making their fish stews and veal dishes. Little Joe''s was what it was, nothing fancy or upscale to say the least, but a casual and comfortable place to go to and very crowded.
Has anyone eaten at their 5th Street location? Is it the same owner and food? I know there is better Italian to be had, but was just wondering if it is worth a meal on my next visit to San Francisco. Thanks for your help.
As a visitor to the City (3 or 4 times a year) from Southern California I have been going to Little Joe's since Frank was located on Columbus probably about 30 years ago. On our latest stay for a month, we discovered that his new location was in the Pickwick Hotel so my wife and I had to visit the new location.
My impression was that it was a definite improvement over the Van Ness location, but sadly nothing will every come close to the original Columbus store. The waitstaff was spiffed up in black and white uniforms and did not resemble the old crew on Columbus and Broadway.
It was a Friday night and we arrived at about 6:30. A few tables were full and Frank was, as usual, in attendance. Our wait person got our veal parmagiana orders wrong, but to her credit she insisted that she would pay for our wine. Refusing to put the wine on our check we just added the amount back on her gratuity.
The veal was just like it has been for the past 30 years so if you remember the old Little Joe Baby Joe you will not be disappointed. My only criticism was that they do not offer wine house wine by the carafe anymore, but just the bottle and by the glass. I thought $6.00 for house wine was a little too much but maybe I am remembering the reasonableness of the old place.
Don't expect yuppie or gourmet Italian and you will not be disappointed. Too much of the old San Francisco North Beach restaurant scene has disappeared and it is great to have a taste of the "old days".